How businesses can manage the ‘pingdemic’ as Covid-19 cases rise

With businesses increasingly concerned about staff shortages following a rise in people self-isolating after being ‘pinged’ by the NHS Test and Trace App, Adrian Lewis, Commercial Director at Activ Absence says employers need to urgently plan for disruption and put systems in place to monitor staff absence so they can cope.

New research from the CIPD[i] has found that almost six in ten (57%) HR professionals have said they have suffered staff shortages in the last month due to employees being told to self-isolate by the NHS Test and Trace app.

Last week, analysis by the BBC[ii] suggested more than 4.5 million people could be asked to self-isolate between now and the ending of quarantine in England for fully vaccinated contacts of people with Covid-19 on 16 August 2021. 

Several industry bodies from across the healthcare, transport, retail, and manufacturing sectors also said last week that between 5% and 10% of their workforce was isolating and warned of widespread business disruption[iii].

Adrian Lewis says, “Covid-19 cases are continuing to rise, and with all restrictions lifted since Freedom Day the picture is expected to get worse. Employers need to ensure they are prepared so this doesn’t have a detrimental impact on their business as some are predicting.

“Summer is always a tricky time for employers with lots of staff off on holiday, but the situation could get even worse as schools break up. Staff being pinged could cause a real headache for employers.  It’s important they have systems in place to monitor and keep track of staff so they can plan their workforce and organise extra cover if needed.

“This is where absence management technology can be a gamechanger. It gives complete real time visibility over the workforce whereabouts so managers know if employees are working at home, self-isolating, off sick or on holiday. This means they can plan ahead and ensure its business as usual, even if people have to self-isolate at home.

“For many businesses employees’ who are self-isolating can still work remotely, and where that’s not possible employers could call on staff members from other locations to come into the workplace to cover or organise alternative cover from an outside agency.

“As companies try to get back to some semblance of normality, having this technology can make managing staff absence much easier and could be the difference between staying open or having to shut temporarily until staff return.”

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Author: Editorial Team

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