Rodney Sutton BA FCA FCCA CA (SA)
- Advisory and Assurance Partner, and Head of Manufacturing
- +44 (0)330 124 1399
- Email Rodney[email protected]
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The UK Government is facing the unenviable task of balancing economic survival, jobs, and prosperity against the moral obligation of safeguarding the lives of the UK people.
It is widely recognised that the so called “silver bullet” of a vaccine, the only sure-fire way of beating the spread of COVID-19, is still some months away. Government is faced with a dilemma!
The Government has introduced wide ranging financial support to business, unprecedented in post war Britain. Unfortunately, this support will need to be repaid and needs a growing and vibrant economy to achieve maximum taxpayer revenue. If the economy remains in lock-down, Government will be forced to continue to support businesses with prospects of the quick and successful restart of the economy fast diminishing. How does the Government bridge the time gap of not having a vaccine and the requirement to restart the economy?
The UK Government has repeatedly stated that it will be “guided by the science”. Lifting the lock down will be determined by a reduction of cases and resultant deaths from COVID-19 and the fact that the NHS is in a position – from the availability of PPE, staff and vital equipment point of view – to deal with the crisis.
Unfortunately, the availability of PPE continues to be a problem with worldwide supply being increasingly limited and delivery uncertain. In addition, the implementation of testing, which is proving very successful in Germany and South Korea, is still some way short of 100,000 target tests per day in the UK.
There is increasing pressure from economic quarters that a phased restart of the economy should be considered with manufacturing, construction and logistics being the early starters as these are sectors that are most inappropriate to apply a “working from home” arrangement..
What should manufacturing business owners be considering before such a restart?
The above points are just some of the considerations that may be considered by manufacturing business owners and is by no means an exhaustive list. The clear message here is that careful thinking needs to be applied before reopening your factory. Thought should be given to a wide range of business disciplines from health and safety, human resources and wellbeing on the one end to legal, financial and operational aspects on the other.
We at Kreston Reeves have coverage and experience across a range of disciplines and are here to help in these difficult and challenging times. We help and advise many manufacturing companies across the UK and abroad and therefore have a depth of insight into this challenged – but important – sector. Please feel free to contact me.
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