Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Grupo Santander’s priority has been to protect the health of our 191,000 employees worldwide.
At Santander, we notified our employees in late February 2020 of the main measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus and activated protocols for those who had been in any of the areas most affected by the virus. A few days later, we asked them to avoid unnecessary travel, and to postpone or cancel meetings and gatherings with large groups of people. We also required them to report any infection they suspected.
As the pandemic gained a stronger foothold in the countries where we operate, Santander took extra steps to protect the health of our employees and keep business running.
Remote working: Grupo Santander’s tech and communications enabled 100,000 employees to work remotely at the most critical moments of the pandemic. Sharesharing, videoconferencing and secure VPN connections helped them continue their work from home.
Branches: to protect the health of employees that work face-to-face with our customers at branches, Santander adapted our network to the new situation, with special business hours, selective closures, shift plans and extra protective measures (e.g., gloves, hand sanitizer and plastic dividers).
Corporate buildings: for employees at corporate buildings, we strengthened social distancing measures, set up alternative locations, split up teams, tightened cleaning and minimized the number of people at work centres.
We prioritized these measures for our most vulnerable employees in risk groups on which covid-19 could have a dire impact.
Lastly, we rolled out other initiatives to help with work-life balance, pay advances and special loans, mental health, and other support measures.