HOPS has collated this information to help HOPS members concerned about the impact of Coronavirus on seasonal labour.
Keeping our HOPS members and our workers safe is our priority and we will be updating this information regularly as the Covid-19 situation develops.
All the latest updates and advice for farmers are available on the Government website here and we have provided useful links below for other information sources that might be useful to you.
The HOPS office
Like many organisations, HOPS are operating slightly differently in light of the Coronavirus outbreak to ensure our work to supply labour continues as far as we can. Following Government advice that people should work from home wherever possible, the HOPS office team will now operate remotely. You will be able to get in touch with the team on our normal telephone number, email and mobiles so business should not be interrupted to any great degree.
In light of the new advice around social distancing, we will not be attending any face-to-face meetings and all non essential travel has been cancelled.
These measures will be in place initially until 9 June 2020. We will, however, continue to review related risks daily.
HOPS has launched a new App called Picker that allows farmers to upload their job opportunities and allows interested applicants, based in the UK, to find suitable roles.
Farmers and people based in the UK looking for work are encouraged to register on Picker. It allows people to state the locations where they are able to work and the length of time they can work.
Your final placement will still be managed by HOPS but Picker allows you to apply for the jobs you want and see when they become available.
With the impact of Coronavirus causing many businesses to close, especially in the hospitality and catering sectors, a role picking and packing fruit and vegetables is an opportunity for paid employment for many people.
Currently there are border closures in place around the world, making it difficult to access seasonal labour from overseas. You can keep up to date with the developments in travel through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).
Useful links for health advice and updates
SWAP is a free online tool which allows organisations to post spare and available workers and be contacted by GLAA licensed ALP labour providers who have work for them so that businesses needing extra staff can find the workers they need. Number of workers currently available in SWAP – 2,500.
If you have spare workers, whether for days, weeks or indefinitely – please register to post brief details here.
GLAA licensed ALP labour provider members who need workers – log in here and click on the SWAP tab to view the types and numbers of workers available and who to contact.
Schools are being asked to continue to provide care for children who are vulnerable and children whose parents are critical to the Covid-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home. The government has confirmed that “those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (for example hygienic and veterinary medicines) are to be regarded as critical workers. Further details are here.
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Everyone can help stop the spread of the virus by following these guidelines and sharing this information with your teams.
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
• Put used tissues in the bin immediately
• Wash your hands with soap and water often – use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
• Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
• Touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.
Government advice for anyone feeling unwell with the symptoms of a cough, a high temperature and shortness of breath, is to visit NHS 111 and take medical advice. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. People should self-isolate with the rest of their household for a period of 14 days.