Due to high numbers of Covid cases during recent weeks, many companies in the UK are struggling to keep their business running. As many people have to isolate themselves for ten days if they are in contact with a covid positive person. The NHS Track and Trace app forces people to self-isolate and notify NHS about their activities. This has resulted in labour crisis in the UK where companies face workforce shortage due to ‘Track and Trace pingdemic’.
In recent weeks, there is a sharp increase in the number of people being pinged by the NHS Track and Trace app. That has created problems for large industries as a large number of their staff is on self-isolation for at least 10 days. Though self-isolation is for 10 days, however, it can extend further if the person develops Covid symptoms which makes the situation, even more, worse for the companies. Businesses around the UK are now more concerned as social distancing rules have been scrapped in the UK. This will further increase the staff’s absence because of the self-isolation if they come across a person who is a positive Covid-19.
A large number of absences has forced many businesses in the UK to close their stores. The most affected industries are transport and supermarkets where people cannot work from their homes. According to Managing Director of Iceland, Richard Walker, ” We are in the unprecedented position of having to close stores due to staff absences – not because of Coid-19, but because of a broken and disruptive Track and Trace app”. He emphasized that this Trace and Trace app needs to be overhauled and should be switched to a model which benefits both employees and employers.
The CEO of Marks & Spencer in his recent statement to The Times marked that staff having to self-isolate in large numbers was a major issue across every industry at the moment. and warned it could lead to reduced hours or supply chain issues. The pingdemic in England has resulted in a big challenge for the industries to hire staff. In the month of July, every week there were over 1 million advertised jobs due to staff shortage. The self-isolation rules are still in place till 16th August. It is anticipated that after 16th of August labour crisis in the UK will get a U-turn due to the relaxation of self-isolation rules.