Bakery worker sacked after 40 years for paying for elderly customer who only had cash

A woman who has worked for a bakery for more than 40 years has been sacked after she was found to be taking cash from customers then using her own card to pay for it.

Birds Bakery stopped accepting cash during the coronavirus pandemic due to hygiene reasons. Megan Metcalfe took around £180 in cash from customers at her store in Radcliffe-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire, and then used her debit card, which resulted in her being sacked by the bakery.

Megan 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 was sacked on gross misconduct, following a suspension and disciplinary hearing.

She said: ‘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.’

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.

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