Fact Service August 2020

Issue 31

Sacking shows need for cash payments

General union the GMB has pointed to what it describes as a “tragic story” to highlight the need to preserve the cash industry.

Bakery Manager Megan Metcalfe, 60, was reportedly sacked in June after paying for customers' purchases with her own debit card so they could use cash. She had worked at the bakery for four decades.

She said she took about 45 payments totalling £183 after customers, particularly elderly ones including a 94-year old woman, said they could only pay in cash, which the company was refusing as a coronavirus prevention measure. She is now working in a care home.

The GMB points to the case as illustrating the dangers of a cashless society, which, it says, will cost thousands of jobs and damage the lives of the elderly and the vulnerable as well as small and medium enterprises.

Roger Jenkins, GMB national officer, said: “Sacking a shopkeeper for helping elderly customers with no access to cashless payments is beyond outrageous.

“But it illustrates the terrible damage that would be done to people’s lives if we allow cash to wither and die.”