A former Worcester student says she was fired from her job after refusing to come into work with Covid symptoms.

Rachael Baylis, who attended Worcester Sixth Form College before going to university in Brighton, had been working at the Walrus pub in Brighton when she developed a cough and fever.

After asking to leave early, she was told she needed to find cover so continued with the shift as she had done a negative lateral flow test.

On finding out the following day that a colleague had tested positive - and still feeling ill - Rachael booked a PCR test and informed her manager she would not be coming to work.

But she was told in an email from her manager that company policy required her to present a positive lateral flow before she could be signed off.

In response, Rachael described lateral flow tests as “notoriously unreliable” and said she was not comfortable with potentially spreading Covid to other staff and customers.

“I will have my PCR results back tomorrow and I will try to find someone to cover my shift but I will not be coming in,” she wrote. “If you still wish to refuse to understand my reasons then consider this my notice.”

But her resignation was rejected and Rachael was instead told her probation period at the pub was being terminated. She also received a positive result for her PCR test.

Rachael told the Metro her story illustrates the problems faced by many hospitality workers in the pandemic and said “proper sick pay” was necessary for all workers.

A spokesperson for The City Pub Group later said: “The City Pub Group is aware of allegations that the company’s well-established Covid-19 safety protocols were not followed at our Brighton pub The Walrus, in relation to isolation arrangements for one of our team members.

“We are now urgently investigating all aspects of this situation to understand precisely what has happened and what needs to be done in response.

“We do not wish to make any further comments on next steps until the facts of the case have been established clearly.”

The Worcester Labour Party, of which Rachael is a member, said she had “won an important moral victory”.