Liberty Global has announced the formation of a new Liberty Global Response Fund intended to help employees and their families who have been significantly affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
The program will be funded initially by Liberty’s executive leadership team and board of directors who will donate $2 million out of their remaining 2020 salaries and director fees. This amount includes $1 million from CEO Mike Fries.
Liberty Global has also agreed to match all donations to the fund, which will bring the total amount available to employees to $4 million. All 27,000 Liberty Global employees will be eligible to confidentially apply for assistance.
Mike Fries, CEO of Liberty Global explained, “At Liberty Global, we are a family first. On a day-to-day basis we are doing everything we can to protect the safety and well being of our employees, but sometimes that is not enough. Those with elderly parents, partners out of work, or other challenges need additional help to get through this crisis. We want them to know that we are here for them in their time of need. I am hopeful that the Liberty Global Response Fund continues to grow in size and will serve as a model for future support inside our company.”
Alongside the launch of the fund, Liberty Global’s operating companies continue to deliver critical broadband, voice and television services across Europe, and are investing in their own communities with both infrastructure expansion and a multitude of support programs, including:
• Offering unlimited minutes and a 10GB data boost to mobile customers in the UK at no extra cost
• Providing enhanced connectivity to critical public services such as NHS hospitals
• Delivering extra TV channels for free, including kids, drama and documentary programming, to help households stay entertained
• Working with care homes in Belgium to connect elderly people in with their families through robotic virtual communication tools
• Providing its TV product Yelo TV to over 1,000 hospitals, nursing homes and other care institutions free of charge, plus WiFi vouchers to underprivileged students
• Donating laptops to school children from disadvantaged communities
• Offering double data to mobile customers until the end of the lockdown period in Belgium
Virgin Media Ireland
• Providing free public WiFi hotspots in communities across Ireland
• Offering free anti cyber-attack technology to hospitals
• Providing free speed upgrades to 100 Mbps to all customers
• Upgrading all B2B customers to its top broadband package and providing security packages for free
• Launching programs to provide free broadband for teachers
• Running free coding lessons for children
• Upgrading all customers to 150 Mbps, at no extra cost
• Launching a special telephone helpdesk for the elderly
• Helping educational institutions with remote teaching
• Introduced new online portal for businesses and their employees working from home
The executive leadership team initially contributing to the fund consists of 15 senior executives working at its central offices and operating companies in the US, UK, Ireland, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium and Eastern Europe.