Contingency call

Employers ‘should plan for 25% staff absences’

Glasgow station and ScotRail
The rail network has been badly hit by staff absences (pic: Terry Murden)

Employers have been urged to set up contingency plans amid concerns that rising Omicron cases could see up to a quarter of staff absent from work.

Record daily cases of Covid over the festive period have had a dramatic impact on the economy, particularly customer facing sectors such as transport where staff are unable to work from home.

UK Cabinet Office Minister Steve Barclay is chairing regular meetings with ministers to assess how the spread of the Omicron variant is affecting workforces and supply chains, the Cabinet Office said.

Mr Barclay said the highly transmissible Omicron variant meant businesses and public services “will face disruption in the coming weeks, particularly from higher than normal staff absence”.

People who test positive for Covid must self-isolate for at least 10 days in Scotland, and seven days in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Two negative lateral flow results, 24-hours apart, are required to end self-isolation – the first no earlier than day six.

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