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Ward Hadaway signs new business drive to help nation through Covid-19 crisis

Ward Hadaway has joined businesses from across the UK in an initiative to help Britain and its most vulnerable citizens to pull through the coronavirus crisis.

Former Cabinet minister, Rt Hon Justine Greening, has launched the C-19 Business Pledge with entrepreneur David Harrison of north-east based True Potential LLP. The national scheme encourages employers to join the coronavirus effort by pledging to help their employees, customers and communities across Britain get through the crisis.

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

The initiative has already received the backing of employers representing over 1.2 million staff and students.

As well as Ward Hadaway they include BP, BT, RBS Group, Asda Group, Co-operative Group, 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 Newcastle University, 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. They will not only help Britain through the immediate challenges of coronavirus, but also through its recovery.

  • Firstly, to support their own employees throughout and beyond this challenging time. For example, this could include practical support and advice on financial security, mental health, personal wellbeing as well as reintegration back into work for those who have experienced an extended period away from the workplace.
  • Secondly, to publish clear and simple advice for customers. Where possible they could have specialist teams dedicated to supporting customers if they are having problems, such as those facing repayment difficulties and vulnerable customers, as RBS has done.
  • Thirdly, doing what they can to help communities in Britain through the epidemic. Over the coming months we are likely to see a sharp 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.

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.”

Steve McNicol, Strategic Business Development Partner at Ward Hadaway, said; “Supporting businesses, through whatever means at our disposal, is absolutely the right thing to do right now.

“As a firm we’ve poured our efforts into providing a free to use legal hub so that businesses and organisations can access clear, succinct answers right now to help them navigate these uncharted waters. We thought about how we could help the business community and realised blanket advice wasn’t always clear – or being made available quickly enough. So we decided to build a resource centre which can be freely referred to at any time and which is designed to answer the most commonly asked questions.

“Our experts from across the firm have been keenly reviewing the constantly changing legal landscape, as the Government seeks to introduce new and wide-ranging initiatives, many of which have legal implications. We’ve turned our knowledge into a bank of answers to frequently asked questions, all of which are easily and freely accessed through the new online hub. Right now businesses of all shapes and sizes need as much help as possible, and this is our way of supporting them.”

For more on the C-19 Business Pledge visit www.c19businesspledge.org

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