A bakery worker has been sacked for allowing customers to pay her with cash -breaking new company rules because she “didn’t want to let people down”.
Megan Metcalfe who took money from customers who had no cards and instead paid for their goods with her bank card at the Birds Bakery in Radcliffe-on-Trent, was found guilty of gross misconduct.
Ms Metcalfe, 60, told our sister site NottinghamshireLive that she had been trying to help out elderly customers who did not carry cards.
Popular Birds Bakery brought in the card only policy following the lockdown – to minimise the Covid 19 risk to staff and customers.
Speaking after her dismissal, Ms Metcalfe who lives in Ruddington and had worked for Birds for 44 years 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.”
She added: “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.”
We have previously reported how 94-year old Edna Dalchin said she was left shocked when Birds Bakery in the Nottinghamshire town of Bulwell, refused to take her cash – which meant she could not buy any bread.
Ms Metcalfe said that she had many customers in the same position as Ms Dalchin – who didn’t use cards.
In a misguided attempt to help them, she would ask them to put the money straight into her purse instead – while she put her card through the till.
Ms Metcalfe would then show them the receipt. The former Birds employee had used this tactic to purchase items that totalled £180.
On June 19 she was suspended from work for a week with full pay and ordered to appear before a disciplinary hearing the week after before being dismissed from the company.
Ms Metcalfe 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.”
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.
“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.”