Compass signs new initiative to help nation through pandemic

Compass Group UK & Ireland, the UK’s largest food and support services company, has joined businesses from across the UK in an initiative to help Britain and its most vulnerable citizens to pull through the coronavirus pandemic.

Former Cabinet minister, Rt Hon Justine Greening, has launched the C-19 Business Pledge with entrepreneur David Harrison. The national scheme encourages employers to join the coronavirus effort by pledging to help their employees, customers and communities during this crisis.

It is targeting not just the immediate challenges, but also the challenges of recovery. It comes after Justine received a huge response from businesses and universities getting in touch willing to be part of the national effort.

Compass Group UK & Ireland join other employers, who have already backed this initiative, including BP, Everton Football Club, National Grid, DLA Piper, Severn Trent Water, national investment firm True Potential, global publishing firm Emerald Group and software provider Advanced.

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.

Employers who sign up to the pledge give their backing to three main objectives built around employees, customers and communities - Support own employees throughout and beyond this challenging time; Publish clear and simple advice for customers; and Help communities in Britain through the epidemic.

Examples of the work Compass is doing includes:

Foodbuy, Compass’ procurement business, is providing 10,000 free food boxes for its employees.
Awarding a bonus in the range of 8 to 17% additional pay to 7,800 colleagues supporting the NHS as ward hosts, hospital porters or cleaners.
Donating £500k of food to Fareshare as well as ensuring surplus food continues to support food banks and other charity and community providers.
Launching an internal Nurse Helpline, designed to support medical queries and concerns of employees and reduce the burden on the NHS.

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 organisations 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 employers 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 and universities 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.”

In addition to signing the pledge, Compass Group UK & Ireland’s Chief People Officer, Donna Catley also joins the C-19 Business steering group and will be on hand to share best practice, support and advise throughout this national campaign.

Donna Catley commented: ““At Compass, as the market leader, we have a responsibility to support our colleagues and our communities through this crisis and we are doing everything we can to contribute to the national effort. We are really proud of our frontline colleagues who are going above and beyond supporting the NHS and other critical services, facing into adversity always seems to bring out the best in our people and it is no different on this occasion. I’m looking forward to collaborating with other businesses signed up to the C-19 Business Pledge as undoubtedly together we’re stronger.”