The Omicron Covid variant ripping through the country has had its impact on adviser firms as even those previously unscathed have reported staff absences in recent weeks.
And the surge in demand for tests aaround the UK has also hit intermediaries with firms and staff unable to find supplies.
Alan Knowles, managing director of Cura, told Health & Protection that people at the firm were feeling the impact of the latest wave.
All staff except four have returned to home working and these office workers are required to take lateral flow tests twice a week.
“We’ve not had any issues getting tests yet, but I suspect it would have been a bigger problem if the office was full,” Knowles added.
“There has certainly been an increase in cases though and we currently have two people off with Covid and a couple more who had it over Christmas, which is more than we had in the whole of 2021.”
Andrew Wilkinson, director at Moneysworth, this week the firm has had one member of staff who normally comes into the office, work from home as their partner was currently Covid positive.
“All of the rest of our staff except for one are working from home, so today there will be one person in the office,” he added. “We anticipate that things will continue in this manner for the time being.”
Difficulty obtaining test kits
Steve Ellis, head of employee benefit consulting at Prosperis, a firm which is currently moving from their previous Harrogate home to Knaresborough, revealed none of its workers have reported in sick so far this week.
“But with the work from home protocol and the perceived relative mildness of the Omicron strain that may mean slow reporting,” Ellis said.
“From a personal perspective, we struggled to get lateral flow kits which was a challenge given the size of our household and two positive tests.”
Alan Lakey, director at CI Expert, told Health & Protection that a colleague had tested positive for Covid in the run up to Christmas but nobody else in the business had done so as far as he was aware.
“I have been unable to obtain any testing kits – we had one that upon opening didn’t have any testing liquid,” he said.
“I am anticipating that we’ll all be in the office today.”
Finally Isaac Feiner, owner of London-based Lifepoint Healthcare, said he felt blessed that Omicron had not affected his firm’s return to work after the festive period.
“We anticipate a full workforce like usual and no one has reported in with Covid,” he said.
“Regardless, given we are now a fully remote business we would not be affected like a physical office in case of an event,” he added.