As we continue through a further period of lockdown, I wanted to take another opportunity to express my continued gratitude to our staff across the country.
With the full support of the Board and senior management team, I have two key objectives at this difficult time.
Firstly, the safety and wellbeing of our staff, customers and stakeholders remains our paramount priority.
Secondly, ensuring that when the pandemic is over that we maintain jobs for all our 10,000 staff.
By collective commitment and dedication, we are continuing to provide vital services, during this extraordinarily challenging period and in the fight against the spread of coronavirus.
In recent weeks we have all needed to adjust to changing circumstances, and I am incredibly proud of the positive way everyone has responded.
The adaptability, resilience and professionalism displayed by all has been evident throughout the Group, and is testament to the values which are embedded in our culture.
I can assure you all that our partners greatly value our support at this difficult time and we remain committed together to delivering outstanding services that improve the lives of millions of people.
Communities up and down the country have also been expressing their sincere thanks, recognising key workers and their contribution to the national effort.
We also recognise the economic impact the COVID-19 outbreak is having. To mitigate this, we are continuing to take all appropriate measures, including participation in the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, topping up the pay of our furloughed colleagues to ensure nobody suffers financial hardship.
We are also ensuring all those shielding receive 100% pay. This is a huge financial commitment by the Group, and is something we will endeavour to continue with for as long as possible.
Many employees have asked about top up pay for those isolating for up to two weeks. This is something we continue to review, however, due to the substantial numbers involved we need to take into account the significant pandemic costs we are bearing.
We continue to work with local management to identify appropriate reward schemes to recognise the dedication and commitment of our staff during these unprecedented times.
Successfully pursuing a ‘jobs for all’ approach when we reach the end, will give us all a healthy future in the short and longer term.
We now look forward to entering a phased regeneration of service delivery in line with the national government strategy for the next phase of the pandemic, and looking toward eventually business as usual.
Once again, on behalf of the Group and its Board, thank you for everything you are doing. Continue to keep safe and take care of yourself and all those around you.
Chief Executive Officer