Bored test and trace scheme employees ‘carrying out other jobs while waiting for work’
BORED workers on the government’s shambolic test and trace scheme are carrying out other jobs while they are supposed to be at work, claims a whistleblower.
Tracers earning hundreds of pounds a week and left with little to do are leaving the house and taking their laptops to other jobs and earning cash on the side at offices, cafes and salons.
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Bored contact tracers are carrying out other jobs while they are supposed to be at work, claims a whistleblower[/caption]
They are supposed to be on hand to contact people who have been in touch with a positive Covid case in a crucial part of the strategy to beat the virus but are instead moonlighting at offices, salons, cafes and corner shops.
Messages shared between tracers which have been shown to The Sun on Sunday show them boasting about carrying out other work while earning a salary for supposedly being on hand to trace.
They are showing tracers trying to entice other staff to also moonlight and carry out other work.
Our revelations comes just days after a technical error with a spreadsheet caused 16,000 cases of coronavirus to be missed.
One told The Sun: “The truth is we’re left with absolutely nothing to do all day.
“I’ve hardly made a call to trace someone in the last month. People are talking about how they’re earning money on the side. They’re going to family businesses and earning money while supposed to be tracing.
“They’re so bored they’re taking their laptops to work at offices and doing admin work, working at shops and salons while supposed to be tracing.
“But nobody is contacting us. It’s a disaster. It’s shocking.
“The laptop is there on hand with the software needed if a call does come through. People are just taking the Mick.”
John O’Connell, chief executive of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: “Sitting around at taxpayers’ expense whilst pretending to do their job is totally unacceptable.
“The test and trace system has been a complete disaster zone up to now, with spreadsheet setbacks and bureaucratic bungling.
“Ministers need to get a grip and stop the slack and waste.”
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Last month The Sun on Sunday revealed tracers were receiving bonuses of £140,000 in total.
The Department of Health said claims of moonlighting do not reflect the “huge amount of work underway through NHS test and Trace, which is breaking chains of transmission every day”.
A spokesman added: “Over half million people who may otherwise have unknowingly spreading coronavirus have been contacted and told to isolate. We expect high standards from contact tracers, and we keep staffing levels under constant review.”
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