The recent ‘pingdemic’ caused by the NHS Test and Trace app has resulted in significant staff shortages, affecting six in ten UK businesses.
The CIPD is calling on the government to review the self-isolation requirements for those businesses impacted and is advising employers to continue to maximise homeworking where they can to reduce workplace contacts.
Ben Willmott, Head of Public Policy for the CIPD, explained, “In light of fast-growing staff shortages, government should urgently review the criteria under NHS Test and Trace which requires anyone who has come into close contact with a positive Covid-19 case to self-isolate for ten days.
“The review should consider the merits of changes such as ‘test and release’ whereby staff who have been asked to self-isolate could return to work if they subsequently have two negative PCR tests over five days. This could potentially continue to protect the public while being more flexible to the needs of business.
“CIPD poll data shows that nearly six in ten (57%) HR professionals said their organisation faced staff shortages in the last month because of employees self-isolating after being contacted by NHS Test and Trace. This problem is only going to grow as the economy continues to open up after restrictions end, with the risk that disruption to organisations’ services and operations starts to have severe consequences for the public and business.”