01 June 2020

Former UK Cabinet minister, Rt Hon Justine Greening, launched the C-19 Business Pledge with entrepreneur David Harrison. It encourages employers to join the international coronavirus effort by pledging to help their employees, customers and communities get through the crisis.

It is targeting not just the immediate challenges of Coronavirus, but also the challenges of recovery. It comes after Justine received a huge response from businesses and universities getting in touch with her and willing to be part of a coordinated effort. The initiative has already received the backing of employers representing over three million staff and students.

Employers that sign up to the pledge give their backing to three main objectives built around employees, customers and communities, to help address the immediate challenges of coronavirus, but also to assist with the aftermath.

  • Firstly, to support their own employees throughout and beyond this challenging time. For example, this could include practical support and advice on financial security, mental health, personal wellbeing as well as reintegration back into work for those who have experienced an extended period away from the workplace.
  • Secondly, to publish clear and simple advice for customers. Where possible they could have specialist teams dedicated to supporting customers if they are facing COVID-19 related challenges such as difficulties paying household bills and mortgage payments.
  • Thirdly, doing what they can to help communities through the epidemic. Over the coming months a sharp increase in isolation, loneliness, mental health and household financial issues is likely to be seen in our communities across the country. There will be an increased need for communities to come together with practical support, such as food deliveries, collections and financial assistance for organisations that specialise in supporting vulnerable people.

Justine Greening says: “With the future of many employers hanging in the balance and incredibly tough times unfolding across all sectors, businesses face many incredibly difficult decisions.

“But those organisations who are able to, can have a huge role in battling the impact of coronavirus and make a real difference in these uniquely challenging times.

“In spite of everything, we are seeing a global response from hundreds of employers that have already shown amazing initiative and commitment to helping people affected by coronavirus. The C-19 Business Pledge is all about encouraging as many businesses and universities as possible to get involved and then helping them do that faster and better by sharing all the great work that’s already been done. The early response has been incredible and I’ll do everything I can to help to connect up business to play its role in this international effort.”

Burges Salmon’s head of Corporate Responsibility, Kirsty Green-Mann, comments: “Responsible business is integral to how we operate as a firm and we are delighted to support the C-19 Business Pledge. The COVID-19 situation has meant we have had to adapt, for our clients, our people and the community, with their safety and wellbeing as an absolute priority.

“Our COVID-19 Taskforce with Senior Partner Chris Seaton at its helm has ensured the continuation of excellent client delivery and we’ve continued to support a range of initiatives in our local community as well as responding to a number of requests for advice on a pro bono basis. We’re committed to contributing in the best way we can to face the unexpected challenges with which our people, our clients and our community have been presented.”

For more on the C-19 Business Pledge visit www.c19businesspledge.org

Key contact

Cheryl Parkhouse

Cheryl Parkhouse Senior Associate

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