From today, England enters a new national lockdown, meaning that everyone who can work effectively from home must do so, excluding those working in essential services, including the supply chain, who may continue to go into work.
As in the earlier lockdown period, Metro will divide home and office based working protocols to service core functions and ensure that customer service levels are maintained, whilst protecting colleagues and any impact from the virus.
We have been preparing for this eventuality since the previous lockdown was lifted in the Summer, to ensure that our teams remain 100% operational at all times, by preparing our workspaces to make them COVID-secure and adapting our systems to allow staff to work from home securely, as much as possible.
The Metro board is committed to the physical, emotional and mental wellbeing of our colleagues, which is why we are resolute in following public health guidance and HR best practice.
In preparing our workspaces, Metro’s HR and H&S teams have undertaken detailed risk management approaches to safeguard employees’ health and minimise the risk of infection, basing our planning on the latest government and public health guidance.
The Health and Safety Executive recently conducted a thorough review of our workspace practices including: maintaining safe distance; managing meetings interviews and other interactions; the use of kitchen areas and sharing working spaces; concluding that they “were the best they had seen.”
While we are confident that we will maintain the service levels under our control, and continue direct customer access to our personnel, it is inevitable that the lockdown will have an impact on key supply chain operations including ports, airports, inland terminals, hauliers and warehouses.
The impact of the last lockdown is still directly impacting Felixstowe, other major ports and all the supply chain tiers that link into them and even if these operators can maintain a full workforce complement (which is unlikely) their operational capability will continue to be diminished by the need to maintain COVID-safe work practices and the regular deep-cleaning of operating areas.
We will be working closely with all of our customers during these challenging times, identifying and resolving potential problems, to keep their supply chains running.
As always, we will monitor the situation closely, with regular posts on our social channels and weekly eNEWS round-up. Click HERE to join the eNEWS audience.