International health and beauty retailer AS Watson Group will provide a support package worth £40 million, to ensure employees are paid through the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.
This fund will cover all employees under the UK retail businesses Superdrug, Savers and The Perfume Shop. It will be accessible from 16 March and will ensure that staff unable to work due to sickness or self-isolation continue to receive full pay.
Malina Ngai, group chief operating officer and chief executive, Asia and Europe at AS Watson Group, said: “With over 18,000 employees serving in 1,550 stores across the three retail brands, the support package is developed based on the principle that no member of staff should be worse off financially because of the crisis.
“In this challenging time, our top priority is to look after our people and our customers. Our brands are built by our people. Without their hard work and dedication, we would not be able to serve our customers so well. Financially, it’s not an easy decision but it is the right decision under such circumstances.”
Peter Macnab, chief executive at AS Watson Health and Beauty UK, said: “The support package aims to give our employees reassurance and help to give them immediate relief in financial pressure. They work very hard to keep our stores open and customers’ online purchases delivered.
“We are incredibly proud of our teams who are dedicated to making sure our customers can continue to access important health and personal care essentials, as well as prescriptions, in such an unprecedented time.”
Gill Smith, managing director at The Perfume Shop, said: “We have also taken into account the government’s latest decision to close all schools. The support package will cover parents who are unable to work remotely due to school closures from 23 March. We are determined to battle through the Coronavirus together as a family in AS Watson, and with the UK community.”