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Nestlé Philippines puts employees first amid COVID-19 pandemic

With the country’s work force confronting unprecedented fears and uncertainties as the COVID-19 pandemic rages, Nestlé Philippines is putting its over 5,000 employees first among its priorities, especially those on the frontlines assuring continued manufacturing of basic food products and their availability to consumers, by providing them with a package of benefits, working arrangements, and safeguards.

Likewise, the company is extending special assistance and arrangements for employees of its business partners.

“As a food manufacturing company, we at Nestlé Philippines are committed to the safety and welfare of our people and extending a hand to our business partners, while ensuring that our products continue to be available to people who need them during these trying times. We are grateful particularly to our frontliners who help make our products accessible to consumers. We recognize that they are facing great challenges and making tremendous sacrifices, and so for our part we can only find ways to support and care for them,” said Nestlé Philippines Chairman and CEO Kais Marzouki.

Full pay for all employees, work or no work

Nestlé Philippines has put in place a range of measures benefitting employees, including: full pay for all employees whether under a work from home arrangement or not; provision of special premium pay for the work of skeleton staff in production during the quarantine period (calamity pay); paid salaries for employees unable to report for work during the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) period; early crediting of the March 2020 payroll and performance bonuses; exceptional medical support consisting of cashless purchases and reimbursement of medicine purchases; and free shuttle service, meals and lodging inside the factories.

Flexible working arrangements prioritizing employee safety

Measures in place which are reviewed daily include: arrangements to work from home for office and field-based employees; team segregation for support staff in factories, and maintenance of a skeleton staff strictly for business-critical situations only.

Advanced and stricter work health measures

Even prior to the imposition by the national government of the initial General Community Quarantine in Metro Manila followed by the ECQ in Luzon, Nestlé Philippines had already put in place occupational safety and health measures to protect its employees. These include strict implementation of social distancing in offices, factories, stores and canteens, as well as stringent temperature checks at all facilities. On travel movements, the company had implemented strict requirements and more extensive coverage than required by government protocol.

Assistance to third party agencies

Extending a hand to its business partners, Nestlé is also providing financial support to its third party merchandising agencies, co-manufacturers and distributors. In addition, Nestlé employees on their own initiative are raising funds for the employees of business partners, supplementing Nestlé’s assistance.

For employees of third party business partners, work arrangements involve: working from home as applicable; free transportation or gasoline reimbursement for skeleton staff; and Nestlé gift products for merchandisers and truckers. Nestlé has also extended an emergency allowance to support third party employees of its distributors.

“Our primary focus on the welfare of our employees and the employees of our business partners is premised on the basic belief that people matter most in an organization through good times and bad. They make us what we are today. With the character, commitment and resilience of our people, and the strengths of our business partners, we are confident that we will rise successfully to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mr. Marzouki.