GWA's focus through the Covid-19 pandemic remains on the health and safety of our employees as we continue the role as an essential supplier of products and services to the plumbing and construction sectors.
We have prepared a summary Q&A on how GWA is responding to Covid-19 based on various questions received from stakeholders. Below are our responses:
Q. Does GWA provide paid leave, including to temporary, part-time, and subcontracted workers, in order to make social distancing and social isolation possible?
A. Our priority is to continue to ensure GWA and our industry more broadly operate in a safe and compliant manner to ensure our licence to operate as an essential service is maintained in Australia. This will ensure the sustainability of our business and continuity of employment for all our people. Where this is not possible, currently the UK and NZ, GWA is enabling those furloughed or in self isolation to utilise their leave entitlements and supporting them to access relevant government support. We employ very few contractors.
Q. Does GWA prioritise health and safety, including shift management, remote work, enhanced protections, training, cleaning and closing locations as needed?
A. GWA is doing all of these. GWA has prioritised health and safety for all of our staff and visitors to our sites. We have provided enhanced safety protection including sanitiser, masks, temperature checks and increased cleaning at our work sites. All of our office based staff have been provided with all the necessary tools to work remotely. At our warehouses we have shift management and practice social distancing protocols including staggered break times to limit personal interactions.
Q. Does GWA maintain employment by taking every step possible to retain workers and avoid unemployment, and be mindful of discrimination if layoffs are necessary?
A. GWA seeks to avoid redundancies and has not made any staff redundant as a result of COVID-19.
Q. Does GWA maintain supplier and customer relationships as much as possible, maintaining timely payments to suppliers and working with customers facing financial challenges and working to ensure a stable supply chain is in place to resume business operations where possible?
A. GWA continues to work with all its suppliers and customers in a constructive way and has not, to date, delayed any supplier payments.
Q. Does GWA use financial prudence and the highest level of ethical financial management and responsibility during this crisis. This may mean suspending share buybacks, limiting executive and senior management compensation during this crisis?
A. GWA has reduced Board and ELT remuneration for Q4 FY20 by 20% and will continue to review this. GWA constantly updates its forecasts and scenario planning as new facts related to COVID-19 emerge.
Q. Does GWA address other relevant issues such as: childcare assistance, hazard pay, assistance in accessing government support, employer paid health insurance for laid off workers and deploying resources to meet the crisis needs?
A. GWA is accessing government support for employees in both the UK and NZ markets (not relevant currently in Australia).