22 Jul 2024


Covid isolation stops production at 13% of UK manufacturers

More than three quarters (77%) of UK manufacturers are reporting that employees self-isolating after being “pinged” by the NHS Covid-19 track-and-trace app is affecting their business, especially in the past two weeks. Almost a quarter (22%) of 436 companies surveyed by the manufacturers’ organisation Make UK on 21 July reported that up to 10% of their staff were having to isolate, with 13% of companies saying that they have already had to stop some production.

More than half of the companies (56%) reported that up to 5% of staff were having to isolate.

As a result, Make UK is calling for the 16 August date for self-isolation to end for those who are fully vaccinated to be brought forward. The call is supported by 66% of the manufacturers quizzed.

The survey also showed that the overwhelming majority of companies (97%) back free lateral flow tests for employees and statutory sick pay from day one for employees isolating and/or with Covid symptoms.

Companies are continuing to prioritise the safety of their staff with more than two-thirds (67%) saying they have not removed any restrictions and had no plans to do so. Almost a fifth of companies (19%) have removed some restrictions, while just 2% have removed all.

“While we remain in a public health emergency the rules are clear in that anyone who is pinged should isolate,” says Make UK CEO, Stephen Phipson. “As such, employers should continue to act responsibly as they have since the start of the crisis and encourage their employees to follow the rules as they stand.

“However, the impact on manufacturing continues to rapidly increase and there remains an inconsistency of Government policy that allows non-vaccinated people in nightclubs while those who have had both jabs are asked to isolate. We would urge Government to address this by bringing forward the planned August date in order to keep the economy open.”

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