COVID-19 is opportunity for businesses to show character and commitment to their staff

In response to the latest employment figures published today by the Office for National Statistics, Amanda Mackenzie OBE, chief executive of Business in the Community, The Prince’s Responsible Business Network, commented:

“During 2020, the resilience of the UK economy will be tested like never before but at least the jobs market is starting from a position of real strength.

“In times of crisis, responsible business practice can easily slip through the net and we are urging businesses to bolster their duty of care towards employees rather than put it on the back burner.

“The threat from Covid-19 is an opportunity for businesses to show real character and a commitment to their staff that could prove invaluable in the long term.

“Covid-19 is putting an unprecedented level of pressure on businesses of all sizes in every sector and a sharp rise in unemployment is inevitable in the weeks and months ahead.

“With events changing by the day, crystal-clear communication and a basic duty of care towards employees will vastly improve their wellbeing, which is key.

“Businesses need to be completely transparent with their staff about the decisions they are making as part of their management of the pandemic.

“As well as accommodating the needs of employees who are at higher risk of contracting the virus, employers need to be aware of the toll Covid-19 will be taking on the mental health of staff.

“Making employees aware of mental health first aiders, employee assistance programmes and other help is a good first step to making sure that support is not only provided but accessible, too.

“In the current environment, employers should look at their duty of care not just as a legal and moral imperative but as a chance to significantly enhance staff loyalty.”

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Media Contact
Katherine Howbrook, head of media and external affairs, Business in the Community
email katherine.howbrook@bitc.org.uk, Tel 07515 119096.

About Business in the Community
Business in the Community is the oldest and largest business-led membership organisation dedicated to responsible business. We were created nearly 40 years ago by HRH The Prince of Wales to champion responsible business.

We inspire, engage and challenge members and we mobilise that collective strength as a force for good in society to:

  • develop a skilled and inclusive workforce for today and tomorrow;
  • build thriving communities where people want to live and work;
  • innovate to sustain and repair our planet.

www.bitc.org.uk