A new poll of UK frontline workers responding to the COVID-19 crisis reveals how deeply concerned they are about their safety and are so hacked off with their employers’ response that they will leave once the dust has settled.
According to official research commissioned by Blink, the smart employee app, almost one quarter are planning on resigning from their job once the crisis subsides. In the context of an impending global recession and the announcement of 12,000 job cuts in two days, this data is all the more shocking.
The polling covered 1,099 frontline workers across the whole UK, in roles such as travel, transport, healthcare and the NHS, manufacturing, utilities, retail and more. Conducted by independent polling company Censuswide, the data also revealed that 34 percent say their bosses have not done enough to address their concerns on the frontline.
When asked if their employer had communicated how to protect themselves during the outbreak – for example, through Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) provisions or welfare updates – 40 percent said they had not, citing the overall communication as ‘poor’.
More than 28 percent of frontline workers feel their voice isn’t heard when it comes to demanding adequate workplace safety. Additionally, one third of workers feel they do not have easy access to Covid-19 policy data and 45 percent say more should be invested in tools to reduce contact.
The polling also reveals that, over the past three months, 32 percent felt they weren’t provided with the mental health support required to navigate the detrimental impact of COVID-19. This has clearly affected the assurance of workers on the frontline, with 37 percent of respondents believing their employer values them less than their desk-based colleagues.
This comes as the UK is confirmed to have the highest number of healthcare deaths in Europe – although it’s feared the real number could be even higher than reported – and a total death toll of over 44,000.
Blink CEO and Founder Sean Nolan, said: “Frontline workers have already exposed themselves and their loved ones to enormous risk during this pandemic. It’s worrying that such a large proportion of our NHS staff, bus drivers and other key workers still don’t feel safe.
“If the past three months have proven anything, it’s the critical role key workers play in society. Now is the time to invest in our frontline: to protect them, show our gratitude, and better equip them to serve the public. New technology can usher in a new era for the frontline.
“When the frontline has everything they need to stay safe at their fingertips – from regular welfare updates and temperature checking tools, to a voice in daily operations – they can finally work with peace of mind.”
Sonny Sehgal, CEO for Transputec, which has developed the Thermavis temperature checking technology said: “As workplaces begin to reopen their doors, a key concern on the mind of all returning front workers will be their own safety. This is exactly why core technology such as non-intrusive temperature checking cameras like Thermavis must be employed – flagging individuals with a body temperature will be crucial in slowing the spread of Covid-19, and key workers will be given peace of mind that this important line of defense is protecting them from working alongside infected individuals.”