Sodexo has put together a €30 million fund to help those of its employees likely to be made redundant as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.
In a statement announcing the move, Sodexo says it has been ensuring continuity of operations “according to local circumstances”, in particular by moving employees from sites with lower activity to help assist its 95,000 employees working in hospitals, senior residences and other areas of public administration. Close to 4,000 Sodexo employees, primarily in North America and in Europe, have been reassigned.
Across its international operations, the company’s response to the pandemic’s economic impact has involved closing down sites, lowering service frequency and cancelling or postponing some services. Sodexo’s statement says that wherever possible, “we have reassigned our people whose workplaces have closed to other sites urgently requiring additional team members”.
The company is also working with other businesses to find jobs for its employees who cannot be placed with other Sodexo clients; these include retailers, e-commerce and manufacturing firms. However, Sodexo concedes that the current “once-in-a-lifetime crisis” will “regrettably result in a reduction in our workforce”. To this end, it has established a global Sodexo employee relief programme that will be funded by its senior executives and the company as follows:
- Sodexo chairwoman of the board of directors Sophie Bellon will waive 50 per cent of her remuneration over the coming six months.
- Group CEO Denis Machuel will waive 50 per cent of his fixed remuneration over the next six months as well as his variable remuneration for fiscal year 2020.
- Group executive committee members will give up 10 per cent of their fixed remuneration over the coming six months as well as their annual variable remuneration.
- The 200 senior executives from all segments and operations around the world will also waive their annual variable remuneration.
Sodexo has also said that it is mindful of the difficulties being encountered by its suppliers, and has adopted the following support measures:
- Taking into account the needs and constraints of suppliers as close as possible to the field: payment deadlines, logistics chain support, adaptation of orders (volumes, consumption dates, etc).
- Implementation of agile financing solutions, in particular for SMEs and local suppliers.