It has been confirmed that all print production can remain open for business after the The IPIA and BAPC met with The Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

According to the two industry bodies BEIS provided clarity that print businesses do not need to seek special status in order to trade, and any business that wishes to continue production as it has orders coming through can continue, provided it heeds safe working practices. However it did advise that public-facing print shop counters should be closed. 

Employees who aren’t able to work from home are allowed to come into their place of work. This is distinct from print businesses that supply front line services such as the NHS applying for ‘key worker status’ on behalf of their staff with their local Council. This may afford them the right to have their children attend school so they can continue to work.

All print business employers are urged to fully implement the staff health and safety protection guidance available via the NHS website.

Specific issues covered during the meeting with BEIS included:

  • The print industry’s specific economic exposure to the Covid-19 crisis
  • Print industry inclusion in the supply chain for those sectors under special measures
  • The Government Furlough Scheme – The requisite for it to be rotational and flexible in order that it be of true support to print industry businesses and the need for its graduated withdrawal 
  • Classification of print business staff as key workers when their role involves supplying front line sectors
  • Qualification of the Business Loan Scheme and its benefit in the immediate post-crisis economic recovery phase
  • The role of print as a trusted means of mass communication and the vital role it will play in the UK’s recovery

‘We have been in direct and intense dialogue with BEIS since the Covid-19 crisis broke and our place is making sure that we represent the print industry to the very best of our abilities so that the economic damage that is being done to our sector is minimised as much as possible,’ said Mike Roberts, president of the IPIA and managing director of PMG Print Management.

‘Furthermore, we are in a position of privileged responsibility in being able to take our members and the industry’s concerns and challenges directly to Government. It is not a position we take lightly, and we will continue to work tirelessly on our sector’s behalf.’

The associations are still requesting that people within the industry fill out the Covid-19 business impact form at the link here These forms are kept in complete confidence and are being directly fed to BEIS, which is using them to advise on policy making.

‘We have had a direct input into influencing the Government’s decision to keep our industry open, so that it can continue to do the vital work of connecting our country and supporting the work of our front line services,’ concluded Mr Roberts. ‘We are helping to protect hundreds of thousands of jobs, and I am immensely proud to be part of that work.’