Statement from Robin Mills, Managing Director, UK & Ireland
We are first and foremost a people business. Across the UK & Ireland, we employ approximately 50,000 people through a wide variety of flexible roles across multiple sectors, with opportunities to progress, upskill through training, and build lifetime careers. Each and every one of our colleagues does an amazing job, day in and day out, and we appreciate all that they do.
We are proud of our caring culture and are committed to supporting our people and the communities we serve during this difficult time. Working with our employees, we have put together a comprehensive support package to help our thousands of frontline workers over the coming months.
As a food business, food is at the heart of all that we do. Therefore, where we serve food, we will be providing employees with access to a free meal during their shift, equating to approximately 200,000 meals a week. In the wider community, we are also extending our community food donation scheme to include hot meals.
We have enhanced our “Helping Hands” fund, from which employees can receive funding on a grant basis to support with emergency or unexpected payments. Our employees will also have access to further financial wellbeing support through a set of salary-linked financial wellbeing products, including affordable loans, salary advances and financial education, which we will be launching soon. This is in addition to our free 24/7 medical and counselling support, and regular discounts for household shopping through our popular Perks at Work scheme.
We are proud to be a Real Living Wage (RLW) Service Provider and are paying the new RLW uplift to those we directly employ from 1 November 2022. We also advocate for the RLW and, working in partnership with our clients, now have more than 300 RLW contracts in place (covering over 60% of our colleagues). We are working closely with these clients to move to the new RLW rates in the coming weeks and months, while continuing to advocate for the RLW across our wider client base.
Ultimately, the health, safety and wellbeing of our people is always our top priority, so we urge any of our employees to reach out for our support if ever they need it.