ADS and Unite welcomed updated Government guidance confirming that manufacturing workers can continue travelling to work, and employers should ensure that appropriate safeguards are in place in workplaces to protect them.
Guidance published on Gov.uk said:
“Certain jobs require people to travel to their place of work – for instance if they operate machinery, work in construction or manufacturing, or are delivering front line services.
“If you cannot work from home then you can still travel to work, provided you are well and neither you nor any of your household are self-isolating. This is consistent with advice from the Chief Medical Officer.
“Employers who have people in their offices or onsite should ensure that employees are able to follow Public Health England guidelines including, where possible, maintaining a 2 metre distance from others, and washing their hands with soap and water often for at least 20 seconds (or using hand sanitiser gel if soap and water is not available).”
ADS Chief Executive Paul Everitt said:
“This is welcome confirmation from the Government that manufacturing activity can continue in the coming weeks, with appropriate safeguards in place for workers.
“Manufacturers in our industries are contributing to the urgent work to equip the NHS with the additional ventilators it needs, maintaining the connectivity we need to maintain UK supply chains, and equipping the nation’s police forces and armed forces who are keeping the public safe.”
Unite Assistant General Secretary Steve Turner said:
“Unite recognises the vital role played by our manufacturers in what is an unprecedented national emergency. We will all want to play our part in ensuring our public and emergency services, alongside our wonderful NHS have what they need, when they need it, at this challenging time.
“In order to remain open and able to do this for as long as is possible, manufacturers must protect their workforce with safe systems of work, the provision of suitable personal protective clothing and full compliance with the latest government health advice. We are very proud to be able to play our part, working together with companies across our sector to make this happen.”
Guidance for businesses on protecting their employees from Coronavirus while at work is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/guidance-for-employers-and-businesses-on-coronavirus-covid-19