BCC and Amazon partner to help firms operate safely in ‘new normal’

9th June 2020

The British Chambers of Commerce has launched an innovative partnership with Amazon to help businesses get back to work and kick-start the economy as lockdown restrictions ease.

  • 1,000 UK businesses can tour Amazon fulfilment centres, where staff have been working safely throughout the crisis
  • Majority of businesses surveyed can partially restart operations but 1 in 10 cannot, with many citing social distancing as a difficulty
  • Partnership will provide practical guidance to help firms get back to work safely as non-essential businesses reopen later this month

Up to 1,000 businesses from across the UK will have the opportunity to tour Amazon fulfilment centres to see first-hand how it has implemented a range of measures to keep staff safe while continuing to serve its customers during the Coronavirus crisis.

Outdoor markets and car showrooms in England opened earlier this week, with other non-essential retailers expected to follow on 15 June.

Results from the BCC’s Coronavirus Business Impact Tracker revealed the majority of firms surveyed are in a position to partially restart operations as lockdown restrictions are eased. However, some companies are still struggling, with one in ten of respondents saying that they would not be ready to implement guidance and restart operations, mainly citing social distancing as a difficulty.

With guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO), Amazon has implemented a series of preventative health measures at its sites to help keep employees, partners, and customers safe. The company has made more than 150 significant process changes to ensure the health and safety of its team members - from enhanced cleaning and social distancing measures to the distribution of personal protective gear and the implementation of temperature checks across its UK operations.

Businesses will receive practical advice on how to operate safely as restrictions ease and apply any learnings to their own action plans for reopening their workplaces.

The partnership is designed to complement the government’s road map and workplace specific guidance released earlier this month.

BCC Director General Dr Adam Marshall said:

“Businesses will be taking a safe, risk-based approach to returning to work, in close consultation with their staff. But for many this will be an entirely new way of working.

“Firms of every size and sector from across the UK will appreciate the chance to see the practical reality of working within existing guidelines first-hand at Amazon and apply this learning to their own operations as they begin to reopen.”

Amazon UK Operations Regional Director Stuart Morgan said:

“Whether it’s fulfilling orders in one of our fulfilment centres, delivering an order to a customer’s doorstep, or one of the many roles in between, we couldn’t be more proud of the critical role our teams are serving by enabling people to stay safe at home while receiving the products they need.

“Nothing is more important to us than making sure that we protect the health of our teams, and we’ve been working around the clock since the early days of the outbreak to make changes to our processes and procure the necessary supplies for this. We’re delighted to share that experience with fellow Chamber members around the country and help restart British business.”

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