Co-operative businesses are reporting a sharp increase in their staff receiving notifications from the Covid-19 app.
Members of Co-operatives UK are reporting staff shortages, colleagues having to cover each other at short notice and in some cases reduced or even closed businesses. But it might not be necessary according to Co-operatives UK’s CEO, Rose Marley who made a call out for clearer guidance on the BBC’s Newsnight programme on Friday evening (16 July 2021).
She said, “Because our members are co-ops and they care about their staff, many have very generous pay arrangements in place. They don’t want to see colleagues adversely affected by having to isolate so most are paying 100% of salaries.
“They then have to backfill staff on top of this pay, sometimes drafting in colleagues from other parts of the business who may be paid overtime. Some of the largest co-ops are going to face quite substantial wage bills this quarter, way over and above their normal costs, just for doing the right thing.”
“Businesses aren’t clear on what data the app is collecting so are questioning its sensitivity when colleagues are notified. Some of this confusion and misunderstanding could be better addressed with clearer guidance outlining the correct process to follow, because the last thing we want people to do is to abandon their trust in the app.”
Co-operatives UK is urging members to contact their advice team if they are unsure of what to do if multiple colleagues are contacted, to continue ensuring the app is part of their armoury in the fight against this persistent and disruptive virus.