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Three-Quarters of Businesses’ Operating Costs Have Risen to Maintain COVID-Secure Measures  

Three-Quarters of Businesses’ Operating Costs Have Risen to Maintain COVID-Secure Measures  
21 September 2020

Over 76 per cent of businesses in the UK have seen a substantial increase in operating costs, as a result of implementing COVID-secure measures.

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows the percentage of businesses within each industry that has seen a rise in costs when implementing additional measures to make their workplaces COVID safe.

This includes PPE, hygiene measures, routine COVID-19 testing, social distancing, shift working, temperature checks and floor plan and desk booking management software.


"73 per cent of businesses in London are using PPE and 9 per cent of businesses are completing routine COVID-19 testing on employees."

–ONS Data


Industry Operating Costs


The transportation and storage industry has seen operating costs most significantly, with 73 per cent of businesses in this sector seeing costs rise. 51 per cent of information and communication businesses saw the same increase, according to August figures.

In terms of accommodation and foodservice businesses, 34 per cent said that operating costs have substantially increased, whereas just three per cent of businesses in the information and communication sector experienced similar rises.

The full Business Impact of COVID-19 Survey (BICS) results show in full businesses’ responses on how their turnover, workforce prices, trade and business resilience have been affected in the two-week reference period.



PPE by Region


ONS have also included in the report a regional breakdown of businesses planning to or currently implementing new measures for the safety and wellbeing of staff.

73 per cent of businesses in London are using PPE and 9 per cent of businesses are completing routine COVID-19 testing on employees. However, London falls to the bottom of UK regions with just 81 per cent of businesses still in operation saying that they are increasing hygiene measures.

Just 87 per cent of businesses in the capital say they are implementing social distancing measures, versus 95 per cent of businesses located in the East Midlands.

The report also shows that 23 per cent of those furloughed in the accommodation and foodservice industry returned to the workplace in the period of 27 July to 9 August. For the information and communication sector, this figure was just 4 per cent.

Picture: A graphic showing COVID-19 social distancing signage

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 21 September 2020


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