Businesses called on to continue supporting vaccine rollout

February 26, 2021

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has called on businesses to continue supporting the national vaccine rollout effort as companies pledged their own initiatives.

Companies including IKEA, Timpson and the John Lewis Partnership are already stepping up, including offering paid time off for employees to receive their jab and volunteer, as well as offering workspace for vaccination centres

He paid tribute to leading business in the UK such as Marks and Spencer, Heineken and Boots who have made offers to repurpose vital workspaces, including warehouses, pubs and shops, to be used as vaccination hubs to support NHS staff in delivering the biggest vaccination programme in British history.

Business leaders are also allowing thousands of UK workers to take paid time off work to receive their jab, while also encouraging their staff, supporting crucial tasks such as checking patients in and guiding people at vaccinations sites across the UK.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “It has been awe inspiring to see businesses lending their hand over the past few months to our heroic healthcare workers and clinicians – all playing their part to support the biggest vaccination programme in our nation’s history.

“Businesses and their workers have shown an indomitable spirit and leadership that will help us to defeat this virus, and I urge all businesses, no matter how big or small, to join us and do what they can as we reach the next stage of the rollout.

“I want to thank British businesses for their ingenuity and collaboration which will help guide us towards the light at the end of the tunnel, which is getting brighter by the day.”

 

Support

Among the businesses supporting the vaccine rollout is UK retail group the John Lewis Partnership which has donated space at their Waitrose Head Office to be used as a local vaccination hub and are encouraging their 78,000 Partners to sign up as volunteers for vaccination centre and are offering full pay to those who take time off work to receive the vaccine.

Timpson, the UK’s leading shoe repair, locksmith and key cutting company, recently confirmed that its 5,400 employees across 2,150 sites nationwide would be eligible for time off from work at full pay in order to receive the vaccine.

Deliveroo has teamed up with BP and restaurant chains such as Wagamama, Pizza Hut and Nando’s to deliver free meals to volunteers at vaccination centres. Hundreds of thousands of meals have been donated and delivered to hubs in Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Oxford and Sheffield.

Major retailer Marks and Spencer, which employs 70,000 people in the UK, have said it wants to do ‘all it can to help’ with the vaccine rollout and has offered the use of its empty properties as vaccination centres, as well as guiding colleagues on how to volunteer.

This is valid as of 26th February 2021.

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