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Published on July 27th, 2021 | by The GC Team

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‘Pingdemic’ hits KBB installers

Almost half of all kitchen, bedroom and bathroom (KBB) installers have had to cancel jobs due to themselves or their customers being ‘pinged’ by the NHS Covid app, resulting in millions of pounds in lost incomes and, says the British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom and Bathroom Installation (BiKBBI), “sowing the seeds for months of disruption for consumers and the industry”.

This is according to a survey of over 5000 KBB installers, and with lead times for jobs already extended due to a shortage of skilled installers able to meet demand, the BiKBBI is appealing for installers to join the list of exempt workers drawn up by the government.

The organisation says it should be recognised that KBB installers – and the wider construction industry – have been operating safely in people’s homes throughout the pandemic due to robustly safe operating procedures. 

Damian Walters, BIKBBI CEO, said: “Installers are taking a hit on their incomes that’s as unnecessary as it is unfair. They’ve spent the last year working to incredibly safe procedures, meaning that they could continue serving  customers throughout the pandemic. For at least half of them to now have to stop working – and earning – as the rest of the country recovers just seems utterly ridiculous.

“The disruption for customers is also a real kick in the teeth for people who want to invest in their homes after such a tough time and could create a crisis for the industry. Jobs won’t be able to be rescheduled for many months, creating the risk of a wave of cancellations. Having invested to meet the currently high demand, KBB retailers and manufacturers could find themselves at a breaking point in the coming months.

“Public safety and keeping the virus under control of course needs to be the highest priority, which is why KBB installers introduced robust safe working procedures over the last year. Recognising this by adding them to the list of workers exempt from automatic isolation would be an incredibly sensible thing for the Government to do.” 

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