UK: Hogan Lovells signs Government-backed pledge to help nation through COVID-19 crisis

Here’s their announcement in full. London, April 2020 – Hogan Lovells has joined businesses from across the UK in an initiative to help Britain and its most vulnerable citizens through the coronavirus crisis. The firm has teamed up with former Cabinet Minister, Rt Hon Justine Greening, as a founding member of the C-19 Business Pledge.

The national scheme encourages employers to join the coronavirus effort by pledging to help their employees, customers and communities across Britain get through the crisis.

It is targeting not just the immediate challenges of coronavirus, but also the challenges of recovery. It comes after Justine received a huge response from businesses and universities getting in touch with her through the existing Social Mobility Pledge, willing to be part of a national effort.

The initiative has already received the backing of employers representing over 900,000 people, employees and students throughout businesses and universities.

As well as Hogan Lovells, signatories include RBS, BP, EY, PwC, Drax Group, Barratt Developments, Persimmon, Everton Football Club, National Grid and Severn Trent Water.

Employers that sign up to the pledge commit to three main objectives built around employees, customers and communities. They will not only help Britain through the immediate challenges of coronavirus, but also through its recovery.

  • Firstly, to support their own employees throughout this challenging time and beyond. For example, this could include practical support and advice on financial security, mental health, personal wellbeing, as well as reintegration back into work for those who have experienced an extended period away from the workplace.
  • Secondly, to publish clear and simple advice for customers. Where possible they could have specialist teams dedicated to supporting customers if they are having problems, such as those facing repayment difficulties and vulnerable customers.
  • Thirdly, doing what they can to help communities in Britain through the epidemic. Over the coming months we are likely to see a sharp increase in isolation, loneliness, mental health issues and house-hold financial issues in our communities across the country. There will be an increased need for communities to come together with practical support, such as food deliveries, collections and financial assistance for organisations that specialise in supporting vulnerable people.

Justine Greening said: “With the future of many employers hanging in the balance and incredibly tough times unfolding in sectors across the UK, businesses face many incredibly difficult decisions.

“But those organisations who are able, can have a huge role in battling the impact of coronavirus and make a real difference in these uniquely challenging times.

“In spite of everything, lots of employers have already shown amazing initiative and commitment to helping people affected by coronavirus. The C-19 Business Pledge is all about encouraging as many businesses and universities as possible to get involved and then helping them do that faster and better by sharing all the great work that’s already been done. The early response has been incredible and I’ll do everything I can to help to connect up British business to play its role.

“Hogan Lovells is one such organisation that has already shown it is being proactive about the challenges that lie ahead, both with its employees and local communities.”

Susan Bright, Managing Partner for Hogan Lovells for the UK and Africa, said: “We are committed to supporting our employees, clients and the community in these turbulent times. It is now more important than ever that we pull together as we face the challenges of COVID-19. Whether it is a morning ‘virtual coffee’ or a WhatsApp group, I have seen some great examples within our firm of how we are staying connected while working remotely. We recently launched a COVID-19 topic centre outlining some of the most common legal questions and we are also conducting a series of webinars to support our clients through this uncertain time.

“Many of our people are supporting community efforts, including working as NHS volunteers and at local food banks. We are also volunteering virtually. Some examples include running online mapathons for the Médecins Sans Frontières Missing Maps project, remote career insight sessions for schools, and support with social security forms for people living with disabilities or medical conditions. The firm is also supporting a crowdfunding campaign by our colleague Dr. Marion Palmer, senior scientist and innovator, for an innovative airways box to protect specialists on the front line against COVID-19.”

For more on the C-19 Business Pledge visit