18 Mar 2020
Our response to COVID-19 /the Coronavirus
In the weeks since the initial emergence of the Coronavirus, Legal & General has worked hard to ensure we are resilient in the face of the pandemic, and that our service to customers will be as little affected as possible.
Most of our workforce can work away from our offices, and we are continuing to look for ways to adapt our business in light of the current circumstances. We have ensured that our systems are able to withstand a sustained period of home working. We have absolutely prioritised essential services, including payments to our customers, who remain our top priority at all times.
Giving peace of mind to families that we will provide financial support should tragedy strike is a key purpose for our business. Our approach to underwriting and paying insurance claims, for example in life and critical illness insurance remains unchanged, and our company remains financially strong and well-capitalised.
We are a long-term organisation with over 180 years of history. While the Coronavirus undoubtedly presents significant uncertainty for everyone, we are confident we will keep delivering for our customers.
Protecting our customers, employees and society
At this difficult time our priority is looking after our customers, safeguarding the wellbeing of our employees and supporting the needs of the broader society through Inclusive Capitalism.
Customers: We continue to service our customers, whether it’s helping customers to keep their family financially secure after the death of a loved one, paying annuities or assisting someone with a long-term illness to meet their mortgage repayments, our commitment to supporting our customers in some of the most difficult times in their lives will not waver. We paid 96% of life insurance and critical illness claims in Q1 2020, the same rate as we paid in Q1 2019. Our teams in Legal & General Retail Retirement have managed to maintain our most important business services uninterrupted. That includes making annuity payments to over 700,000 customers every month. We’ve also extended our Employee Assistance Programme and our Care Concierge service to many customers, and particularly older customers. With more than three million people in the UK relying on Legal & General for financial security in retirement, we are committed to providing consistent, reliable service to each of our customers.
If you’re a customer, stay up to date with the latest information about how to get in touch with us during COVID-19 disruption here
Employees: As a business we are taking decisions on the welfare of our people, and the needs of our customers and clients combined. Supported by our established agile working technology, our focus has been on enabling the majority of employees to work from home, so we can preserve our essential business services for our clients and customers. We have maintained all employees’ jobs at full pay, regardless of whether they are able to work or not. We are also ensuring that our employees have the right tools to work remotely, by providing additional support to support their mental and physical wellbeing - including access to a new mental health app, Unmind. To keep our people informed, we have shared regular updates with our employees from our CEO and other members of the Group Executive Committee. We continue to refine and develop the support we offer to our people as the situation develops. The welfare of our thousands of employees will continue to remain our priority, as they in turn provide support to the millions of people relying on Legal & General – be it to pay their pensions or annuities, or to cover them in the event of bereavement or loss of earnings due to ill-health. Without our people, none of this would be possible.
Society: We have launched a range of initiatives to help meet the growing social needs arising from the COVID-19 disruption. With COVID-19 disproportionately impacting the health and wellbeing of older populations, we believe our £20 million sponsorship of Edinburgh University’s research into elderly care is more important than ever. As such, we are accelerating components of this arrangement. Recognising the stress on the NHS and its workers, we are supporting the NHS in a variety of ways, including by offering free accommodation for NHS key workers at our Build to Rent sites. 25 of our sites have been offered to the NHS to use for testing, as well as our Bracknell site being offered up for training and storage. Our Modular Homes factory in Leeds has been donating its PPE equipment. We have also established a £500K Community Fund to rapidly support employee - led requests for help to local and smaller charities engaged in elderly care and mental health.
Supporting the Duke of Edinburgh Award: https://www.legalandgeneralgroup.com/csr/csr-news/continuing-to-support-local-communities-when-it-s-needed-most/
Edinburgh University research partnership: https://www.legalandgeneralgroup.com/media-centre/press-releases/legal-general-escalates-20m-partnership-with-edinburgh-university-in-response-to-covid-19-recognising-critical-need-for-research-into-social-care-for-older-people/