Severn Trent announces commitments to support colleagues, customers and communities through the impact of COVID-19

16th April 2020

At Severn Trent we’re inspired by the dedicated and selfless response from all the key workers helping to keep the UK running during the coronavirus crisis. We’re proud of the part our teams are playing in looking after one of life’s essentials – providing our four million homes, care homes, schools, hospitals, and businesses with clean water and reliable waste water services.

The health, safety and wellbeing of our colleagues, customers and communities have never been more crucial and we take the role we play in supporting these stakeholders very seriously. We remain committed to delivering our AMP7 plan and, as a socially responsible business, we’ll continue to make decisions for the long-term. We’re also keen to step-up to help those most in need today, which is why we’re pleased to announce the following commitments that will contribute to the immediate future of people whose lives we can impact.

Supporting our colleagues

We’re committed to providing stability and security for our workforce through this difficult period by:

  • Continuing to be flexible and to adapt our ways of working and use of equipment so we keep our people as safe as possible while delivering essential services;
  • Making no redundancies and not furloughing any Severn Trent employees;
  • Continuing to pay our planned 2019/20 annual bonus to our key worker teams in recognition of their on-going hard work; and
  • Working with our unions to agree a new three-year pay deal with a headline 2.3% increase per annum for our employees to provide certainty and security for them and their families.

Helping customers through this difficult time
We’re actively offering support to our customers through:

  • A range of initiatives designed to support those in need, including the WaterSure scheme for those on low incomes and our Big Difference Scheme, which offers bill discounts of 10%-90% to those struggling to pay;
  • Making £3.5m available as part of our Severn Trent Trust Fund for those who may be unable to pay their household bills at this time; and
  • Making sure our vulnerable customers know we’re there for them with targeted communications and support through our Priority Services Register that offers additional support if they have an issue with their water supply.

Playing our part in the communities where we live and work
We’re also helping our communities more broadly by:

  • Putting our recently announced £1m emergency fund to work straight away, with c.£400,000 distributed in the last two weeks to 90 organisations, including Age UK, foodbanks, and charities that support the most vulnerable; and
  • Supporting SME suppliers who may rely on our cash flow by moving to immediate processing of payments for at least the next three months. We’re working closely and collaboratively with our whole supply chain and will be continuing to invest in our capital construction projects when it is safe to do so.

Sharing the responsibility
In support of the commitment shown by so many in these extraordinary times, Christine Hodgson, our Chair, Liv Garfield, our CEO, and James Bowling, our CFO, have asked the company to donate 25% of their salaries for the next three months to local charities in our region which are helping the response to coronavirus.

Liv Garfield, Severn Trent CEO, said:
“We like to think we’re more than just a business to our customers and our communities. By providing one of life’s essentials to millions of people, we play a vital role in the homes, businesses, schools, care homes and hospitals across our region every minute of every day.
“This is even more true now, during the COVID-19 crisis, when our day job has never been more important, but we wanted to do more. That’s why we’ve taken steps to put our arms around our many stakeholders where we can, from vulnerable customers to those struggling to pay, to local charities to small suppliers, as well as making further commitments to our wonderful teams.
“I couldn’t be more proud of my Severn Trent colleagues as we continue to not only serve our customers but also to go above and beyond to help support our communities through this crisis.”

Full year results announcement

We look forward to presenting our 2019/20 full year results and an update on business performance on May 20th.