As the pandemic continued into 2021, Edenred, more than ever, demonstrated the virtuous power of the connections made possible by its solutions and employees. Across the world, our action has made it possible to support people hard hit by the health crisis, promote business continuity in many industries and accelerate economic recovery.
to the consequences of the health crisis
Supporting and protecting employees
As in 2020, we prioritized the safety of our people. In 2021, 95% of employees were able to work from home during lockdown, thanks to a hybrid model that combines remote and on-site working depending on the public health situation and the needs of the business.
Psychological support was also reinforced. Some of the many initiatives to this end included setting up 24/7 talk lines, organizing remote recreational and sporting activities, and providing specific training on remote management and leadership.
Lastly, many countries (such as Chile, Poland, Bulgaria, Slovakia and Peru) took measures to safeguard the health and well-being of their employees. Examples include reimbursements of Covid-19 screening tests and awareness campaigns on hygiene measures and the importance of vaccination.
Supporting our ecosystem worldwide
In April 2020, Edenred made a commitment to its stakeholders through a special relief plan, More than Ever, meeting four objectives:
Supporting employees in countries with little healthcare coverage or social safety net;
Helping partner merchants, especially restaurant owners impacted by the crisis;
Assisting clients and users, particularly truck drivers;
Funding medical research into Covid-19.
83 initiatives supported on 3 continents
More than Ever continued in 2021 across the Group’s host countries.
In a large number of subsidiaries, in addition to aiding the most vulnerable employees and their families, Edenred supported partner merchants by reducing repayment terms at no extra cost. The expiry date of benefits was also extended to help boost consumption and maintain users’ purchasing power.
In Greece, Portugal and Taiwan, users received additional credit each time they used their Ticket Restaurant account in a restaurant, in order to support business recovery.
Edenred launched the Let’s Eat Out communication campaign in several Central and Eastern European countries (Romania, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Bulgaria) to encourage people back into restaurants when they reopened. To support the initiative, the Group made an additional contribution on all transactions carried out using its solutions.
As part of the We Care for You initiative, the European UTA Edenred subsidiary provided special support to truck drivers by distributing masks, hand sanitizer and food baskets and by setting up mobile toilets when truck stops were closed.
Lastly, in 2021, More than Ever helped finance the French fund Immunov, which conducts research on inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune diseases result from a dysfunction of the immune system that causes it to turn against itself. Since 2020, the Immunov fund has focused particularly on research into Covid-19 immunology. Edenred’s support enabled them to step up their work and expand their research teams.
Accelerating the economic recovery
Edenred’s earmarked funds solutions make a proven contribution to local economies and directly contribute to the growth of specific economic sectors. Capitalizing on this expertise, the Group deployed several targeted measures to promote economic recovery.
In Belgium, Chèque Consommation has been used since 2020 to support sectors particularly hard hit by the crisis (such as foodservice, culture and sporting activities). The scheme, which is 100% digital as of 2021, also saw its ceiling raised so employers could allocate up to €500 per employee.
The health crisis has also had a significant impact on tourism, with serious consequences in countries like Greece, where this is a major part of the economy. Edenred Greece created a digital solution that companies can offer to their employees to pay for their vacation. This benefit, which can only be used in the domestic market, has helped to revive the local tourism industry..