The UK hardware store, Screwfix, have kept their 682 stores open throughout the Coronavirus pandemic. John Mewett, Screwfix CEO explains how they have put safer working measures into practice to ensure the safety of both staff and customers, and how they now plan to bring thousands more members of staff back to work.
“Our stores remained open throughout the lockdown as the Government deemed hardware stores essential. A significant number of our colleagues remained working to enable us to serve our customers, many of whom play an essential role in keeping homes warm, safe and with power. At this time, we also furloughed a number of our colleagues.
As the Coronavirus situation has become more stable, and our stores busier, we have started to bring more staff back to work to ensure we can provide a great service to our customers. We have already brought over 3,000 colleagues back from furlough and intend to bring back a larger number throughout June. We want to continue to protect our vulnerable employees and are taking the appropriate measures to support them while isolating.
To ensure our staff are safe on their return to work, we have put social distancing measures in place in-store, at our Contact Centre and Head Office. Across our stores we have a strict marshalled control of customer entry into our stores, with clearly identified and controlled social distancing measures.
Across the Screwfix business, a risk assessment has been carried out to ensure all workplaces are COVID-secure. Working with our health and safety team and following government guidance, we have implemented a number of safety measures including:
- Hand washing facilities throughout the business
- Staff are cleaning surfaces and other regular touch points throughout the day
- Contactless click and collect is available in stores
- Protective Perspex screens have been installed at all till points, and colleagues are provided with personal protective equipment (PPE) if they wish to wear it
- Workstations are cleaned before and after use
- Clearly marked entrances and exits with a one-way flow through buildings
- Extensive ‘welcome back’ training and resources for all returning colleagues so they are aware of the safety processes
We have also implemented new safer working measures for our Head Office and field workers. These colleagues are working from home where possible and using available technology to ensure essential services to the business are maintained.”
The government has published COVID-19 secure guidance to support businesses to reopen and for workers to feel confident, safe and empowered to return to work.
If you run a business and would like to know which of the coronavirus support schemes you are eligible for, you can use the business support finder tool. It takes just minutes to complete and will help you easily find support for your business.