Bishopbriggs book distribution centre - which employs 480 workers - continues to operate during coronavirus crisis

Harper Collins at Bishopbriggs say their book distribution centre will remain in operation during the coronavirus outbreak.

Friday, 27th March 2020, 4:41 pm
Updated Friday, 27th March 2020, 5:23 pm
Harper Collins, Bishopbriggs 25.2.11 Picture by Jamie Forbes
Harper Collins, Bishopbriggs 25.2.11 Picture by Jamie Forbes

Management have said if staff “feel uncomfortable” about coming in to work they should inform their manager.

Harper Collins employ more than 480 people at their Bishopbriggs warehouse.

A number of local people have expressed concern to the Herald over the health risk to staff.

One said: “I am still a little confused about which businesses are considered essential in this present situation.

“Many at Harper Collins are parents of children who are at home just now. These workers are still having to go in every day and are putting themselves and their families at risk.

“While I admire all those front line workers who are keeping going to make sure the rest of us are safe, do the employees of Harper Collins come in to that category?”

The Herald got in touch with management at the firm.

A spokesperson for Harper Collins said: “We have reached out directly to the UK government and their clear guidance is that book distribution should be maintained, incorporating appropriate on site health and well-being guidance.

“We have had contact with the Scottish government and our local MP. They have reassured us that as a distributor of books and educational resources and with the appropriate health and wellbeing measures in place, we should continue to operate from our warehouse.

“While we closely continue to monitor the situation and any changes to official advice, our warehouse remains open.

“We have taken further steps to protect our warehouse teams, including introducing temperature testing at the gates for all coming on to the site, managing our shifts to ensure clear social distancing, and enhanced hygiene regimes.

“If any of our staff feel uncomfortable coming to work they have been asked to inform their manager to discuss concerns and solutions, including not coming to work.”

Commenting, Amy Callaghan MP said: “On behalf of my constituents, I have been in constant contact with employers - including Harper Collins - within my constituency to clarify the status of their workers.

“Per UK Government advice, the onus is on the employer to provide their staff – my concerned constituents – the reassurance and clarity that they need to prove they are required key workers.

“The First Minister has been clear: if businesses are not providing direct relief in the fight against COVID-19 and are not implementing the required safety precautions, they should not be open.

“Harper Collins have assured me they have received such guidance to remain open. I have asked for this to be relayed urgently to me and their staff. They have also informed me they are following social distance protocols, health and hygiene standards and are allowing full-paid leave for concerned and vulnerable staff, subject to review.

“I will continue working day and night for all throughout East Dunbartonshire during this COVID pandemic and would encourage all employers to work responsibly and with the safety of my constituents at the forefront of their minds”.