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The pandemic’s impact on our sector – Logistics UK takes stock


The absence rates of skilled workers across many sectors of the UK economy continue to soar thanks to the highly transmissible Omicron variant of COVID-19.

Logistics UK is giving regular feedback to the Department for Transport (DfT) to update it on how the absences are impacting on the logistics sector. During these discussions, Logistics UK raised its concerns about the difficulties logistics businesses and their workers had been facing accessing lateral flow tests (LFTs), which DfT raised with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

The Prime Minister announced plans last week (4 January 2022), for 100,000 critical workers across all sectors to take daily lateral flow tests. While the logistics sector is not named in scope of the scheme, which is designed to protect workers in environments where close contact is unavoidable, if there are any environments that are close contact and critical to transport operations, DfT can put them forward for consideration.

To help monitor the impact of COVID-19 on transport operations, Logistics UK is asking members for their regular feedback, including whether they are experiencing absences, which roles are being affected, specific issues with availability of ADR drivers and their operational contingency plans.

Mags Simpson, Head of Policy Engagement, Logistics UK, said: “It is vital that government is kept informed of how absence rates in the industry caused by the pandemic are impacting on the industry. While many companies are now managing absences by redeploying available drivers to where they are needed most, an emerging issue is the impact absences are having on warehouse workers and mechanics. We urge as many of our members as possible to respond to our short survey of eight questions. This will greatly help inform DfT’s decision making as to whether any further measures need to be taken to help support the industry through this challenging period.”

Members interested in responding to the short survey or who would like to be put forward for consideration for the critical worker lateral flow test scheme should contact Logistics UK by emailing covid19@logistics.org.uk, which is monitored regularly by the Logistics UK policy team.

*www.logistics.org.uk/coronavirus

Published On: 13/01/2022 16:00:55

 

In brief

LANDBRIDGE TRANSITS VIA GREAT BRITAIN

New import controls were introduced for products of animal origin (POAO) and animal by-products (ABP) on 1 January 2022. These apply to land-bridge transits from continental EU countries to the island of Ireland – Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland – via Great Britain.

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