East Riding workplaces busier now than during first national lockdown, new figures reveal
Workplaces across the East Riding have been busier during the current lockdown than last spring, figures suggest.
The GMB union said low-paid workers not being able to afford to self-isolate and a lack of sanctions on employers were key reasons for increased office footfall across England.
Google uses location data from phones and other personal devices to track trends in people’s movement in different areas of their daily lives, including where they work.
It shows average activity in workplaces in the East Riding over six weeks between January 5 and February 15 was 37% lower than during a five-week baseline period recorded before the pandemic.
The Google data shows how footfall in the East Riding’s workplaces has differed across almost a full year of coronavirus restrictions.
Between the start of the first UK lockdown and mid-February, the busiest a working day got was just 20% below usual the baseline – hitting this level on three days.
By contrast, the quietest weekday over this time – outside of bank holidays – was December 31, which was 66% below normal.
The Institute of Directors, which represents UK business leaders, said the majority of its members indicated they would be keeping some form of home working in place after the pandemic.
Joe Fitzsimons, senior policy adviser at the IoD, added: “It is essential that the Government works closely with businesses to provide guidance on how organisations can reopen safely, to ensure the safety of their workers.”
The Department of Health and Social Care said the Test and Trace Support Payment has received £149 million in funding for people who need to self-isolate but cannot work from home, and will be extended to the summer.
A spokesman added: “While we recognise this is an incredibly difficult time for many, it is crucial people continue to follow the rules and help supress this dreadful virus.”