Published On: Mon, Apr 27th, 2020

Lack of firm specific guidance for companies in our sector

As some businesses in our sector return to work and many more consider opening their doors, there is a lack of firm specific guidance for companies in our sector. I have seen some industry bodies implying we should all conform to the guidance offered to the construction industry, while others have stated the home improvement industry should have its own set of rules regarding a return to work. The basic principle that is common to both is that their actions are often driven by the demands of their end customers. 

The move by major contractors and house builders to open up sites has fuelled the demand for building materials, including windows and doors. In this instance factories have been able to operate with a skeleton workforce in order to fulfil orders. You can argue that with smaller staff numbers it is easier to implement strict safe working conditions. 

The retail market is no different. If there is demand from homeowners, no doubt there is a workable solution to overcoming the health and safety issues relating to installations. Conservatories and entrance doors pose less of a problem, as access into the home is limited. I am seeing more and more guidance notes for workers issued by all types of organisation in the supply chain – which is a progressive step. 

Many in the industry have issues with retail installation firms returning to work too early – the consensus say they should wait until the lockdown is eased. Those back at work will say there is nothing to say that can’t. Most people agree we should all be working towards a definitive set of rules and guidances for fitters and homeowners that everyone can adhere to when the bulk of the industry returns when the lockdown eases. With a firm set of rules we can all move forward together and protect the future prospects of the home improvement sector. All we want is some official guidance and rules – ‘interpretation’ is becoming too open ended…..