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Doncaster Chamber comments on Prime Minister’s address and next stage of Coronavirus response

Commenting on the Prime Minister’s address on Sunday 10 May in which he set out a conditional plan for the next phase of the response to Covid-19, Doncaster Chamber CEO, Dan Fell, said: 

“Whilst many in business will be pleased to learn that Government is aiming to re-start the economy, there will be significant consternation about how and when this is to be achieved.  Businesses’ concerns will be threefold: the lack of clarity when it comes to the timetable for recovery, a lack of clarity on safety requirements and guidance, and a lack of clarity on what business support packages will be available in the mid-term to assist businesses through the recovery.  Without clarity in these three areas, simply stating that some sectors and workers can go back to work today risks causing more problems than it addresses, placing the onus on the businesses when the responsibility lies with Government.

“In line with the national importance of public health the Government must act now to ensure that firms are given clear instructions on how to implement a return to work process which allows them to look after the needs of their most important asset: their people. Without this, Government is putting business owners in a very difficult position.

“In the current climate it is clear that not all businesses will be able to re-open in the coming weeks so employers will also need to know the ongoing plans of government support schemes, including ongoing financial support and a possible extension to the furlough scheme which is currently set to end on 30 June.”

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