Experian has joined businesses from across the UK in an initiative to help the country and its most vulnerable citizens to pull through the coronavirus crisis.
Former Cabinet minister Rt Hon Justine Greening has launched the C-19 Business Pledge. The national scheme encourages businesses to join the coronavirus effort by pledging to help their employees, customers and communities across the UK get through the crisis.
It is targeting not just the immediate challenges of coronavirus, but also the challenges of recovery.
The initiative has already received the backing of employers representing over 250,000 staff and students.
Brian Cassin, CEO of Experian Plc, said: “This is a critical time for communities and businesses alike. At Experian, we’re meeting the responsibility we have to help our employees navigate this challenging period. We’re also working closely with our customers, so they are in the best possible position to understand and help the financially vulnerable people they serve.”
Employers who sign up to the pledge give their backing to three main objectives built around employees, customers and communities. They will not only help the UK through the immediate challenges of coronavirus, but also through its recovery.
- 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 in the UK 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 in sectors across the UK, businesses face many incredibly difficult decisions.
“But those companies 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, lots of businesses 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 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 British business to play its role.”
As well as Experian, the signatories include BP, Everton Football Club, National Grid, DLA Piper, Severn Trent Water, global recruitment firm Emerald Group and software provider Advanced.
Also, on board are investment company True Potential, 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.