Trade fabricator the Glazerite UK Group has outlined how it is working with employees, suppliers and customers during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Following the UK-wide lockdown announced last month, Glazerite furloughed the vast majority of its 270 staff across its Wellingborough, Bolton, Peterborough and Bristol sites, at 100% of their wages.
John Hewitt, Group Chairman, says: “This decision did not come lightly; in 20 years of business we have never had to lay off staff and we were disappointed to be doing it now. But as is the case for many other businesses, this is completely out of our control. Our staff are always our priority and we were conscious of minimising any financial impact as far as possible across our workforce. With this in mind, we have committed to paying all staff 100% of their normal wages until the end of April, should the lockdown continue to be extended until then.
“The appreciative response from our staff has been quite overwhelming. We have a fantastic team of people who are truly dedicated to the business and who will do all they can to get us through this crisis, and out the other side. As directors, we too are fully committed to doing our best by them and resuming normal operations as soon as it’s safe and viable to do so.”
During the furlough period, a number of Glazerite’s employees have signed up as NHS Volunteer Responders, while others have been using the time to catch up on further education via online portals set up by their training providers.
Group Managing Director, Jason Thompson, has also been in touch with Glazerite supplier, Window Widgets, to suggest using their 3D printing facilities to create plastic straps for surgical masks. Since then, Window Widgets has been able to send a number of the straps for use in NHS Trusts in London and Bristol. “This is a huge crisis, which is affecting everyone, and where we can, we want to help support those on the frontline,” says Jason.
Throughout the lockdown, Glazerite has been actively promoting the Government’s advice via its social media channels, and a small number of employees have continued to work remotely, including the board of directors. Jason says: “It’s important we keep what we can ticking over and continue to work with our installer partners on any areas they need support with.
“Many have adapted to the circumstances and are quoting homeowners for work remotely. We have an online system, which around one in 10 of our installers have been using during the pandemic, and we do have a team on hand to create the quote for them if they need us to.
“Part of our offering to installers is marketing support, so most of them have websites and digital brochures, as well as a social media presence. During this time when their customers are at home and perhaps making plans for future home renovations, digital platforms are a good way to showcase their product offering and the services they can offer.”