Johnson Matthey and COVID-19: supporting our stakeholders for today, and for the future

22 April 2020


Johnson Matthey, a leader in science and sustainable technologies, sets out the actions it is taking to support its employees, customers, suppliers, shareholders and communities during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.

At JM, we have a clear vision – to make the world cleaner and healthier - and a set of strong values which are the principles we are using to ensure we successfully navigate COVID-19 in the interests of our stakeholders and society.

Throughout our long history, we have used our leading science to solve our customers’ problems and our science is at the heart of countless products and services that the world relies on. Our teams are continuing to work hard to manufacture vital drug ingredients and medical devices for the healthcare industry and produce important catalysts and chemicals that enable the world’s food and energy supply chains.

More broadly, our COVID-19 commitments are designed to ensure that our colleagues remain healthy and secure, our global teams can continue to serve the needs of our customers safely and that our company supports the local communities in which we operate. We continue to execute our long term strategic plans to create value for our shareholders, and we believe our commitments, alongside the actions we are taking to preserve cash and strengthen our financial position, will support the long term health of the business for all stakeholders.

Our colleagues

Our top priority is the safety, health and wellbeing of our 15,000 people.  We are closely monitoring developments in the COVID-19 outbreak and are taking the appropriate steps to help maintain the ongoing health and safety of our employees. Johnson Matthey has:

  • Enabled working from home arrangements for all roles that can do so;
  • Ensured the highest standards of safety in all working practices;
  • Enhanced our existing health and wellbeing support for all employees;
  • Put self-isolation procedures in place for employees who are displaying symptoms or have been in contact with a confirmed infected individual;
  • Decided that we will not take any COVID-19 support from the UK government for furloughed staff during April, May and June 2020 (Q1 of our 2020/21 financial year); and
  • Pledged to make no member of staff redundant as a direct result of the impact of COVID-19 until the end of June 2020.

Our customers and suppliers

Johnson Matthey is an important part of the value chains that are providing vital products and services to the healthcare industry, and that are maintaining food and energy supplies during COVID-19.  We have: 

  • Kept operations running for customers where it is safe to do so and where government measures allow, so we are there when they need us;
  • Maintained our payment terms to support all of our suppliers; and
  • Pledged to support any small supplier to our business that is suffering hardship and requests early payment terms as a result of the impact of COVID-19 during April, May and June 2020.

Our communities

Our communities are at the heart of the fight against COVID-19 and we are committed to playing our part in the local areas in which we operate. Johnson Matthey has:

  • Started manufacturing goggles and visors across a number of our sites which are being offered to community medical staff and care organisations;
  • Donated PPE equipment to medical and care organisations; and 
  • Pledged to match all donations made by our employees to fund local projects supporting communities though COVID-19. 

We know that science will help provide the solution in winning the fight against COVID-19 long term, as well as many other major health and climate related challenges that we will face over the years to come.  However, the impact of COVID-19 is likely to further increase the barriers to studying science for children and young people. To tackle this challenge, we are committing £1 million as a special fund to be donated to local and regional programmes in the areas in which we operate, to improve access to a quality science education to enable a cleaner and healthier world.

Our shareholders

We continue to drive long term sustainable value creation for our shareholders through:

  • Taking actions to maintain a strong financial position and tightly manage our cash flow and costs as we navigate the short term impact of COVID-19; and
  • Continue to execute our strategic plans that drive operational efficiencies across our business, while at the same time maintaining key long term investments for future growth; 
  • We will give more detail on the actions we are taking in our full year results announcement planned for 11th June 2020.

Management actions

In recognition of the circumstances affecting many of JM’s employees, customers, suppliers and communities,  the Chair, Patrick Thomas, Chief Executive, Robert MacLeod, Chief Financial Officer, Anna Manz and our Non-Executive Directors have chosen to make a donation equal to 20% of their salaries and fees for at least the first quarter of 2020/21 to provide support to the company’s special fund for science education.

Robert MacLeod, Chief Executive

“Everything we do at JM is aligned to using our science to make a positive contribution to a cleaner, healthier world, today and for future generations. This is particularly relevant in the context of COVID-19 and I am pleased we can support our people, customers, suppliers, shareholders and communities at the heart of our organisation.

I am particularly grateful to all our colleagues who have shown dedication to our business and our customers in the face of COVID-19, be it our frontline employees who continue to come to work at our sites around the world, or staff who have adjusted so resourcefully to the challenges of working at home.

Every day we are putting our inspiring science to work to enhance lives, creating the vital products and services for our customers that help to support the healthcare sector and keep our economy going. Our commitment to helping our stakeholders goes beyond business and we are determined to help in every way we can.”

Responding to COVID-19


Johnson Matthey in Milton Park makes tanks donation to NHS