We've signed the C-19 business pledge
We have signed the C-19 Business Pledge to show our commitment to help Britain and its most vulnerable citizens through the Coronavirus crisis.
The C-19 Business Pledge is a new scheme founded by former Cabinet Minister, Rt Hon. Justine Greening and entrepreneur David Harrison, to encourage businesses and universities to be a force for good by making a commitment to doing what they can to tackle Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in respect of employees, customers and communities.
As a business which provides an essential public service, we have always been committed to delivering for our customers and the communities we serve. We are also committed to ensuring the wellbeing of our employees.
Our C-19 pledge and actions
During the COVID-19 outbreak, our key focus has been on protecting the health and safety of our employees. Most of our workforce is working from home, where they can, while our field-based and operational teams are continuing to produce clean drinking water, find and fix leaks, and carry out essential maintenance work in the community. We have continued to pay all employees, including those who have not been able to work because of Coronavirus-related issues.
We had already set up a wellbeing group, comprising employees from across our Cambridge and South Staffs operating areas, which promotes positive mental health activities across the business. We have also introduced and trained a number of mental health first aiders. In addition, there is access to a wellbeing zone, which includes recipes to encourage healthy eating and advice on a range of topics, including working from home, financial management and maintaining mental wellbeing.
Another key focus for us during the COVID-19 outbreak has been on making sure the right level of help is available for all those customers who have been impacted and need additional support. We are providing customers with a wide range of financial assistance tailored to their particular circumstances, including a range of tariffs, payment breaks of up to twelve weeks, and low and minimum value payment plans.
We have a dedicated team of people who are trained to deal with queries relating to financial difficulty because of the COVID-19 outbreak. We have also set up a new call-back service for customers. And we have encouraged as many customers who can, to manage their accounts online or through our mobile app. We have seen a big take up of these facilities, with an increase in customers downloading the app and a 30% increase in the number opting for e-bills.
We have also been actively encouraging customers with a disability, mobility issues or a medical condition, and who have not already done so, to sign up for our Priority Services Register. And we have continued to issue food bank support and fuel vouchers to customers who are experiencing extreme financial hardship.
We are committed to making a difference in our communities.
Unfortunately, we had to make the difficult decision to close our innovative and sector-leading community hub region for the duration of the lockdown. But our community team has been maintaining close contact with the hub’s regular visitors and they have continued to work with our partner organisations which deliver services at the hub, albeit remotely.
Our education team's visits to schools have been postponed during the lockdown, but the team has continued to produce educational resources and quizzes for schools and children at home to use.
Posted: 1 May 2020