Leading UK furniture manufacturers Moores and Mereway have both announced a return to production this week, following a pause caused by the coronavirus lockdown.
Both companies are stressing that they are following all health and safety guidelines surrounding social distancing.
Mereway started up production of kitchens and bathrooms this week, with bedroom production resuming later this month. The company says it is operating a reduced capacity and that the factory is working with reduced staffing levels and, where possible, support staff are working from home.
Sales and marketing director Mark Mills said: “While we are delighted to be able to begin to fulfil orders from our retailers, our overriding concern and priority is the health and wellbeing of our staff, customers and suppliers. We are confident the measures we have put in place will ensure safety and not impact on local resources. It seems a lifetime since we were at KBB in March launching our new Q-Line Kitchen and meeting our industry colleagues, and I sincerely hope it isn’t too long before we can all meet again, fit and well.”
Moores has also fired up its production line and has detailed the social distancing measures it has introduced
- A full guidance and information pack is given to every employee on their return to work along with personal protective equipment (PPE).
- A clear demarcation of internal and external walkways and work areas in addition to access control of entryways at the HQ, with separate access points allocated to different groups of workers around the site.
- Each employee is allocated a personal area to take their breaks and a restricted access system has also been put in place for the use of washrooms.
“Research has shown us that more than 90% of pre-covid house deals are still going through,” said Steve Parkin, CEO of Moores. “What’s more, feedback from our communication with key partners and housebuilders is that they are primed and ready for kitchens to be installed. I want to thank the team at Moores that has worked tirelessly to ensure we can safely get back to business. While we are excited to get back to work designing, delivering and installing kitchens of the highest standard, our people must always come first.”
A company-wide daily physical and mental wellbeing check is also now in place to protect staff. The health check will involve a mandatory reporting of any symptoms in addition to providing an open line of communication regarding employee morale and mental wellbeing.
“At Moores we really are a family and the wellbeing of our employees that have this week returned to work, and for those not yet able to, is extremely important to us,” said Hayley Hodge, head of HR at Moores. “The systems that we have put in place pertaining to the mental and physical health of employees during this time will act as a framework for how Moores will continue to manage employee health moving forward.
“Our aim is for every member of our team to stay safe and be assured that support will be offered to anyone who needs it, both as we all navigate this new way of living and once we have made it out the other side.”