// AS Watson announces £40m support package for Superdrug, Savers & The Perfume Shop staff affected by coronavirus
// Includes full pay for parents unable to work remotely and for anyone unable to work due to sickness or self-isolation
// AS Watson will also honour all pay increases and bonuses that are due in March & April
AS Watson has announced an employee support package of £40 million to help Superdrug, Savers and The Perfume Shop staff battle through the coronavirus pandemic.
The package includes full pay for parents who are unable to work remotely or in another business situation, due to school closures, effective from March 23.
It will includes full pay for anyone unable to work due to sickness or self-isolation, including vulnerable members of staff, which would be backdated to March 16.
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Meanwhile, AS Watson said employees affected by distribution centre, service or store closures would be either redeployed in the business or where that’s not possible, paid in full.
The Hong Kong-based health and beauty conglomerate also said it would honour all pay increases and bonuses that are due in March and April.
The company also said in its statement that all Superdrug and Savers high street stores would remain open for the foreseeable future, and acknowledged a surge in online orders.
“With over 18,000 employees and 1550 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,” AS Watson Europe chief executive Malina Ngai said.
“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.”
AS Watson UK health & beauty chief executive Peter Macnab said: “The support package aims to give our colleagues financial reassurance.
“They are working very hard to keep our stores open and to ensure customers’ online purchases are delivered.
“We are incredibly proud of our teams who are dedicated to ensuring our customers can continue to access important health and personal care essentials, as well as prescriptions, in such unprecedented times.”