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To: Diane Herz, CEO of the Social Research Centre

Socially Reprehensible Conduct - support workers to stay safe.

Socially Reprehensible Conduct - support workers to stay safe.

Despite management insisting 'it is just the flu' the Social Research Centre is not a safe place to work during COVID-19. This week the company saw record cancellations, with over 50% of the workforce choosing to forfeit their income to protect themselves and their communities.

We are asking that the Social Research Centre acts in the safety of workers and the community and immediately closes the call centre and grants all casual employees special paid leave.

Why is this important?

The Social Research Centre, a call centre located within inner city Melbourne, has been woefully unprepared for the recent unfolding CO-VID 19 crisis. The company, known for working on large scale government projects, has only in the past week implemented any social distancing and proper hygiene policy within the call centre, prior to this they failed to even provide alcohol-based sanitising wipes for equipment.

The 200+ casual workforce has been given no clarity on what will happen with their jobs. The company has rejected calls to provide paid leave and allow employees to self isolate. Instead it gives vague promises that employees will be able to work from home without having any system in place to implement this.

There is a social responsibility for all businesses and individuals to help ‘flatten the curve’ of COVID-19, to ensure hospitals are able to cope with the demand for treatment. Flattening the curve requires the implementation of social distancing measures which cannot be adhered to within the close proximity working environment of the call centre, especially considering the virus can live on plastic surfaces (like booths, headsets and computers) for up to 72 hours.

Call centres are a known incubator of the virus, and workers are at particularly high risk not just of contracting COVID-19, but also transmitting it to a large number of people.

The Social Research Centre clearly understands the importance of social distancing to protect employees and the wider community. This is evident in the fact that the staff at the Social Research Centre's office on Williams St are all working from home. We are asking this regard for workplace safety extends to the casual workers in the call centre.

The company's response to the demand of paid leave, supported by the overwhelming majority of your workforce, has been unsatisfactory, with no attempt made to negotiate or evidence shown to back claims of insufficient funds. Centrelink is insufficient for many of your employees, such as those who are not Australian nationals, under 22, or new applicants who will likely be waiting more than two weeks to receive their first payment.

Sign now to demand the Social Research Centre closes the unsafe call centre office and supports workers with special paid leave.

Reasons for signing

  • This company exploits its staff
  • Solidarity
  • Support for call centre workers


2020-03-25 15:17:55 +1100

100 signatures reached

2020-03-25 13:21:42 +1100

50 signatures reached

2020-03-25 13:08:36 +1100

25 signatures reached

2020-03-25 13:03:58 +1100

10 signatures reached