“The pandemic has shown that when faced with a crisis, business, government and communities can mobilise quickly to provide mutual support and find common solutions. This momentum must continue to help flatten the daunting curve of unemployment, protect our planet, and lessen the potential scarring impact of the pandemic for the next generation.
“When it comes to building back better, business has an important role to play. We know that the road ahead won’t be easy – but we’re calling on firms everywhere to do whatever they can, taking actions big or small, across four key areas, to ensure that business continues to be a force for positive change.”
No business makes the decision to let go of jobs lightly – and the reality is that many will need to make difficult choices in order to survive. But businesses can take steps to limit the negative impact of tough decisions made now. Taking action will not only protect vulnerable workers and the next generation, but could improve the pipeline of talent and key skills businesses will need to thrive.
The pandemic has changed how work gets done forever – in many cases for the better. Flexible working has accelerated. Mental health is a priority. But it has also exacerbated structural inequalities, from the burden of caring responsibilities through to the disproportionate impact of the virus on ethnic minorities. Businesses need to take visible action in order to build trust and confidence, and they’ll need to bring employees with them on the change journey.
Recent polling from Ipsos Mori shows that two-thirds of Britons (66%) believe climate change is as serious as Coronavirus and the majority (55%) want climate prioritised in economic recovery. Businesses should fast-track green investment wherever possible and make progress towards net-zero emissions to tackle the climate and environmental emergency.
Expectations of businesses are increasing. Our research shows that the public want to buy from and work for companies with a purpose and values that align to their own. Any business in receipt of significant financial support must be exceptionally mindful of its practices, and strive to make sustainable, fair and balanced decisions.
Redeploying people: How could low and high demand sectors work together to keep people employed and key services running?
Support mental health: How could firms support people to maintain their physical and mental wellbeing?
Help families in hardship: Could business provide food / logistical / IT support for families facing financial hardship?