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Manufacturers welcome Prime Minister’s guidance for manufacturers to return to work

11 May, 2020

Manufacturers have welcomed the Government’s announcement last night to encourage those manufacturers who have not continued to operate to return to business. The advice comes after confirmation that the UK was now through the peak of this pandemic.

Commenting on Boris Johnson's announcement, Stephen Phipson, Make UK chief executive, said that the Government had been swift, pragmatic and supportive in recent months, and would stand ready to work in partnership as the country plans for the next stage of economic recovery.

He added that he cautiously welcomed the Government’s announcement to encourage manufacturers back to work, but warned: “It is critical that there is clear advice on how to do that, and an understanding that firms will be helped to comply as we navigate uncharted waters, and not punished for inadvertent errors. In many parts of manufacturing people will need to work much more closely than 2 metres apart.

"It is vital that the guidance is explicit about how this may be achieved safely. Where this requires PPE, employers across the country are seeking clear advice on what products are needed, what standard they should be produced to, and confidence that they can be sourced in ways which does not reduce supply to the NHS, care homes and front line workers.”

He also emphasised that it must not be forgotten that many manufacturing firms have lost valued colleagues and friends over the last few weeks, and that manufacturing businesses will still need Government support for several months.

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