COVID-19: Brands that are nailing employee wellbeing during the crisis

Posted / April 28, 2020

By Lynn Smith, Chief People and Operations Officer

News of how companies are treating their employees and generally responding to the pandemic has become increasingly common, as a new wave of social consciousness influences where people shop (and don’t shop) for essentials.

Exposing brands that are perceived as unfair has become commonplace on social media threads. But there are also plenty of threads that commend employers who are proactively supporting their teams through the crisis.

Here are some actions that have been taken from just 11 employers (we’ve focused on the businesses that you could choose to shop at during this lockdown) that caught our eye.

Supermarkets

Co-op

Individual stores are running various initiatives. Together, they have included:

  • Paying staff who are self-isolating.
  • Gifting employees an extra week of pay in June 2020.
  • Giving pupils enrolled at Co-op academies a £20 food voucher for every week that they have to learn at home due to closures.
  • Donating £1.5m (and counting) to foodbanks.
  • Paying local charities and community groups £4.5m (at time of writing).
  • Offering ‘Thank you’ donations to NHS workers.

Aldi

  • Giving store and distribution centre teams a 10% discount.
  • Delivering food exclusively to the vulnerable and those who are self-isolating.

Lidl

  • Distributing a bonus in the form of £150 vouchers to staff.
  • Donating £100,000 (at time of writing)  to charities.
  • Preparing bags of fresh food to give away to NHS staff.

Tesco

  • Giving a 10% bonus for work performed between 9 March and 9 May to frontline, customer care and supply chain staff.
  • Sending workers classed as particularly ‘vulnerable’ to Coronavirus on 12 weeks of paid leave.
  • Gave 150 smartphones free of charge to families who needed them.

Waitrose

  • Giving staff free meals while they are at work.
  • Ensuring that all employees who have COVID-19, are self-isolating or caring for family members or vulnerable people are given sick pay, holiday or altered working patterns.
  • Paying out £1,050 to each staff member as an end-of-year bonus.
  • Increasing staff discounts to 25% during lockdown.
  • Reserving ‘hard to find’ and essential items for NHS staff.
  • Allowing NHS staff to go straight to the front of checkout queues.
  • Earmarking over £10 million worth of produce for food banks.

Online retailers

Pets at Home

  • Paying staff who are deemed vulnerable or are self-isolating for 12 weeks, even while they are at home.
  • Inviting staff to apply for money via a £1m hardship fund, should they or their families need help.
  • Implementing a 10% discount on goods and vet bills for NHS staff.
  • Donating £1.1m (at time of writing) in charitable grants.

Superdrug

  • Setting aside £40m for paying staff in full if they are ill, self-isolating, a parent, a vulnerable person or caring for/living with a vulnerable person or unable to work due to store closures.

Holland & Barrett

  • Paying retail or distribution centre staff a 10% bonus.
  • Offering full pay to workers who are self-isolating or living with a vulnerable person.

Home Bargains

  • Putting together a £30m fund for employees who are self-isolating.

The Body Shop

  • Paying sick leave to staff who are self-isolating as well as those who are ill.
  • Offering staff free counselling and access to wellbeing benefits.

Games Workshop

  • Paying staff in full, whilst they are self-isolating or on furlough.

MyEva can help you to work out what your budgeting priorities should be, next steps for all your goals and how they might have to shift because of what life will throw at us. Click here to find out more about MyEva, available through great employers!        

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