In the first week of July, over half a million people across the UK received an NHS notification to self-isolate1 after coming into contact with someone carrying Coronavirus.

So, despite a successful vaccine rollout and the lifting of restrictions, the ‘pingdemic’ is having a detrimental knock-on effect on businesses experiencing staff shortages. Hospitality staff must deal with cramped pubs and hostile working conditions, teachers are left with no mandatory face-coverings in schools and the loss of the bubble system, and offices are reopening with little guidance from the government.

Nick Higginson, Managing Director at Phoenix Health and Safety (@PhoenixHSC) and Kevin Ryan, Partner Manager at the workforce management platform, Planday,  offer advice on how to help ensure that employees are cared for as they return to work in this time of change. 

Mental wellbeing

Nick Higginson comments: 

“As most organisations across the UK have begun the process of bringing staff back into the workplace, a vital part of a successful reintegration will be a focus on employee safety and wellbeing.

“We know that employee mental wellbeing is something that has been extremely difficult for employers to maintain throughout the past twelve months - 54% of employees felt overworked and 39% said that they were exhausted2. There has also been growing concern with the rise in cases across the last two weeks from the ‘pingdemic’, causing higher levels of undue stress to many employees in customer-facing roles. 

“Managing employee health & wellbeing is something that organisations must keep in mind moving forward if they want not only a safe environment but a lower turnover rate in the workplace.

“We have seen a huge spike in businesses approaching Phoenix Health and Safety to train their employees and HR professionals in our new ‘working with wellbeing’ and ‘stress awareness’ courses, to ensure they can correctly support their employees in a way they’ve never considered before.

“There is a cost to mental health and safety issues in the workplace and it has been proven that businesses who take a proactive approach to employee wellbeing outperform those that don’t in both staff turnover and reduced health & safety fines.” 

NEBOSH Chief Operating Officer, Dee Arp, says: 

“The wellbeing responsibilities of employers has been a hot topic over the past year. People who are well are typically more resilient to change and adversity. That’s not to say people are expected to be infallible but that by having effective wellbeing support, employees can better cope with significant and unusual situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic we are currently experiencing.”


Kevin Ryan comments: 

“The sooner you can distribute the schedule, the better. Especially so you can easily make changes when staff suddenly have to isolate. 

“We recommend giving your workers two weeks’ notice of their upcoming hours so they can make any necessary arrangements. The quickest way to distribute the schedule is via a cloud-based app. You don’t want your team members to have to go to the hassle of calling you to see when their next shift is – that’s a waste of everyone’s time. So be sure that the schedule is accessible anywhere, any time of the day.

“Yes, you might need to make last-minute changes, which is where a shift worker app comes in handy, as you can make instant changes and update people on the go. If you can, it’s vital that you give your employees as much notice as possible if they’re going to need to step in. 

“If you’re imposing an irregular or unpredictable work schedule on your employees, it’s going to prove difficult for them to maintain any semblance of order in their own lives. If staff then do have to isolate, it will also become easier for other team members to step in.”

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

AELP Events added a new event 9 hours

Designated Safeguarding Lead Training in FE

Overview It is a statutory requirement for professionals meeting ‘robust 2-yearly training’ for those with a lead or designated professional role...

  • Thursday, 14 October 2021 09:30 AM
  • Online

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page