June 5, 2020 @ 14:12 by Richard Dawson
The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has launched a partnership with Amazon to help businesses get back to work as lockdown restrictions ease.
Up to 1000 businesses from across the UK will be able to visit Amazon fulfilment centre to see how the company has implemented a range of measures to keep staff safe during the coronavirus crisis.
The partnership comes as the BCC Coronavirus Business Impact Tracker shows that a majority of firms are in a position to partially restart operations as lockdown restrictions are eased.
Outdoor markets and car showrooms in England opened at the beginning of this week, and other non-essential retailers like clothes shops and department stores, are expected to follow on June 15.
Even with the lockdown easing, some companies are still struggling, with one in ten respondents to the BCC survey saying they would not be ready to implement guidance and restart operations, mainly citing social distancing as the difficulty.
Amazon has continued to serve its customer through the crisis following World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines with a series a preventative health measures at its sites.
The company has made more than 150 significant process changes – from enhanced cleaning and social distancing to the distribution of personal protective gear and temperature checks – across its UK operations.
Businesses touring the fulfilment centres will receive practical advice on how to operate safely and develop action plans for reopening their workplaces.
The partnership is designed to complement the Government’s road map and workplace specific guidance released earlier this month.
BCC director general, Dr Adam Marshall, said: “Businesses will be taking a safe, risk-based approach to returning to work, in close consultation with their staff. But for many this will be an entirely new way of working.
“Firms of every size and sector from across the UK will appreciate the chance to see the practical reality of working within existing guidelines first-hand at Amazon and apply this learning to their own operations as they begin to reopen.”
Amazon UK operations regional director, Stuart Morgan, added: “Whether it’s fulfilling orders in one of our fulfilment centres, delivering an order to a customer’s doorstep, or one of the many roles in between, we couldn’t be more proud of the critical role our teams are serving by enabling people to stay safe at home while receiving the products they need.
“Nothing is more important to us than making sure that we protect the health of our teams, and we’ve been working around the clock since the early days of the outbreak to make changes to our processes and procure the necessary supplies for this.
“We’re delighted to share that experience with fellow Chamber members around the country and help restart British business.”