The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges to all of us. At McBride, our teams are working tirelessly in each of our markets to meet the demand for cleaning products that help maintain hygienic homes and work environments. These include bleach, anti-bacterial and disinfecting sprays, dish and laundry cleaning products.

All of our sites are continuing to operate, albeit under challenging conditions, and we are adapting to new ways of working. The well-being of our colleagues is paramount, and we have introduced a range of measures to ensure we can continue to operate safely. Those colleagues that can do so are working from home and social distancing has been implemented at all of our sites.

We are also doing what we can for our communities, including producing new products such as hand sanitiser and specialist disinfectants as well as supplying equipment, resource, expertise and products to those that need them.


Ensuring the safety of our colleagues across the world is our number one priority. McBride’s exceptional teams are working around the clock, under very challenging conditions, to keep our factories open and produce the essential homecare and hygiene products our customers need.

For those employees directly involved in manufacturing our products, we have implemented strict hygiene and safeguarding protocols in line with local government guidance. Where possible, colleagues who can work from home are currently doing so.

Our colleagues have shown incredible professionalism and dedication to supporting customers and have been highly adaptable to the changing working conditions. Across the McBride group, teams are working hard to maintain a strong team spirit while supporting each other in any way they can. For example, in Spain, the local laboratory team have created a hand sanitiser based on the World Health Organisation recommended formulation and have supplied bottles for each colleague to take home.

In Poland, the local mixing team prepared 1 litre bottles of disinfectant for colleagues’ private use and in Belgium, hand sanitiser was distributed to all colleagues with a special label for the ‘Heroes at the shop floor’. Our Belgian colleagues also supported other McBride sites by providing essential products to our European locations.


All of our sites continue to operate and we are working closely with suppliers and customers to ensure we are able to meet demand as quickly as possible. However, as a result of the impact of the pandemic and the current restrictions necessary to ensure the safety of the public, sourcing raw materials and logistics in general is taking longer. This coupled with increased demand in many of our product areas has created new challenges for our teams.

Through our network of buyers, we are looking at alternative sources of materials and reviewing our purchasing priorities to ensure the security of our supply. We have also refocused our research and development team towards proactive testing on alternative materials where we anticipate future disruption.

Despite these challenges, we are working hard to meet increased requirements and ensure the right products are in the right place at the right time. For example, in the UK we have dedicated our fastest production line to the manufacture of hospital cleaning products. Elsewhere, in France, our colleagues responded to an urgent call from a regional government body to quickly bring to market a new hand sanitiser. While in Italy, our team developed a disinfectant floor cleaner in less than 10 days.


As an international business, we operate in many locations and are proud to be part of local communities providing employment and investment.

We want to ensure our people, and the communities they live in, remain safe. We have therefore introduced a range of measures which meet best practice and allow our factories to safely operate.

We also recognise our role in local communities and how our skills and expertise can be shared with those who really need it. There are examples of great community initiatives happening in all of our locations. Examples include our colleagues in Denmark who have donated 1,000 protective health suits to the Danish Government to help them combat Covid-19. Elsewhere, our team in Spain has specially manufactured hand sanitiser and provided them to local organisations and schools.


What measures are in place to protect and support your employees?

Our first priority is the health and safety of our colleagues.

We quickly introduced enhanced safety procedures for social distancing and segregation for our factory based colleagues. In addition, special arrangements were made to accommodate changes to shift patterns, assistance for colleagues with home challenges and flexible working arrangements.

We achieved a smooth transition to remote working for all of our office based teams within a few days of local lockdowns being announced. In addition we have a phased return to work plan for office colleagues for when local governments advise it is safe to do so. All national safety guidelines have and continue to be followed with respect to strict hygiene and safeguarding protocols, to ensure social distancing is observed in order to prevent the spread of the virus.

In June 2020 we launched our Employee Assistance Programme providing a 24/7/365 personal support line which offers our colleagues free and confidential telephone counselling and support for Covid-19 related issues and other concerns, including anxiety, managing family relationships in a lockdown situation and concerns about the financial impact of the pandemic.

How well did you respond to operational issues caused by the Covid-19 pandemic?

I am very proud of how we handled our response to the pandemic and would like to thank all of our employees for their amazing work during these difficult times.

To ensure that our factory teams could continue to safely manufacture and supply our essential cleaning products, we quickly introduced, into all of our factories, personal protective equipment and new protocols around social distancing and hygiene practices.

Many of our sites broke production records in the fourth quarter of the year, allowing us to restore finished goods inventories back to close to normal levels by the year end, minimising disruption to our customers, following exceptionally high customer orders in March 2020.

Our non-factory employees demonstrated great flexibility and resilience in quickly pivoting to new ways of working. Supported by excellent work from our IT team, they continued to effectively support the business while working from home.

What are you doing to understand and manage risks caused by Covid?

We formed a Covid-19 team in mid-March 2020 which was composed from the Group’s senior leadership team. For the four months until July 2020 the team met daily to assess the range of issues impacting the Group. They scoped and rapidly put in place a plan of action, assigning activities and responsibilities. Since July 2020, the team continues to meet regularly to monitor progress and to consider whether to adapt and/or flex the plan of action in light of ongoing developments.

Since March 2020 we have monitored each day the health and wellbeing of our colleagues who are working remotely. Managers perform a daily register of their teams to ensure that any issues are known and our colleagues are properly supported.

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