Cases of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 might be dropping, but the ongoing impact it is having on staff absence is colossal. In the first week of 2022 alone, a staggering three million workers were off sick. Even now, nearly 5% of teachers are also off ill with Covid-19, while swathes of public services are being cut or scaled back simply because there just aren’t the staff available.
Businesses are also under pressure to plug the gaps - with managers often forced to step in. But while having colleagues fall ill is clearly a worry, there could be a silver lining to managers having to temporarily return to the coalface.
Sanjay Aggarwal, the founder of Spice Kitchen UK (the spice wholesaler that sells direct to consumers as well as to the trade, such as restaurants) says that at different points during the pandemic his business has suffered with 10-30% of staff being absent.