This significant sum – dedicated to the solidarity fund announced on 9 April and created at the end of the same month – was announced on 6 May by Solvay chief executive officer Ilhma Kadri to the Belgian press. The fund was set up to help employees and their relatives who are facing financial difficulties, and not only those placed on short-time working. It is financed first and foremost by the Belgian chemical company’s 30 senior managers and the CEO, who have all agreed to waive 15% of their salary, from April until the end of the year, and to give up 10 days of leave. The chairman of Solvay’s board of directors is also contributing 50% of his annual salary. Solvay employees can also give up days of leave. The sum raised by these various donations will be doubled by the company. In addition to that, shareholders can make their own contributions and have been invited to pay one third of their dividend into the fund (€0.75 per share). Shareholders had until 8 May to waive their right to the dividend and expressly notify the company. The board of directors of Solvac SA, Solvay’s largest shareholder, which includes the descendants of the founding families, announced on 30 April that it would provide financial support to the Solvay solidarity fund. In a decision still to be approved by shareholders, the holding company has set itself the objective of making an overall contribution of €24 million to the fund, which corresponds to one third of the dividend payment received from Solvay. This fund will provide individual assistance to employees and their families, anywhere in the world, who have been seriously affected and are in serious difficulty or distress as regards health, the education of their children, unemployment, limitation or loss of their social and/or health cover. It will also support the health and social organisations that take care of these people. Money left over in the solidarity fund, after distribution to employees, will be devoted to charitable organisations and research on Covid-19.
Solvay: solidarity fund set up by managers, employees and shareholders to help staff affected by the crisis raises €15 million
Planet Labor, 15 May 2020, n°11939 - www.planetlabor.com