Through a variety of activities and partnerships we're committed to supporting our community through the economic recovery from Covid-19. We encourage colleagues to volunteer this year through FareShare and the other examples set out below. Hargreaves Lansdown also organises targeted employee fundraising in order to give back to the local community. We’ve donated nearly 200 laptops to local schools and organisations to help children that are at risk of being digitally excluded as a result of the pandemic.
1625 Independent People
We’re proud to be partnering with 1625 Independent People as our charity partner of the year for 2021 through the HL Foundation. 1625 Independent People is a Bristol based charity, which supports young people aged 16 – 25 who are homeless or are at risk of being homeless. This includes those who have lost their job as a result of the pandemic or need to escape home should it not be a safe place for them anymore.
Through targeted fundraising we're supporting the renovation of affordable housing, supporting mental health workers, and mentoring coaches.
Our colleagues are supported in volunteering to be an NHS Volunteer Responder. Volunteers provide help in a variety of ways, including shopping for food and essentials, collecting and delivering prescriptions, and helping out on-site at NHS services by delivering vaccinations.
HL colleagues have been volunteering their time to help support ‘FoodStock’, FareShare’s campaign to build a stockpile of emergency food and the infrastructure to deliver it over a difficult winter. FareShare South West is building an action plan to deliver food to the most critically vulnerable in the South West, aiming to deliver over a million meals.
At the start of the pandemic we took action to help clients with the immediate impacts of the coronavirus. This year, we’re continuing our investment into our people and services, so that we can carry on supporting clients as we emerge from lockdown.
What have we done?
- Through last year and into this year, we've increased the size of our client contact teams by around 50% and have also welcomed many new colleagues to other areas of the business.
- Increased our investment into technology, improving both our internal systems and processes, and the online and mobile services we offer.
- Continued our work to make managing accounts online easier, improving the Drawdown process for clients taking money from their pension and setting up online stock transfers for SIPPs.
- Improved how clients add and withdraw from their accounts, such as enabling Lifetime ISA withdrawals via telephone and adding bank transfer information to the Junior SIPP top up page.
- Campaigned for the Lifetime ISA withdrawal charge to be cut in reaction to the pandemic, and again for it to be cut permanently - you can sign our petition here.
- Partnered with the Alzheimer's Society, publishing an article on the impact of Covid-19 on those living with Dementia and provided resources and advice.
Changes to our service
We've prioritised our services in line with what's most important to our clients. You can find out more about the changes we've made here.
We know that Covid-19 has been tough for our colleagues in a multitude of ways. That's why we have prioritised their wellbeing through:
- Providing the equipment and environment to support safe working for colleagues both in the office and at home.
- Encouraging flexible working particularly around childcare and caring commitments.
- Focusing on colleague mental health, for example offering virtual yoga classes.
- Increased communication, listening and feedback, holding virtual colleague forums, recognition rewards.
Our employee assistance programme, Lifeworks, supports our colleagues to achieve complete mental, physical, social and financial wellbeing. There’s a wealth of information and support available covering topics such as depression, grief, anxiety, and coping.
We're on a mission to come back to the office greener. Through promoting 'green' initiatives to colleagues, such as the introduction of food waste collection in the office, we can encourage conscious sustainable choices that will reduce the impact on our environment.
We've also linked up with TravelWest to support their Travel to Work Survey so we can feed into the city's transport plans. This data will help the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) to understand how Covid-19 has impacted the usual working and travel patterns of businesses across the West of England and will be fed back to participating businesses to identify valuable lessons learnt during the pandemic.
- We raised money for Help Bristol's Homeless, our charity partner for 2020, whilst also setting up a Covid-19 relief appeal to support our local NHS charities, and funded a new wellbeing centre for Help Bristol's Homeless.
- Re-directed the office fruit delivery to Feed Bristol's Homeless, via the Bristol Sport Foundation, to support their community efforts.
- Made a donation to the NHS Nightingale Hospital Bristol, to help build a canteen and rest area for staff.
- Made a donation to FareShare, who ensure vulnerable people still have access to food.
- Offered volunteering and funding support for Bristol Learning City’s 'Doorstep Library' initiative which provides books, pens and paper to disadvantaged families.
- Sponsored the partnership between Bristol Sport Foundation and Feeding Bristol to help ensure that children in Bristol have access to nutritious and healthy food (and continue to do so in 2021).
Our colleagues have supported these initiatives through various fundraising activities, donating via JustGiving, and through Payroll Giving. To boost our colleagues’ fundraising efforts, HL double match donations colleagues make directly from their salary. This has been popular and is a testament to the HL culture.
The money raised as part of the Covid-19 appeal has been split between Above and Beyond, the charity behind Bristol’s City hospitals, and Southmead Hospital, which has one of the busiest ICUs in the country.
Our donations have supported staff in the areas hardest hit, providing sofa beds for rest, fridges to cool food and drinks on long shifts, and special extras like coffee machines, plants, radios, and other tools to aid rest and relaxation. The donations have also been used to support patients, and to fund innovative research.
West of England Combined Authority (WECA) Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)
We seconded colleagues to help drive and support the Regional Recovery Taskforce through a 12-month secondment, developing the region's recovery plan in response to the Covid-19 crisis. You can read more about their work here.
While we’ve had to adapt to a new way of working, some things haven’t changed. The security of our service and protecting our clients’ assets and data is our top priority. We have the right people, technology, and control framework in place to ensure that this continues in spite of the shift to our ‘new normal’.
What have we done so far?
- Made managing accounts online easier, by improving how clients add and withdraw money from their accounts.
- Produced more research updates to support investors, including an in-depth analysis of each major investment sector and our experts’ research and guidance on what to do during periods of volatility.
- Updated our guidance and emailed all clients to make them aware of the heightened risk of scams.
- Posted our most helpful reads to clients that don't have online access.
- Increased the number of people on our phone lines for those that can’t self-serve online and need to speak to us.
Our colleagues provide essential services to over 1.5 million clients. We look after their investments, pensions, and savings. At times like these, clients need our support to be able to access our service, to move money in and out of their account, and to manage the investments they hold with us.
In line with government guidance, we've made some big changes to the way we deliver those services. A working from home initiative was rolled out, allowing us to best protect the health of our colleagues and their families.
We've also introduced a number of other initiatives to support our colleagues in looking after their families' physical, mental, financial, and social wellbeing.
HL is a robust business with a strong balance sheet. We have not made use of the government's furlough scheme, which should be reserved for those businesses in genuine need.
We believe that continuing to provide our colleagues with a stable job and secure source of income is one of the best ways that we can help them and their families at this difficult time. We have assured all our colleagues of their job security and that their pay will be unaffected.