Rebekah Valero-Lee Knowledge Bank
Boris Johnson has today announced a further easing of coronavirus restrictions. Mr Johnson has outlined how the 2m (6ft 6in) social distancing rule will be reduced to 1m (3ft 3in) from 4 July, with some mitigating measures.
This will not only enable many pubs, restaurants, hotels and B&Bs to reopen for the first time in more than three months, but allow certain sectors to bring more workers back to site and restart major projects.
Commenting on the expected announcement from the government that the 2m social distancing rule will be relaxed, Ged Mason, CEO of Morson Group and part of the Keep Britain Working initiative, discusses how this will have a wide industry impact.
Ged Mason OBE, CEO of the Morson Group, said:
“While millions of people that are employed in the hospitality sector will breathe a sigh of relief as the 2m social distancing rule is relaxed, it will have a wider impact than in this industry alone. Construction, manufacturing and engineering sectors will also begin to see normality creep back into their working lives, with any loosening of the current legislation providing the opportunity to bring more people back to site and work environments.
As social distancing is eased, then projects that are currently relying on just 50 per cent of their usual capacity and resource, for example, will be able to scale up their operations, meaning they are more likely to deliver to original timeframes and budgets. That said, it is imperative that health and safety remains paramount; this process cannot be rushed. The virus is still at large, and any complacency will be a huge risk. It is important to protect jobs, but it is more important to protect lives.
This may mean that some contractors are still unable to return to work. Through Keep Britain Working, a campaign co-founded by Reed with the likes of Sir Alan Sugar in support, we need to bring businesses together to share insight into where we can help people move from low to high-demand sectors.
As more industries reopen, we must protect those vulnerable to job losses such as young and ethnic minority groups. But we also need to help individuals upskill to identify new roles they can excel in. For instance, the apprenticeship levy can be better used at this time to train up individuals in short-term courses that are desperately needed to get the job market and the wider economy moving again. There is a huge demand for jobs in logistics, manufacturing and professional services but we need to help people get to them.
Relaxed social distancing will not just add a sense of normality that could bring back confidence in the UK, but it will reignite industries that contribute billions of pounds and millions of jobs to the economy each year. The Government knows how important it is to reduce the unemployment rate and get people off furlough and back into work. This announcement is a landmark moment. While it will be important to grasp it with both hands, it must always be with one eye on the pandemic.”
We have just launched our creating Covid-secure workspaces e-guide, which outlines the key considerations your organisation must take to safeguard your workforce.
From the physical work place to mental health, training and tech this guide is written by our Morson subject matter experts and will provide you with a health, safety and wellbeing roadmap.