DESPERATE firms are offering huge joining bonuses in order to fill positions left vacant by the "pingdemic".
According to research carried out by global job search engine, Adzuna, recruiters are trying to fill over 1.1million jobs with retail hiring hitting a 31 month high.
There are now over 72,000 ads for jobs marked as "urgent" or requiring an ‘immediate start’.
Tesco and Asda are offering new HGV drivers a £1,000 bonus for signing up. Supermarkets have been particularly affected by the pingdemic with shelves being left empty amid supply chains blockages and staff shortages.
Iceland has announced plans to recruit an extra 2,000 staff to compensate for those self-isolating missing work and M&S have warned they may have to reduce opening hours.
The highest joining bonuses are for nurses with health care management firm HC-One offering £10,000 to all newly recruited registered night nurses.
Elysium Healthcare are offering £5,000 to entice registered nurses to apply. The Priory Group is offering £5,000 to registered mental health nurses and a £1,000 bonus to newly recruited care assistants.
The NHS has also been hit particularly hard with nearly 700,000 Covid-19 app users pinged in the week of July 14-21. A record high according to NHS data.
Andrew Hunter, co-founder of Adzuna, said: "The 'pingdemic' has hit just as businesses start to get to grips with filling open roles.
"The struggle to hire is one of the biggest challenges facing businesses, with hundreds of thousands of workers still on furlough, hesitation among others to go back to work, fewer overseas workers available to fill positions, and a lack of skilled staff in some sectors.
“The 'pingdemic' has compounded these issues, as many jobseekers are forced to self-isolate over attending interviews or starting work.
"This is on top of absences from existing staff who have been pinged."
The data revealed there were 1,116,454 job ads listed on the job site between 19th – 25th July.
The 11th consecutive week of over 1 million open jobs.
In order to stop the disruption the Government released a list of sectors exempt from the need to isolate – including emergency services workers, border control staff, and workers involved in food production among others
In all other sectors, the guidance is to isolate if pinged by the app until 16th August.
Other sectors badly affected by the pingdemic include: hospitality & catering,trade, manufacturing and construction, and logistics & warehousing.
Mr Hunter said : “It’s a critical moment for industries like the wedding sector and some smaller independent shops and restaurants, who are relying on the summer period to make up for lost income needed to keep their businesses afloat.
“Meanwhile in sectors like Construction and Manufacturing, the 'pingdemic' is causing pent-up demand as projects are delayed, meaning even more pressure to find staff going forwards.”
Holiday goers must check their insurance if they’ve been pinged as they might not be covered for cancelling their trip, experts warn.
Supermarket shelves may be left empty again in weeks due to the staff crisis created by the 'pingdemic'.
Do you get sick pay if you’ve been ‘pinged’ – employment rights explained.
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