A woman who has worked at a bakery for 44 years has been sacked after allowing elderly customers without cards to pay in cash during the coronavirus pandemic.
Megan Metcalfe, 60, was given her marching orders by Birds Bakery in Radcliffe-on-Trent, Notts, after it stopped accepting cash for
hygiene reasons. Megan Metcalfe, 60, has been sacked by Birds Bakery in Radcliffe-on-Trent, NottsCredit: BPM Media She accepted around £180 in cash from customers and then used her debit card to pay for the transactions.
Ms Metcalfe said: “I realise what I was doing was against company policy. But they had picked up the items and already gotten to the till ready to buy them.” “There’s no way I could let an elderly man or woman walk away telling them they could not buy it because they didn’t have a card. They had also already handled the stock so that would have to be binned or cleaned.” Ms Metcalfe was suspended on June 19 and then sacked following a disciplinary hearing, with the firm saying it was “with regret” they had to let her go.
44 YEARS OF SERVICE She added: “I was just trying to do the right thing. I am really upset by it, of course. “I worked at Birds for 44 years and 25 of them as a manager. I was told I was endangering staff members’ lives by doing what I did. “At no point did money transfer hands. It was straight into my purse and then I put the payment through on card and showed them the receipt. “I should not have done it but I don’t like to let people down and a lot of these customers depend on us, coming to us every day.” More than a thousand people angered by the sacking have signed an online petition calling for her to be re-employed or compensated.
I was just trying to do the right thing. I am really upset by it, of course.” Megan Metcalfe The petition says: “Megan Metcalfe was sacked for being kind to her elderly customers in Birds Bakery, after 40 years of service. “We the people of Nottingham think that decision is absolutely disgusting, no matter the company’s Covid-19 rules on payment processing, the decision to treat a loyal employee this way for a lifetime’s service is beyond belief.
“It should be handled more appropriately via a simple disciplinary meeting or just pulled to one side and explained why her actions are not appropriate. “But to be sacked, that’s not the actions of a reputable employer and well-known brand like Birds.” “WITH REGRET” It comes just days after a 94-year-old woman was told she couldn’t buy bread from Birds bakery because she didn’t have a bank card. Former hosiery worker Edna Dalchin has never owned a bank card and prefers to pay with cash.
She was stunned and embarrassed when staff told her to put items back because they could not take her money. Lesley Bird, chief operating officer at Birds Bakery, said: “At Birds, we take the safety of our staff and customers very seriously – and have very tight procedures in place during this pandemic. “A lot of our customer base are the elderly – many of them vulnerable – and it is our responsibility to keep them, and our staff, safe.
‘London-style riots in DAYS’ amid anger over lockdowns “Like many other food outlets, during this pandemic we have asked customers to only use debit cards because notes and coins are not clean – and this poses a risk to our staff who are handling that money.
“In the case of Megan Metcalfe she was taking cash from customers and then making payments with her own card. “This contravenes our current health and safety policy relating to Covid-19 and is also against company regulations. “It was with regret that we had to ask Megan to leave the business because of those two issues.” Bakery chain Greggs reopens 800 stores as lockdown restrictions are eased.