Claims by the GMB union that an Asos warehouse had become “a cradle of disease” after warehouse workers contracted Covid-19 have been firmly rebutted by the retailer, as well as by its recognised trade union.

Asos said there was no evidence to suggest nine confirmed coronavirus cases at its Barnsley warehouse were contracted at its site and that the percentage of its team affected was significantly lower than the national average.

A spokesman said Asos and XPO Logistics, which manages the Grimethorpe site on its behalf, were monitoring the situation closely and further precautionary measures had been taken.

It came as the GMB union said Asos had shirked its responsibility for social distancing and that the site should now be closed for a deep clean.

But Community, the recognised union for the warehouse staff, painted a different picture when approached by and said the measures in place were “over and above” government guidelines.

A Community spokesman said deep cleaning had taken place and that it had worked with Asos to ensure safety measures were in place.

The spokesman said: “As the recognised trade union at XPO we are in regular contact with senior management and our on-site union reps will be meeting management on a daily basis to monitor the situation and the impact of the extensive safety measures that have been agreed and implemented.

“We will continue to review all necessary steps available to protect workers on site.”

The union’s apparent support of Asos was echoed by Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council’s leader, Sir Steve Houghton, who said: “Our regulatory services team have been making regular unannounced visits to the site to ensure the safety of staff.

“The company has put various measures in place to protect staff, and has quickly taken on board and acted on all advice and suggestions to improve things further.

“It is important to remember that ASOS has a large workforce and this is a global pandemic.

“When employees test positive for the disease, it does not necessarily mean they contracted it at work.”

Asos told that as the global crisis progressed it was clear no community was insusceptible to Covid-19 and it had been impacted by “a small number of cases”.

The Asos spokesman added: “That said, there is no evidence to suggest these cases were contracted in the warehouse and the percentage of our team impacted is significantly lower than the national average and for that of the Barnsley Metropolitan area, within which our site is based.

“Of the nine people affected, close to half had not been on site for more than two weeks before testing positive for the virus, and all have self-isolated at home, in line with government guidance.

“We remain in contact with them and wish them well with their recoveries.”

He added: “Given the warehouse’s size and scale, its level of automation and the extra, industry-leading health and safety measures we have put in place since the start of the pandemic, it remains a safe place to work.”