BIFA issues guidance on safe return to work after Covid-19 lockdown

By Rachelle Harry

Robert Keen, BIFA director general

As the UK awaits instructions from the government about the relaxation of existing Covid-19 lockdown rules, BIFA has published a detailed guide to inform freight forwarders and other companies about what steps they should be taking to facilitate their return to work.

The guide says that the safe return of all staff to work must be the primary concern of all employers, but acknowledges that there may be some preliminary concerns.

It also outlines what should be reviewed, such as cargo handling procedures, the provision of PPE, and a ‘staggered’ start-up of business depending on how premises can function under social distancing and office layouts.

BIFA noted that in its guide “it was difficult to provide precise answers because there are numerous variables to consider”.

Robert Keen, director general at BIFA, explained: “It is likely that the post-lockdown situation will be an evolving picture and it is important that companies monitor staff feedback and ongoing government advice/regulation to adjust their initial policies and procedures as applicable. Any procedural changes will have to be promptly advised to staff and implementation monitored.

“We obviously wish all our members a successful return to work and will assist wherever we can.

“Salutary lessons can be learned from recent experiences, and all seem to agree that greater resilience and flexibility will have to be built into business processes, and there will have to be new realities about areas such as credit control procedures and the level of cash reserves held by businesses.”

 

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