Manor Farm outlines policy on PPE for workers

Carton Brothers – the firm behind the Manor Farm brand – has outlined its position regarding personal protective equipment (PPE) amid reports of staff paying for their own PPE.

In a statement to AgriLand, a spokesperson for the poultry processor, which has factories in counties Meath, Cavan and Monaghan, said:

“Carton Brothers [Carton Bros] wishes to point out a number of facts in relation to media coverage relating to the business and its policy around PPE.

The health and safety of our employees and the community in which we operate is the top priority for our business. Any suggestion that Carton Bros forces employees to pay for PPE as it relates to Covid-19 is without foundation.

PPE such as face masks, face shields, sanitizer and disinfectant wipes are provided for by the business, the spokesperson added.

Continuing, the representative said: “Since the crisis began in March, we have put in place a comprehensive suite of internal protective measures and procedures to ensure the maximum safety of our teams from Covid-19, while maintaining critical supply chain continuity with our customers.

“In that time, our employees have demonstrated a high level of commitment and compliance with these additional measures.

Carton Bros confirms that a one-off deduction of €50 applies to all new employees for specific protection kit that includes steel toe boots, helmet, bodywarmer, padded trousers, wellingtons etc.

“This one-off payment deduction is refunded to employees after 12 weeks through payroll,” it was added.

“For the avoidance of any doubt, this is a Pre Covid-19 policy and does not relate to equipment provided for by the business to protect our employees from the current pandemic.

“The policy was implemented in 2014 and discussed with SIPTU at the time.

Carton Bros employs over 1,000 people, all of whom are directly employed by the business. The business has in place a company sick pay scheme and is strongly supported by a local community, whose farmers work to ensure a continuous supply of product in a safe environment.

“Carton Bros will continue to take all necessary and appropriate measures to ensure the safest possible working conditions for our employees in the fight against Covid-19.

“Our focus remains on the health of our employees and the community, on business continuity and animal welfare,” the spokesperson concluded.