Two more Island employers – Liz Earle and Vikoma – have responded to an enquiry by Isle of Wight Radio.

Public concern over the continued operation of four large Island employers led to an Isle of Wight Radio enquiry as to what measures they are taking to protect their staff in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

As previously reported by Isle of Wight Radio, GKN Aerospace and MHI Vestas factories are still open on the Isle of Wight, with staff still heading into work.

Also open are Liz Earle and Vikoma – Isle of Wight Radio approached both to find out what measures they are taking.

A Liz Earle spokesperson said:

“Current Government advice encourages online retailers to stay open at a time when shops selling non-essential items are now shut. In doing so, the health and wellbeing of our colleagues is of the greatest importance to us. Since the beginning of the Coronavirus situation, we have complied with all new Government regulations to help protect them.

“Last week we sent home our office-based colleagues who can carry out their jobs remotely.

“Today we are scaling back our operations further in Ryde and Cowes to a minimum. We are speaking with colleagues to let them know, that for the foreseeable future everyone must go home, except a very small number of colleagues who will maintain a vastly reduced service in online fulfilment operations and in warehouses.

“We apologise to our valued customers who will experience longer delivery times however we are sure that they will understand that our priority is to keep our colleagues safe in these challenging times.”

For Island employer, Vikoma, a spokesperson said:

“All of our workers that are able to work from home are doing so.  We have bought a number of new computers, webcams and are using Microsoft teams and VPN so that we can effectively keep the design, sales, finance, purchasing and administrative side of the business working from remote locations.

“Our factor workers are unable to work from home, so in line with government advice we have implemented safe working distances, opened up extra kitchen and rest areas to ensure safe distances and segregated some work areas to avoid unnecessary transition between departments.

“We have also implemented a nightshift to separate employees further.  All employees are aware that if they incur any symptoms at work then they must leave immediately and inform our health and safety manager who will follow recommended procedure to ensure the workplace remains safe at all times.

“The heath and wellbeing of our employees is the primary concern to us and we must also ensure we keep the business going so that we continue to support the island economy and have jobs for everyone for the future.  It’s not just Vikoma’s team of 63 jobs we want to protect, but also the many sub contractors and service companies we use on the island.  If we keep going it’s of benefit to the future economy of the whole island.

“We are keeping up to date with changing advice from government and will ensure we are legally compliant and have a safe workplace at all times.”