The priority for many businesses today is on how to reopen safely, successfully, and resiliently – providing reassurance to clients and customers, protecting staff, and preparing for the economic and viral uncertainties of the months ahead.
The COVID-19 crisis has transformed our understanding of who and what is “essential". We’ve become acutely aware of just how dependent we are – as an economy and as a society – on low-wage, frontline workers who often have been considered simply an “expense” on a company’s balance sheet. Today we know how critical these essential employees are to business and to our way of life.
Praxis Mutual Funds® believes employees should be placed at the heart of reopening and recovery plans, and has taken several actions on that theme in the past six months:
- Co-authored an investor statement signed by nearly 200 investors representing over $5 trillion of assets calling on companies to uphold strong policies that care for employees, customers, and suppliers during the pandemic.
- Participated in an investor letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) urging it to require public companies to disclose information related to their response to the pandemic.
- Joined other investors in a statement (PDF) calling for more protections for meat processing workers.
- Began engaging grocers and retailers to encourage Employee First policies such as paid sick leave, stronger workplace health and safety standards, and compensation commensurate with frontline risks.
Praxis will continue these shareholder efforts in the belief that the most vulnerable employees and stakeholders must be protected in order to ensure the long-term welfare of companies, investors, and the global economy.