With rules on mask wearing, social distancing and working from home in England due to end, following the Prime Minister’s announcement this evening (Monday 5th July), Ian Girling, chief executive of the Dorset Chamber has responded with his thoughts on how the changes will affect local businesses.
“Many businesses will face a race against time to be ready for ‘Freedom Day’.
“With mixed messages from the government, health experts and others in authority, businesses could be forgiven for being confused about what action to take in preparation for July 19″.
Whilst acknowledging that the easing of restrictions would be “music to the ears” of many businesses in Dorset, Girling highlighted many others that would need to think about risk assessments, staff consultation and the introduction of new policies in the workplace.
“Many firms will be faced with a period of re-adjustment as employees return after many months away while there may be a risk of a divide between staff over whether such measures as social distancing should remain in place in their workplace.
“With the easing of restrictions and phasing out of support, it would be easy for the government to wash its hands of business but ongoing assistance, forward guidance and clarity will be crucial in the months ahead.
“The easing of restrictions does being hope for businesses in Dorset but we must not be tempted to create a ‘Frankenstein’s Monster’ of pre-pandemic life. Now is the time to be bold and build on the new ways of working which businesses have so successfully seized over the past year, whether that means greater flexible working, more virtual meetings or less travel.
“There’s a once in a generation opportunity to reshape our businesses for the better – for employees and the firm itself as well as the economy – and it would be a crime to waste it.”
Live updates and reaction can be found at the BBC website here.