BRC warns of high street labour shortages

BRC has called on the UK government to act immediately on violence and abuse against shop workers.
“We need legislation in England and Wales to protect our hard working retail colleagues." : BRC.
// BRC warns of labour shortages as 20% of shop workers isolate
// The government may reduce the sensitivity of its Test and Trace app next week, for fear that too many people will be called to isolate

The BRC has warned of high street labour shortages as 20 per cent of shop workers across the UK in the retail and hospitality sectors enter isolation due to Covid19.

Both sectors say that one in five workers have now been called to isolate, exacerbating the issue of labour shortages due to Brexit and other factors.

BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson told MPs on the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee: “We are seeing some vacancy rates of around 20 per cent, and only some of that is directly people with Covid – a lot is the indirect consequence of having to isolate, irrespective of tests or whether one has had two vaccines.

“I think it is an immediate issue that comes with the lifting of restrictions.”

The Co-op also confirmed it was seeing an increase in absenteeism due to self-isolation, mostly in its logistics and depot areas, leading to issues with certain products.

The government has said it may look to reduce the sensitivity of its Test and Trace app as restrictions lift next week, for fear that too many people will be called to isolate.

Figures show that the number of contact alerts issued by the app has risen dramatically since hospitality and leisure businesses began the process of reopening in April, with over 200,000 alerts sent during a single week in June.

The changes next week mean that the double-vaccinated will not have to self-isolate after coming into contact with someone with coronavirus, but this will negatively affect businesses with a younger workforce who have not received one or both of their vaccinations.

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