• Printers do not need to seek special status in order to trade
• Printers who cannot work from home can work from their place of business
• Print businesses supplying front line services, such as the NHS can apply for ‘key worker’ status for their staff
• Public-facing shop counters must close
The IPIA and BAPC have gained confirmed guidance from The Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) that all print production can currently remain open for business.
Following a meeting with the IPIA and BAPC, BEIS confirmed that print businesses do not need to seek special status in order to trade, and any business that wishes to continue production as it has orders coming through can continue provided that it heeds safe working practices. However, this does not extend to public-facing print shop counters, which must be closed.
Print business staff who cannot work from home will be allowed to attend their place of work id this is necessary for them to physically to carry out their job.
Print businesses that supply front line services such as the NHS may apply for ‘key worker status’ on behalf of their staff with their local Council. This may afford staff the right to have their children attend school so they can continue to work.
IPIA and BAPC are urging all print business employers that continue working to fully implement the staff health and safety protection guidance that is presented on the NHS website.
Mike Roberts, president of the IPIA and Managing Director of PMG Print Management, commeted: “We have been in direct and intense dialogue with BEIS since the Covid-19 crisis broke and our place is making sure that we represent the print industry to the very best of our abilities so that the economic damage that is being done to our sector is minimised as much as possible.
“Furthermore, we are in a position of privileged responsibility in being able to take our members and the industry’s concerns and challenges directly to Government. It is not a position we take lightly, and we will continue to work tirelessly on our sector’s behalf.”
BEIS also reported that the Furlough Scheme will continue to evolve as it receives feedback from industry about how to maximise its effectiveness, adding that its withdrawal will need to be graduated once the crisis abates. “The IPIA and BAPC have been invited to meet BEIS regularly and to aid in this effort to shape Government policy we need to hear from you so that we can feed your individual challenges back to them,” added Mike.
He concludes: “We have had a direct input into influencing the Government’s decision to keep our industry open, so that it can continue to do the vital work of connecting our country and supporting the work of our front line services. We are helping to protect hundreds of thousands of jobs, and I am immensely proud to be part of that work.”
The IPIA and BAPC is awaiting clarification from BEIS on a number of further issues:
• The print industry’s specific economic exposure to the Covid-19 crisis
• The Print industry’s inclusion in the supply chain for those sectors under special measures
• The Government Furlough Scheme – The requirement for it to be rotational and flexible in order that it be of true support to print industry businesses and the need for its graduated withdrawal
• Classification of print business staff as key workers when their role involves supplying front line sectors
• Qualification of the Business Loan Scheme and its benefit in the immediate post-crisis economic recovery phase
• The role of print as a trusted means of mass communication and the vital role it will play in the UK’s recovery