Responding to the Prime Minister’s statement, Jonathan Geldart, Director General of the Institute of Directors, said:
“Directors know that the battle with this virus is far from over, and they want to play their part in preventing a second spike, which would extend the economic pain.
“As the Government begins to ask more people to return to work, it’s vital that the guidance is clear so that companies can plan how to return safely. As people with ultimate legal responsibility, directors need to have confidence that it’s safe, and that if they act responsibly they won’t be at undue risk. Businesses should consult with their people to put in place robust policies, which in many cases might not be an overnight process.
“For a large number of firms, operating under social distancing rules will mean significantly reduced activity, so the Government’s support measures must match continuing restrictions. A more flexible furlough system would help businesses get back on their feet, bringing people back to workplaces gradually. Meanwhile, countless small company directors continue to find themselves left out in the cold, unable to access the Government’s aid, and this need to be changed quickly.”