MINISTERS have been tasked with developing “robust contingency plans” for workplace absences, as the government warned rising cases could see up to a quarter of staff off work. reports the BBC.
Public sector leaders have been asked to prepare for “worst case scenarios” of 10%, 20% and 25% absence rates, the Cabinet Office said.
The UK has seen record numbers of daily cases over the festive period.
Transport, the NHS and schools have already seen the effect of absences.
Rising case numbers have led to large numbers self-isolating and being unable to go to work. This has particularly affected industries where staff are unable to work from home.
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.
The prime minister had asked ministers working with their respective sectors to test preparations and contingency plans to limit disruption, it explained.
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”.
However, his department said that so far disruption caused by Omicron has been controlled in “most parts of the public sector”.
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