28 April 2020: Silent Eight has joined hundreds of other businesses in a global initiative to help the most vulnerable citizens to pull through the coronavirus crisis.
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 3 million staff and students.
As well as Silent Eight, they include BP, Everton Football Club, National Grid, DLA Piper, Severn Trent Water, investment firm True Potential, global publishing firm Emerald Group and software provider Advanced.
Also on board are tech giant Konica Minolta, Yorkshire-based Sewell Group and law firm Shoosmiths.
Universities have also risen to the challenge, meanwhile, with Bolton Group, Bradford, Bishop Grosseteste, Brunel, Northampton, York St John, Staffordshire and Leeds Beckett universities all putting pledges forward.
Employers who 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 having problems, such as those facing repayment difficulties and vulnerable customers, as RBS has done.
- Thirdly, doing what they can to help communities through the epidemic. Over the coming months we are likely to see a sharp increase in isolation, loneliness, mental health and household financial issues 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 said: “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.”
“We are proud to play a small part in aiding our employees, and other businesses in these challenging and unprecedented times,” said COO and co-founder, Julia Markiewicz.
For more on the C-19 Business Pledge visit www.c19businesspledge.org