Four out of 10 shop workers refuse to go back to work without PPE

With all shops reopening on June 15, 42% of shop workers say they will stay home unless small business owners provide them with PPE

Four out of 10 shop workers say they will not return to work on Monday unless they have proper PPE.

They also say that it’s up to small business owners to provide PPE for them.

Nearly 90 per cent of UK retail and consumer shop workers say it’s down to employers to make sure employees have the right PPE workwear, according to a survey.

Staff resistance to returning to what they feel is an unsafe environment will be another headache for small business owners, coming on top of a cratered economy and a looming rent quarter day on July 31, with landlords expecting the previous three months’ rent.

Eighty per cent of those in retail and other customer-facing businesses say they need employers to give clear guidance about PPE.

>See also: How to do a coronavirus risk assessment on your small business premises

When asked who should be responsible for ensuring workers have the right equipment to work safely, 46 per cent of respondents also said the Government should shoulder the responsibility.

Three quarters of those surveyed by protective workwear manufacturer Ballycare said they would feel safer returning to work if their employers did provide the right PPE.

As lockdown measures are relaxed and people consider their back-to-work options, the survey showed that if people were able to go into work tomorrow, nearly one third (31 per cent) of those in the retail and consumer sector would not feel comfortable.

A notable 15 per cent of those already back at work in retail said they feel discomfort in the workplace.

Silke Hendricks, managing director of Ballyclare, said: “If people continue to feel insecure about returning to work, we could see a huge impact on the UK’s efforts to reopen the economy.”

The poll, conducted by Populus Data Solutions, had responses from 2,019 respondents, 304 of whom worked in retail and consumer. The survey was live between May 21 and May 29.

>See also: How to reopen your restaurant, pub or hotel post-lockdown

At the daily Downing Street press conference yesterday, Alok Sharma, the business secretary, confirmed that from June 15 non-essential retailers, such as clothing stores and bookshops, would be able to welcome customers for the first time since March 23 — but only if they had made their premises “Covid-secure”.

Mr Sharma said that other businesses, including pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and gyms, would remain shut until July 4 at the earliest.

Further reading

How to reopen your small business post lockdown – what we know so far



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Tim Adler

Tim Adler is group editor of Small Business, Growth Business and Information Age. He is a former commissioning editor at the Daily Telegraph, who has written for the Financial Times, The Times and the...