Dear colleagues (Roger Burnley), I want to start by saying thank you for the fantastic service you gave our vulnerable customers yesterday. Generally, the feedback from customers has been great and I’m sure you will all have heard stories to make you feel proud.
It’s good to hear that my message confirming we will pay our more vulnerable colleagues during their 12-week period of self-isolation which is likely to start next week has reassured everyone - we don’t want you to be concerned about being financially worse-off because of the Government guidelines.
I also want to reassure those of you who don’t need to self-isolate for 12 weeks that I am very aware of the extra pressure this is putting you under. You are working incredibly hard in challenging conditions and for our hourly paid colleagues who are moving more product from depots into stores and serving more customers than we have ever before. I want to recognise your incredible efforts and make a thank you payment in June, which will be the equivalent of one-week’s pay. We won’t forget our management teams either and will find a way to say thank you to you too and will come back to you on that soon.
For those of you who have to self-isolate for 7 or 14 days, you will also receive this payment, as we know that you are only taking this step to protect our customers and your fellow-colleagues.
It’s really important that we are giving you as much support as possible. I told you this week that we’re trying to connect with local cafes who are now all closed to try to provide you with good food while helping local businesses. This is going to take us a bit of time to sort out so, in the meantime we are partnering with a national catering company so we can start providing food for you straight away.
Many of you have told us that you are struggling to find the time to shop for your own essentials so to help you with this, we are introducing a dedicated shopping hour for all colleagues on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 7am- 8am. We will send some further guidance on this over the coming days.
You have also asked me what we can do to help our NHS workers. We know what a phenomenal job they are doing and will continue to do over the coming months, so we are introducing a shopping hour on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 8am – 9am where NHS workers will be given priority over other customers.
As well as supporting our NHS colleagues, we are looking for other ways to make a difference in our communities, by supporting our charity partners to help the most vulnerable. I’m delighted to let you know that we will be donating £5m to FareShare and Trussell Trust which will provide over 4 million meals to families in food poverty, as well as giving more than 3000 charities access to free food over the next 3 months as they fight to tackle the impacts of Coronavirus in their communities.
I will continue to update you on what’s happening whenever I can but in the meantime, thanks again for all that you are doing.