We have responded rapidly to an evolving situation and are taking every necessary action to protect the interests of all our stakeholders.
COVID-19 has had a significant impact on all our lives with the temporary restrictions and lockdowns across many countries leading to changes in consumer behaviour and in our operating environments. However, the business has been relatively well positioned to navigate these challenges.
Throughout, we have prioritised the health and safety of our people and have always strictly adhered to guidance from governments and public health authorities.
It is a credit to our manufacturing and supply chain colleagues that they managed to keep the vast majority of our factories operating throughout the crisis, ensuring that our customers and consumers around the world were able to continue to enjoy their favourite brands.
Our first priority is the health, safety and well-being of our 27,500 people around the world. They are doing a tremendous job in dealing with the challenges posed by COVID-19 and we would like to thank them all for their exceptional efforts.
We have strengthened our IT infrastructure and accelerated the roll-out of software to facilitate team-working to support employees working from home. Our sales teams have done an outstanding job in maintaining relationships with retailers through remote working, where this has been required by government restrictions.
To ensure appropriate infection controls and social distancing in our 38 factories, we have reconfigured factory layouts and introduced new shift patterns.
We advocate flexible working and have encouraged our people to find a routine that works best for them and their families. We communicate regularly with them and have initiated a number of surveys to check-in on their wellbeing. Feedback tells us that overall, employees continue to feel positive despite the challenging circumstances.
For more on the impact of the pandemic on our business, and the ways in which we have responded to support our stakeholders, see our 2020 Annual Report.
The UK Government requires businesses to publish the results of their COVID-19 risk assessments. For a summary of the steps we’ve taken to keep our UK employees, contractors and visitors safe please click here