Workforce wellbeing leads GVC Holdings retail reopening 

As it plans to reopen its retail betting venues on Monday 15 June, GVC Holdings has published its ‘comprehensive plan’ of actions and requirements to ensure safety standards across all Ladbrokes and Coral estates. 

Leadership of the FTSE100 betting group stated that its reopening plan has been designed ‘to exceed the guidelines’ set by the UK government and World Health Organisations (WHO).

GVC Group CEO Kenneth Alexander said: “We are very pleased to be re-opening our shops in England as the UK begins the first steps in returning to some form of normality.

“Ever since the lockdown was introduced, we have been working tirelessly on a plan which will deliver the safest possible environment for both our customers and our people. I am confident we have achieved that and look forward to welcoming our customers back in the near future.”

GVC will enforce a strict sanity procedure across its retail operations, with all betting shop managers required to undertake pre-shop opening checks’ to ensure all facilities, gaming machines and transactional equipment are thoroughly cleaned before opening business proceedings.

Protecting its workforce, GVC will equip its retail units with ‘tools to support social distancing’, installing protective ‘sneeze screens’ between gaming machines and betting stations as well as hand sanitizer stations.

All betting shops will also feature customer signage providing ‘clear instructions’ on in-shop social distancing procedures. Customers will be encouraged to use stylus pens for gaming machines and betting terminals to avoid physical interactions with shop components.

Under the guidance, betting shop managers will be required to observe ‘occupancy levels’, determined on the capacity of each venue, with retail staff urged to encourage ‘contactless payments’ as the preferred option for in-store transactions.

‘Colleague well being’ will be of the utmost importance, in which GVC has drawn a list of detailed requirements and practices to monitor staff health during unprecedented times.   

Beyond the installation of safety barriers, GVC has restricted the transfer of personnel between venues to reduce potential virus exposures.

GVC has also launched an ‘Employee Assistance Programme’ which will be made available to all colleagues and their families. Staff will also have access to third-party app mental health and wellbeing appUnmind’

Concluding its action plan, GVC has urged all betting shop managers and employees to be ‘open and honest’ with colleagues on their health status. 

Michael Dugher, Chief Executive of the Betting and Gaming Council, said: “I’m delighted that GVC, home of some of the world-class brands in betting, will be able to re-open their English betting shops safely from 15 June. 

“GVC make a significant contribution to the economy, supporting good jobs in communities across the country, and it’s great to see at first hand their commitment to ensuring that their reopened shops will provide a safe and enjoyable environment for staff and customers alike.”

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