In March this year, Burnley based uPVC window system company VEKA made the difficult decision to temporarily close operations in the UK and place most of its staff on Furlough due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and following Government guidance.
In line with recent Government updates, VEKA planned to reopen from the beginning of this week, w/c 11th May in a controlled and scaled manner to fulfil a returning demand from customers.
Managing Director of VEKA UK, Dave Jones said, “Yes, we are open, but we recognise it will take business and indeed our industry some time to recover. Whilst we have some customer demand, this is some way from typical levels; though this is to be expected with little ability for our customers to go into homes to fit windows over the past 9 weeks. That said, the industries trade body; the Glass & Glazing Federation, has this week confirmed window and door installations can now recommence in homes subject to a number of requirements being met and issued homeowner support for how to safely manage tradespeople in their homes. And as such, we are confident that we can safely start to rebuild our business and the broader fenestration industry as a whole”.
With a reduced workforce as VEKA looks to rebuild its business, significant work has been done on-site to ensure social distancing measures are fully supported from the introduction of a new, more detailed COVID-19 guidelines posted around site, deploying a one way system throughout the site with clear entry and exit points, temperature checking upon arrival and ensuring sufficient PPE is available for all employees amongst a raft of new procedures all designed to keep the team safe. With a full risk assessment in place, VEKA will continue to review as new guidance presents itself.
Despite ensuring the site is safe, a number of employees that have returned are working from home; we encourage this where possible and have embraced new digital ways of communicating through video conference, screen sharing, etc.
With a number of the team remaining on the Government’s CJRS Furlough Scheme, others working from home and some on site; communication has been key. From VEKA’s company intranet, website and social media to regular update letters being sent to the team, VEKA is committed to keep everyone abreast of the situation in these challenging times.
Dave Jones, Managing Director of VEKA UK, adds, “As we look to cautiously rebuild our business in light of returning customer demand, we are thankful for the Government’s efforts enabling us and other businesses like us the necessary time to return to what will be ‘the new normal’ and in doing so we hope to return to pre-pandemic levels of business in due course. And on a personal note, I want to once again thank our employees, their families, our suppliers and our customers for their incredible co-operation during these unprecedented times.”