04/05/2020

SMS Plc has joined hundreds of other businesses in a global initiative to help the most vulnerable citizens to pull through the COVID19 crisis. 

The C-19 Business Pledge encourages employers to join the international Coronavirus effort by pledging to help their employees, customers and communities get through the crisis. 

It is targeting not just the immediate challenges of Coronavirus, but also the challenges of recovery. It comes after a huge response from businesses willing to be part of a coordinated effort.

The initiative has already received the backing of employers representing over 2.9 million staff and students.

As well as SMS Plc, they include bp plc, Everton Football Club, National Grid, DLA Piper, Severn Trent Water, investment firm True Potential, global publishing firm Emerald Group and software provider Advanced. Also on board are tech giant Konica Minolta, Yorkshire-based Sewell Group and law firm Shoosmiths. 

Employers who sign up to the pledge give their backing to three main objectives built around employees, customers and communities, to help address the immediate challenges of coronavirus, but also to assist with the aftermath.

At SMS specifically, we have pledged support and taken measures on the following:


Employees

We have offered practical support and advice throughout this challenging time via our Wellbeing intranet page, which includes support with financial security, mental health, personal wellbeing, homeworking and protective personal equipment, and which is underpinned by regular employee communications. We have also just commenced accredited First Aid for Mental Health training across the business, delivered by mental health charity Mind. We are now firming up our reintegration back-to-work plan, in coordination with Government guidelines, for those who have experienced an extended period away from the workplace. You can read about our various employee measures in full here.

Customers

We have published clear and simple advice for customers, with specialist Account Management and Operations teams dedicated to supporting customers if they are having problems, such as vulnerable customers. Our engineers have also been a force to be reckoned with in their on-going positive approach to emergency works. Read more about our support for customers here.

Community

Over the coming months we are likely to see an 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. SMS has actively encouraged those on furlough to volunteer for the NHS or a local charity, and we are actively participating as a company in vital fundraising efforts, whether through facilitating charitable initiatives or through our direct donations to worthwhile causes.


Justine Greening, former UK cabinet minister and the co-founder of the C-19 Business pledge, said:

“With the future of many employers hanging in the balance and incredibly tough times unfolding across all sectors, 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, we are seeing a global response from hundreds of employers that 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.”

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