Leading London estate agency Dexters has been continuing to tell its 1,500 staff to travel to their branches to work since the lock-down announcement, it has been revealed, despite the government’s request on Monday for people to only make essential journeys.
Family of staff contacted a national newspaper to complain that the company’s insistence that estate agency staff commute into work and attend their branches could be compromising the health of their loved ones and the wider public.
Dexters’ CEO Jeff Doble (left) said his company was ‘in the process of winding down’ but that the government’s sudden announcement on Monday evening had not given him and Dexters’ employees a chance to prepare the business for such a sudden change and that the criticism was ‘unfair’.
It was reported that employees were asked to travel into the capital yesterday to complete these tasks which Doble said were unable to be achieved remotely and needed to be done within branches.
The estate agency has already ceased offering face-to-face viewings across its network of 100 branches, and told The Independent that it’s premises were closed to the public, even if staff have been working behind the locked doors to “work through the website and on the phone”.
Agencies who choose to interpret the government’s advice people should not travel from work unless it “absolutely cannot be done from home” may soon have no choice.
The government’s Coronavirus Bill will turn the government’s current advice into law and give police sweeping powers to order people to go home, and fines those who flout the new laws fines of up to £1,000.