Coronavirus advice

Glass Times editor Nathan Bushell has coronavirus advice for employers.

It is troubling when something like coronavirus (officially Covid-19) potentially affects the way we do business – especially after the uncertainty caused by Brexit.

Already, Fensterbau has been postponed due to fears surrounding the spread of the virus.

The exhibition duo of Fensterbau Frontale and Holz-Handwerk 2020 will not take place as planned on March 18-21, 2020, but at a date in 2020 yet to be specified, in Nuremberg.

The reason for the postponement is the increased spread of the coronavirus and corresponding feedback from customers and industry representatives, organisers said.

Petra Wolf, a NürnbergMesse manager, said: “We hope that the industry will understand the decision to postpone. The aim of every exhibition has to be to create a special experience for exhibitors and visitors likewise and to enable networking and expansion of existing business relations.

“Unfortunately, this goal cannot be achieved under the current circumstances. All the more reason for us to put high pressure on the task to find the best possible alternative date for such an important event for our customers.”

Tina Chander, head of employment law at law firm Wright Hassall, told Glass Times that despite the relatively low number of cases in the UK, employers with globally connected workforces will need to monitor the impact of the outbreak and take steps to protect their employees where necessary.

“Employers have to consider how best to mitigate the risks facing their employees and the organisation as a whole, while addressing issues like sick leave when dealing with cases of quarantine and self-isolation,” she said.

“Employers should note the advice given by official bodies and ensure that this is shared across the organisation. Guidance on issues such as hand-washing, disposing of tissues, etc, should be shared via the most effective means dependent on the workplace; email, calls, meetings, whatever works.”

There has also been a lot of discussion in the media about self-isolation and the giving employees the opportunity to work from home.

However, given that our industry operates on high level of personal contact – factory work, showrooms, installations, etc – we need to be imaginative in how we avoid the spread of the disease while remaining operational.