It is time for businesses to lead by example.
The SNP has praised the approach taken by supermarket chain Asda in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Asda has confirmed that all staff in self-isolation will receive full pay for the duration of their time off work, while the store is also working with more than 20 other companies to offer quick-start employment to those who have lost their job due to the virus.
The supermarket has also announced plans to offer a three-month rent holiday for around 250 small business tenants in Asda stores, pay smaller goods suppliers immediately to help them keep their business operating and offer local cafes and restaurants the opportunity to take on additional catering services for colleagues to stay afloat.
SNP MSP Tom Arthur has lauded Asda bosses – who are also prioritising elderly and vulnerable customers with adjusted opening hours – calling on other large businesses to “lead by example”.
Earlier this week, the Scottish Government announced a £2.2 billion ‘lifeline’ package of support for businesses.
Commenting, the SNP’s Tom Arthur said:
“In times of crisis we all need to step up and do what we can to help.
“It’s heartening that huge business chains like Asda are choosing to back their workers, protect their customers and support smaller firms to stay afloat.
“We can’t avoid the fact that this pandemic will disrupt lives like never before and cause financial hardship across Scotland – but if businesses can take the time to reassure their staff it will make it that much easier for households to get through the next few months.
“Of course, not all firms aren’t in as fortunate a position as Asda, and that’s why the Scottish Government has announced a massive £2.2 billion package of support to help businesses get through this pandemic.
“I hope now we’ll see other large-scale businesses lead by example and support their staff.”