COVID-19 Workplace Pensions update
Gail Izat | May 21, 2020
Time to read: 5 minutes
On 7th May 2020 our parent company, the Phoenix Group, published a trading update and I wanted to share some of the highlights with you. In these extraordinary times, Phoenix is taking significant steps to support and protect its customers, colleagues and communities, while protecting the long term value of the Group.
Through strong business continuity planning, we have continued to deliver strong customer service. Despite the challenge of home working, our customer satisfaction level across the Group is above 90%. We have promoted digital access, writing to c.1.2 million customers to encourage increased use of digital access, we’ve seen an increase in log-ins in March and April 2020 compared to 2019. We have also launched a priority contact service for frontline workers.
For our colleagues, we took immediate action to act on official guidelines to keep everyone safe and enabled 99% of employees to be equipped to work from home within 10 days of the lockdown being announced, supported by the deployment of over 4,500 individual pieces of IT equipment. None of our 4,400 colleagues have been furloughed and our employees remain on full pay. We are ensuring that the very small number of employees who continue to work on our premises as key workers are doing so in a safe environment. We have no plans to change our approach for our people at this time. Additionally, we have brought forward a change to our working carer’s policy which means we are now offering all our colleagues in the UK up to five days paid carer’s leave a year to support working carers.
As part of the COVID-19 relief effort, Phoenix has made a £1 million charitable donation to support those who are more vulnerable. This is being split between Age UK and charities we have a relationship with who are supporting the local communities where we operate across the UK and Europe. Phoenix has also established a new collective giving scheme where the Group will match colleagues’ charitable donations up to £1 million.
In addition to this, Phoenix has made a donation to the COVID-19 Support Fund, which is being overseen by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) on behalf of the insurance and long-term savings industry. Further details of the fund which also aims to support people worst affected by COVID-19 can be found here.
Phoenix is committed to playing its full part in supporting the real economy throughout the disruption arising from COVID-19. The Phoenix Group Holdings Board supported payment of the proposed 2019 final dividend and this was approved by shareholders at the AGM on 15 May 2020. This decision has been made only after assessing the impact of very severe scenarios on the Group’s solvency position. Phoenix has a strong and resilient balance sheet and will always ensure it has sufficient capital to protect customers’ interests.
You can find out more about this on our COVID-19 Workplace Hub.