Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Appeal to Government to List Logistics Workers as Essential During Lockdown Gets Response

Immediate Acceptance of the Importance of the Entire Supply Chain
Shipping News Feature

UK – Peter Ward, CEO of the United Kingdom Warehousing Association (UKWA) must be thinking, along with the rest of the country, if only the government had reacted as decisively and rapidly to the Covid-19 crisis as they appear to have done today.

Just yesterday we told how the UKWA boss had requested an update on the status of logistics workers through the current lockdown period. Like a rabbit from a hat, a letter went out today from the Department for Transport confirming that employees in the sector are considered ‘essential workers’ and accordingly will be allowed to travel for work. In addition, the children of logistics employees will be permitted to attend school along with those of other key workers.

In the letter to Peter Ward and leaders of other peer trade associations in the industry, the DfT states that it is considered essential that the work of the logistics sector should continue to the greatest extent possible through the Covid-19 crisis. It reads:

“As is clear in the latest guidance, those who work to keep the freight transport modes operating during the coronavirus (COVID-19) response and EU transition, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass, are considered critical workers.

”This, therefore, includes haulage drivers, managers, warehouse staff and all other logistics professions who we need to continue to go about their business to keep supply chains moving. As such, school age children of employees engaged in these activities should be eligible to continue attending school in line with Government policy.

“Government policy is clear that this applies to all supply chains and not only those for food and medical supplies. The current regulations allows travel to work and travel associated with work.”

The news will please all involved directly in the industry, the people who actually understand how Britain’s essential supply chain services function. Peter Ward responded:

“We are pleased that government has again recognised the important role businesses in our sector are playing in keeping the country going during national lockdown. UKWA will continue to provide support for our members and ensure that the voice of the wider logistics industry is heard and heeded.”