As we are all aware, the pandemic has tested many businesses ability to react and support their staff. Even today when we are living without any restrictions in the UK, most businesses are having to account for to staff shortages and an increase in candidates prioritising jobs that have measures in place for their health and safety. One of our clients, a food manufacturer based in Somerset, shared their experience with us…
Being in the industrial sector, this company needed to ensure that its staff were able to work safely in their workplace as they were unable to work from home, and also prepare for the fact that they may face staff absences due to COVID that could limit their workforce.
To address this head-on, they worked with Thrive to introduce a COVID contingency plan which was to keep a core of agency staff in place that equated to 20% of their workforce. This enabled them to cover staff members absent from work for various reasons due to COVID.
In February 2022 the restrictions were lifted by the government and the contingency that the food manufacturer set up during the pandemic was lifted. However, without this contingency they met several issues with staffing because the agency staff in place were let go and went on to find work elsewhere.
The manufacturer currently faces daily shortages because alarmingly there are more staff who have COVID now than even previously when the contingency was in place. The easing of the restrictions throughout the UK has introduced more exposure to COVID when people visit environments where safety precautions are no longer being observed. Now Thrive is working with the manufacturer to further recruit and retrain new staff, a process that will take time to regain a skilled workforce that was previously established.
The numerous issues they faced ensued a reintroduction of their contingency plan that will be kept in place for some time. Their story serves to prove the continued importance of having a plan in place to cover unexpected absences, even post-restrictions, and the importance of planning early so your workforce is fully staffed and trained for when they are needed.
How can I ensure I have a COVID contingency plan?
Thrive Group is here to support you and help fulfil your workforce for whatever happens as we navigate the weeks and months ahead. With all of this in mind, now is a great time to think about what policies you will retain in your workplace to help build back a better, safer space for your employees.
Get in touch with us today to discuss further how we can help your business thrive.