Aon brings together Coalition of Leading Employers to help move the economy forward

Coalition will support the Government’s efforts to get society and the economy reopened in line with public health guidelines

Dublin, Ireland, 27th August 2020 – Aon, a leading global professional services firm, today announced the formation of a Coalition of leading Irish based employers and Ibec, Ireland’s largest business representative group. The Coalition will work to build guidance and best practice for Irish businesses and organisations navigating the recovery phase of the COVID-19 pandemic and the safe return to offices.

The Coalition will share key insights from operating in a COVID-19 environment over recent months, assess the impact of these efforts, evaluate the role of latest technologies in responding to the pandemic and develop a set of guidelines to help companies respond to a changing business environment. The focus of the Coalition will be around Return to Work, Travel and Convening - challenges currently facing all leading businesses as they plan to bring people back to offices once public health guidelines support those efforts.

The insights and guidance will be shared with other organisations across the economy to support the journey to societal and economic recovery.

Aon launched similar coalitions in Chicago in June. New York in July, and Singapore in August, with plans to conduct similar efforts in other major cities including London, Madrid and Tokyo.

The launch of the Coalition in Ireland coincides with new research from Aon’s COVID-19 Pulse Survey* into the current return to work plans of Irish businesses. The survey shows that six in ten companies believe less than half their workforce will be able to return to their office in the next three to six months while just 30% of those surveyed believe the majority of their workforce will return to physical locations within a twelve month period. Organisations are actively looking at how best to address the future workplace and it is hoped that the work of the coalition will help to inform these decisions.

Accenture, AIB, Amazon, Aon, A&L Goodbody, Bord Bia, ICON plc and Irish Life are members of the Irish coalition together with Ibec, the group that represents businesses which employ over 70% of the private sector workforce. The first virtual meeting will be held in the coming weeks to discuss how best to navigate the return to office-based work and the new reality of managing workforces under government guidelines and public health restrictions.

Welcoming the formation of the coalition Leo Varadkar, TD, Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Jobs said: “Covid-19 has had a profound impact on the way we work and will continue to present really difficult challenges for businesses as they navigate the next few months. It’s great to see companies working together on how they are managing these challenges and sharing information on what has worked best. I look forward to hearing any ideas that can be shared more widely from this group.”

Commenting today Peter Brady, Aon’s CEO for Commercial Risk & Health Solutions in Ireland said: “While many of Ireland’s retail and hospitality businesses have reopened in line with Government recommendations, most office-based companies continue to work remotely. The task of bringing everyone back to the physical workplace is an immense challenge and one that all businesses and organisations are facing together.”

“The Government has published its ‘Return to Work Safely Protocol’ guidelines which give employers a blueprint, providing good insights and guidance, however as an employer of more than 50,000 world-wide and over 600 people here in Ireland , when we started to put in place our own return to work plan we realised that there were significant existing and future challenges that needed to be explored and addressed.

“Over recent months, teams at Aon have used our expertise to assist clients in maintaining operations and mitigating risk during the pandemic—and believe we have a responsibility to play a larger role in helping the private and public sector navigate the recovery.”

Danny McCoy, Ibec CEO said “It is important that business leaders share best practice and insight in relation to how the Government’s Return to Work Safely protocol can be effectively implemented. It is now crucial that ‘when’ public health advice allows the return to offices that businesses have a coordinated view on the ‘what’ and ‘how’ already developed. This initiative can help in this coordination role”.

The new Coalition will conduct virtual meetings to discuss business issues and plans while Aon will also support executives within the coalition companies to complete broad based and enterprise-focused Return to Work Assessments to help inform their return to office plans.

Following a series of meetings, the Coalition will prepare a report before the end of the year which will be shared more broadly with businesses and organisations to help support the economic stimulus efforts. Irish findings will be complemented by insights and learnings from the existing coalitions of large employers in other countries, broadening the thinking and experiences that Irish organisations can benefit from.

The report will closely align efforts with Government guidelines on public health and publicly available Return to Work Safely recommendations.

Media Contacts:

Paul Nallon, Q4PR – Tel: 086-8694041 / Email: [email protected]

Suzanne Sullivan, Q4PR – Tel: 086-4619680 / Email: [email protected]

About Aon

Aon plc (NYSE:AON) is a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions. Our 50,000 colleagues in 120 countries empower results for clients by using proprietary data and analytics to deliver insights that reduce volatility and improve performance.

About the COVID-19 Pulse Survey

The COVID-19 Pulse Survey of 274 Irish business leaders from a range of sectors within the economy was undertaken between June 9 and June 15.