UK retailer Morrisons has launched a number of measures to support colleagues and customers during the coronavirus outbreak, including protecting workers, expanding home deliveries and creating 3,500 jobs.
This comes on the heels of Morrisons’ announcement last week that it would be implementing immediate payments for its smaller suppliers, supporting their cashflow during this a difficult time for the British economy.
“We expect the days, weeks and months ahead to be very testing and we are determined to do our bit,” David Potts, Chief Executive of Morrisons, said. “These measures will support our very hard-working colleagues, enable us to provide more food to more people in their homes and create opportunities for people whose jobs are affected by the coronavirus.”
Morrisons outlined elements of its strategy during the pandemic, including:
- Creating a colleague hardship fund “to support colleagues who are in financial difficulty as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. Colleagues will be able to apply for funds if they experience a financial setback and are struggling to make ends meet.”
- Assisting colleagues who are directly impacted by COVID-19 by offering sick pay to those who contract coronavirus, “whether or not they would normally be eligible” and to those workers who are affected either because of self isolation, or by playing their part in looking after close family members or the vulnerable in their local community. Those colleague also could receive alternative shifts or holiday.
- Protecting workers by asking customers at the checkout to pay, if possible, by card or smartphone to reduce cash handling, issuing hand sanitiser to checkouts at all stores and significantly increasing cleaning on places that colleagues and customers touch. Morrisons also said it would redeploy colleagues who are vulnerable to the virus, where possible.
- Expanding home delivery by:
* Launching a new range of simple-to-order food parcels, including options for vegetarians, from Monday.
* Making more delivery slots available to customers both through Morrisons.com and the Morrisons Store on Amazon Prime Now. Morrisons will use 100 further stores to pick customers’ shopping over the coming weeks.
* Launching a customer call centre for orders to be taken over the phone so that people who do not shop online can still order food.
* To support the roll-out of these expanded home delivery methods, Morrisons will be recruiting around 2,500 pickers and drivers.
- Creating new jobs, including the hiring of 1,000 people to work in the company’s distribution centres. The vacancies will be advertised through a campaign on radio and social media and the Morrisons jobs website morrisons.jobs