Union claims Fifers forced to choose between work and welling during lockdown

Workplaces in Fife have been busier during the current lockdown than last spring, figures suggest.

Thursday, 11th March 2021, 11:48 am

The GMB union said some employers across Scotland have forced workers to choose between their work or their wellbeing.

Google uses location data from phones and other personal devices to track trends in people's movement in different areas of their daily lives, including where they work.

It shows average activity in workplaces in Fife over six weeks between January 5 and February 15 was 42% lower than during a five-week baseline period recorded before the pandemic.

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GMB union says Fifers are being forced to choose between work and wellbeing

But this was a rise on the average of 62% below normal between March 24 and May 4.

Current Scottish Government guidance says people can only leave their home for work if it is “not possible” to do so from home and their workplace is permitted to stay open.

Gary Smith, GMB Scotland secretary, said the Scottish Government must ensure guidance for workplace safety and support for safe working is as strong as possible.

He added: “There are employers who haven’t played by the rules, both private and public, that prioritised their profits and targets over the safety of workers and their communities, and Scotland is no exception.”

The Google data shows how footfall in Fife workplaces has differed across almost a full year of restrictions.

Between the start of the first lockdown and mid-February, the busiest a working day got was just 25% below usual the baseline – hitting this level on four days.

The quietest weekday activity over this time – outside of bank holidays – was 69% below normal, which happened on six days.

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