The spread of Covid-19 (caused by a new strain of coronavirus) is, understandably, causing a number of concerns amongst our customers, our employees, other stakeholders and the millions of users of our products worldwide.  We will continue to be guided by the UK government and World Health Organisation (WHO) so we can take appropriate action to protect our staff, customers, and our businesses as best we can.  This is not an easy task given the advice is subject to change on a daily, even hourly, basis as knowledge and understanding of Covid-19 improves.

In addition to following health guidelines designed to limit, or just slow down, the spread of Covid-19, we are working with our suppliers to secure our supply chain so we continue to have the materials needed to manufacture our products.  Our suppliers are not currently experiencing any significant disruption to their supply chains or logistical processes.  Nevertheless, a number of suppliers who source materials from overseas are holding additional stock as a precaution.  Similarly, we are reviewing our stock levels accordingly and we will increase them where we consider there to be an increased risk to our manufacturing operations, such as introduction of restrictions on the movement of goods from areas most badly affected by coronavirus.

We are also continuing to work closely with our employees on health and safety matters, particularly with regards to taking appropriate precautions where possible to protect them from coronavirus.  Our greatest area of concern currently is potential staff shortages imposed on us by the government through, for example, self-isolation to prevent the spread of coronavirus or sickness absences caused by Covid-19.  We are working on contingency plans to mitigate these factors through the use of temporary workers, overtime, etc.

This policy will inevitably change frequently in the coming days and months and it will be updated regularly.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why is Newclay Products Staying Open?
    We have no plans to close whilst the following conditions are met:-
    – We can provide a healthy and safe working environment for our employees.
    – Our customers want to buy our products and have them delivered to their premises.
    – Our supply chain is able to deliver us the materials we need to make and pack our products.
    – We have a robust and reliable power supply.
    – Our work cannot be done from home.
    – We are not being forced to close by the UK Government.

  2. How Are You Keeping Employees Healthy and Safe? 
    In addition to the Health and Safety measures and procedures we already had in place, we have carried out a thorough assessment of the risks posed specifically by coronavirus.  This is based on the advice and guidance given to us by the UK Government, and can be summarised as follows:- 
    – All our employees and agency workers have their own individual and separate means of travel to and from the workplace.  Nobody needs to use buses, trains, or other forms of transport that could increase the risk of infection.
    – All our employees and agency workers are able to distance themselves from each other to meet the 2 metre separation required in the workplace and must do so at all times.
    – With input from our employees and agency workers, we identified a potential issue with 2 metre separation at break times in and around the tea-room area.  As a result, tea-breaks and lunch breaks will be staggered until further notice. 

  3. Are any of your products made in China?
    No.  All our products are made in our own premises in the UK.

  4. Do you source raw materials directly from China?
    No, not directly.  With one exception, all our raw materials are sourced from UK manufacturers and distributers.  They source products from manufacturers all over the world, including China and other areas affected by coronavirus.
  5. Do you source raw materials from other areas badly affected by coronavirus?
    Not at present.  However, if Covid-19 continues to spread around the world, this is likely to change.

  6. Are your suppliers increasing stock of the materials you buy?
    Some are, others are not, yet, depending on how they assess the risk to their own operations.  Our suppliers tell us they have stocks to cover us for a [short] period and we currently have plenty of stock.  Whilst free movement of goods around the world is allowed, this situation is unlikely to change.

  7. Are you currently experiencing any supply chain issues related to coronavirus, or do you expect problems in future?
    No, but we are closely monitoring the situation.  Whilst free movement of goods around the world is allowed, this situation is unlikely to change.

  8. Do you have alternative suppliers or production capabilities that can be used to minimise impact on the supply chain?
    Many of our raw materials are commodity items for which there are alternative suppliers or even alternative raw materials available.  Others are speciality materials with no readily available alternatives; it is these we will increase stocks of if necessary in the first instance.

  9. Do you foresee disruption to your operation as a result of higher demand for your products?
    No, our products are not considered to be subject to potential panic-buying or hoarding.

  10. Have you or your employees travelled to areas affected by coronavirus?
    Not as far as we know.  Only absolutely essential business travel will be allowed for the foreseeable future.

  11. Do you expect staff shortages?
    Yes.  We have been experiencing these for over a year due to problems getting reliable workers and Covid-19 will not help.

  12. What is your plan to mitigate the effects of staff shortages?
    Employers have been advised to expect up to 20% of employees to be off sick at any one time.  This would be difficult for us, but is manageable if we assume any individual employee is off sick only once due to Covid-19.  The impact on our operation of enforced self-isolation at the first sign of even a common cold is less predictable.  We are working on contingency plans to mitigate these factors through the use of temporary workers, overtime, etc.