Round-up | NEWS

‘No jab, no job’ policies – ‘disgusting’ or reasonable? Retailers speak out

CHARLIE MULLINS, owner of Pimlico Plumbers, said he will not employ new staff if they do not have a Covid-19 vaccination. His ‘no jab, no job’ policy has caused much debate within the industry and has polarised reactions from KBB retailers.

The kbbreview100, a trusted group of KBB retailers across the country, were polled for their views on the controversial policy.

Many retailers agree with the vaccine roll-out programme, but do not support an employer demanding that their staff get the jab.

Richard Reynolds, chairman of CP Hart, supports the roll-out but not employers dictating what their staff can and cannot do. He said: “I support everyone that can being vaccinated, but ‘no jab, no job’ is unreasonable.” John Martin, a designer at Regal Kitchens in Essex, describes Charlie Mullins’s decision to insist Pimlico Plumbers staff must have been

vaccinated as ‘disgusting’. In contrast, Phil Beechinor, mana- ging director at Alexander in Horsham, agrees with Mullins but sees some issues with current employees. He said: “Right now we need to send a clear signal that vaccination is the way out of this situation and I think it’s entirely right that some companies or organisations set this out clearly.” A third of KBB retailers said that they would require their staff – in the showroom or installers working in people’s homes – to be vaccinated. Those who said they would require their staff to be vaccinated, said that this policy had caused no issues, as their staff took the same view and wanted to be vaccinated.

Nearly all retailers who were polled said they have had conversations with their staff about getting the vaccine, even if they had no plans to make it compulsory. Also, many said they were aware when their own staff, and even subcontracted installers, had

been vaccinated.

The vaccine is just one way to stop the spread of Covid-19, as even after two doses the Government and the WHO still recommend people exercise caution, especially as all Covid restrictions have now been lifted in England. Dave Jarvis, owner of Albion Bathrooms Kitchens Electricals in

Burton-on-Trent, understands this, as he said: “I think what has been missed here is that having the jab does not grant immunity to the person having been injected. “We are still regularly testing to ensure we don’t pass anything on to visitors to the showroom or if one of us visits a customer in their home for a measure-up.”

BiKBBI urges installers to proceed with ‘extreme caution’ as Covid restrictions in England are lifted

AS ENGLAND removed almost all Covid restrictions from July 19, the BiKBBI has urged the industry to proceed with “extreme caution” and has issued new guidelines for tradespeople. Talking to the BBC, Damian Walters, chief executive of the British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom and Bathroom Installation, urged tradespeople “not to fall foul of the changes” and echoed the Prime Minister’s advice to exercise caution after unlocking. “This pandemic is not over,” warned Walters. “We’re all keen to banish

Covid to the history books, but we’ll only be able to achieve this if we’re sensible about the next few weeks and months.” Work in domestic and commercial settings, said the BiKBBI, would remain largely unaffected by the changes. To help prepare for the changes, the BiKBBI has issued updated guidelines to tradespeople, including recommending the con tinued wearing of face masks when working with others in confined spaces.

The new advice to its members is

as follows and more details can be found on the BiKBBI website (www.

• Personal responsibility and common sense;

• Pre-arrival contact with customers to confirm health status;

• Social distancing, including limited personal contact;

• Masks are still recommended to be worn;

• Regular sanitisation of hands and surfaces;

• No sharing of food and drink; • Ventilation of working environments.

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