With a little help from my friends (and competitors)

20/11/2020   //   No Comments

SAIF thanks Paul Allcock, SAIF’s Government Liaison rep, Past President and long-standing Exec Committee Member for his words:

As I write we appear to be entering the second wave of COVID-19 infections. There are varying tiers of restrictions across the UK which are changing at regular intervals. So how do we keep right up to date with the latest rules to follow, and what happens if funeral directors have staff who are taken ill or must self-isolate?

Well firstly, I have to applaud the Death Management Advisory Group (DMAG) who have been meeting twice weekly to ensure that everyone across the funeral sector is as informed as much as possible at every stage. DMAG consists of representation from the National Society of Allied & Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF), the Association of Private Crematoria and Cemeteries (APCC), the Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities (FBCA), the Funeral Furnishing Manufacturers’ Association (FFMA), the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management (ICCM), the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) and The Cremation Society. The input from this group and their liaison with government departments has enabled each of the representative bodies to offer regular and informative information for their members.

This information has proved invaluable for those of us working on the front line, enabling members to ensure that they have all the appropriate procedures in place to allow funerals to take place in a safe and controlled environment.

So how would funeral directors and crematoria manage if most, if not all their staff are suddenly taken ill, tested positive or have to self-isolate? The simple answer is to support each other more now than we ever have before. In times of need, it is vital that competing businesses put any conflicts or differences behind them, and work to support each other through these most dreadful of times. Not only is this a way of showing goodwill to your fellow funeral director or crematorium, but even more importantly it will allow the families we serve to say farewell to their loved ones without unnecessary delay.

During the first wave of coronavirus in March and April there was evidence of localised support when companies worked together to help those who found themselves short of staff or equipment. And it was due to this attitude of care that the provision of funeral services coped admirably through incredibly challenging times. COVID-19 hasn’t gone away yet, and no business is immune from its effects. That is why all funeral service-related businesses must continue with an attitude of care and support for each other. To ensure that we all get through this with as little disruption to our businesses, our staff and the lives of our clients as possible.

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