Preparation for return to the office building resilience in our people and global supply chains
The latest CEO Update to Ibec membership from Danny McCoy
Clarity from Government on the timing of graduated office reopening is now key for companies in order to reignite collaboration, culture and confidence in their workforce. Providing these timelines is also crucial for businesses operating in the Experience Economy, particularly in commercial centres across towns and cities. The findings and insights Ibec members have provided us with in our recent survey on the return to office will provide the platform for our communications on this issue early next week and to ratchet up demands for a timeline over the Summer.
As we move from lockdown to reopening, the coming months will provide significant co-ordination challenges for Government as it seeks to balance the cost of support for the economy and the fact that many sectors will either not re-open fully or will re-open at reduced capacity due to social distancing measures. The Pandemic Unemployment Payment and the Employer Wage Support Scheme supports will need to be targeted further. Where there is a trade-off between fiscal sustainability and the continuation of these measures, the margin of adjustment should be one of scope rather than across the board alterations or withdrawal of support. I have written to the Tánaiste and Ministers for Finance and Public Expenditure outlining the Ibec position in relation to Covid business and income supports.
Channelling investment into every form of education and training must now be the focus for all stakeholders in society to mitigate long term scarring from the crisis but also ensuring that we build great resilience within our people, enhance employability, and position ourselves to build on Ireland’s model of substance and reap the opportunities that will present themselves. This priority will be discussed with Minister for Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD this morning at Ibec’s National Council.
Emerging global supply chain challenges have been articulated in different ways by many of you at Ibec meetings in recent weeks. It is a trend exaggerated by consumer demand rising rapidly across the globe with particularly strong recoveries from the US and UK as their economies re-open. This is positive for Irish business given our close ties however, we are also experiencing the impact of a slower recovery in supply across a range of key raw materials and inputs – leading to delays and cost increases for a small open economy so reliant on global supply chains. These shortages are driven by market co-ordination challenges and are being exacerbated by acute container shipping delays and strong growth across Asia. Ibec will continue to raise awareness with key stakeholders on these challenges and work across our international network to advance pragmatic solutions which focus on building on the resilience and benefits of global supply chain networks and avoid the pitfalls of re-onshoring.
The landscape is complex and dynamic but Irish business enters this new phase of evolution with a strong track record and impeccable credentials in reinvention and agility.
I leave you with an attachment to the Ibec letter on Covid business and income supports.