Abbey Logistics is topping up its frontline workers’ sick pay to ensure they do not feel the need to continue to work if they need to self-isolate during the COVID-19 outbreak. The Wigan-based firm will top up sick pay for frontline staff for two weeks with staff receiving no less than £300 or 80% of their full-time weekly wage. Under the scheme, company employees who currently receive £300, or above, while off work sick, will continue to receive the higher payment.
The firm said the move is to protect Abbey employees from financial hardship should they need to be absent due to COVID-19. Abbey Logistics will also pay frontline employees a recognition payment at the end of the year as a reward for their hard work and commitment during the outbreak. The scheme is aimed at drivers, wash bay, warehouse, planning and workshop teams.
Abbey Logistics, which has its headquarters in Golborne, Wigan has a fleet of around 370 trucks and over 550 bulk liquid and powder tankers trailers. It specialises in contract logistics, liquid and powder road tanker services and warehousing. The company said staff have been working “round the clock” during the pandemic to ensure supplies to food manufacturing sites, with demand for flour, sugar, oils and chocolate rising significantly in the past few weeks.
Chief executive Steve Granite said: “Logistics workers are on the frontlines, ensuring the public has access to the food and essential products they need during this pandemic. Our teams are working around the clock to keep food, pharmaceutical and other essential manufacturers stocked with ingredients to ensure products are produced and on the shelves. We want to acknowledge the dedication and commitment that our frontline teams are showing and reassure them that if they need to self-isolate, they will be supported while they stay at home and recover.”
Granite also raised concerns about the government’s actions to support the logistics sector during the pandemic. “Transport companies are indispensable; without them the country would grind to a halt, we are under immense financial pressure at the best of times and even more so during the current situation. We are doing what we can to acknowledge our frontline staff while striking a balance between looking after our teams and maintaining commercial responsibility. Not all logistics companies will be in this position, so it is extremely important that the UK government provides our sector with the financial support it needs to get through this crisis, and not burden the industry with more debt from loans that some companies will have to call upon just to keep afloat. The sector needs grants, not debt.”