Falkirk workplaces busier now than in first lockdown says new data

Workplaces in Falkirk have been busier during the current lockdown than last spring, figures suggest.

Thursday, 11th March 2021, 12:20 pm

The GMB union said some employers across Scotland have forced workers to choose between their work or their wellbeing.

Google uses location data from phones and other personal devices to track trends in people's movement in different areas of their daily lives, including where they work.

It shows average activity in workplaces in Falkirk over six weeks between January 5 and February 15 was 45% lower than during a five-week baseline period recorded before the pandemic.

GMB union says Fifers are being forced to choose between work and wellbeing

But this was a rise on the average of 61% below normal between March 24 and May 4.

Current Scottish Government guidance says people can only leave their home for work if it is “not possible” to do so from home and their workplace is permitted to stay open.

Gary Smith, GMB Scotland secretary, said the Scottish Government must ensure guidance for workplace safety and support for safe working is as strong as possible.

He added: “There are employers who haven’t played by the rules, both private and public, that prioritised their profits and targets over the safety of workers and their communities, and Scotland is no exception.”

The Google data shows how footfall in Falkirk workplaces has differed across almost a full year of coronavirus restrictions.

Between the start of the first UK lockdown and mid-February, the busiest a working day got was just 27% below usual the baseline – hitting this level on three days.

By contrast, the quietest weekday over this time – outside of bank holidays – was April 9, which was 70% below normal.

Thank you for reading this article on our free-to-read website. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

Please consider purchasing a subscription to our print newspaper to help fund our trusted, fact-checked journalism.