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How Government guidelines are getting UK firms back to business safely

As the restrictions of lockdown have begun to ease, many more of us are returning to the workplace. To help companies get back up and running as safely as possible, the Government has put together Covid-19 secure guidelines.

If you and your staff can’t work from home and do need to return to the workplace to do your job, employers have been introducing a range of measures to reduce the risk of infection.

Government guidelines

These include cleaning, hand washing and an increase in hygiene procedures, with hand sanitisers around the workplace. Workspaces are cleaned and disinfected more regularly, with emphasis on regularly touched surfaces.

Social distancing guidelines (2m) should also be maintained wherever possible and signage acts as a useful reminder.

It’s also recommended that workers don’t share workstations and visitors should be seen by appointment only.

What’s more, the Government recommends that companies adapt staggered arrival and departure times, and employees avoid public transport if possible (see above).

Meet two UK businesses who’ve started their journey back to work, adopting the Government’s Covid-19 guidelines…

Hampton Printing, Bristol

Mike Malpas lives and breathes print. An account director at family-run Hampton Printing near Bristol, his day-to-day job involves high-end print clients. Not only is he usually on the road meeting people, he spends time on the shop floor and manages a team – and wanted to get back to work quickly.

“Our clients still need things printed and this can’t be done from home,” he explains. His company is currently working with the NHS to deliver potentially life-saving materials, as well as Rolls-Royce, among others.

Hampton Printing’s 32,000 square foot space is already a clean, dust-free environment, but the entire workspace had to be altered to ensure it is Covid-19-ready and safe for staff returning to work. Out of its 56 staff, 20 have now returned to work, including Malpas.

Reduced staff numbers help social distancing and, in every area of the business, there is hand sanitation, and signage about social distancing rules. Doors are also kept open so nobody touches the handles.

Hampton Printing also sanitises any paper that is delivered, then leaves it for six hours before printing to maintain high hygiene standards. The company has also retained two full-time cleaners who clean every single work surface on a daily basis.

“These measures make us all feel safe,” Malpas explains. “It feels great to be back at work and getting into a routine again.”

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Marston’s and Carlsberg UK announce £780m merger

Brewer Marston’s is to merge with Carlsberg’s UK arm, uniting ales such as Pedigree and Hobgoblin with Danish Pilsner and Somersby cider.

The joint venture is valued at £780m, with stock market-listed Marston’s taking a 40% stake in the merged firm.

The deal involves Marston’s six breweries and distribution depots, but not its 1,400 pubs.

The new Carlsberg Marstons Brewery Company will create “synergies and productivity” benefits, Marston’s said.

Marston’s employs a total 14,000 people.

Carlsberg UK will put its Northampton brewery, London Fields brewery, and national distribution centre into the joint venture. Marston’s will put in its six national and regional breweries – Marston’s, Banks’s, Wychwood, Jennings, Ringwood and Eagle – and 11 distribution depots.

The deal means Carlsberg will have access to Marston’s pubs to sell a wider range of brands.

Ralph Findlay, chief executive of Wolverhampton-based Marston’s, said the joint venture brings together companies known for heritage and brand portfolio.

Tomasz Blawat, managing director of Carlsberg UK, said the deal enables the companies to offer “a bigger beer portfolio of complementary international, national and regional brands”.

The coronavirus lockdown means UK pubs are closed, with many in the industry saying that a mooted re-opening with a two-metre rule for customers would not work. Some pub operators have suggested that a one-metre rule might be a better compromise.

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