The ‘Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme’ has seen the government paying the wages of over 9 million workers. From 1 September, businesses that have put staff on furlough will have to pay 10% of their wages. As the furlough scheme is coming to an end (accompanied by fears of significant job losses), now is the time to think about the road to economic recovery.

For an economic recovery that makes our society better and benefits all, we need to make sure that businesses do their part in rebuilding the economy. But what can we ask of companies that have been supported by the package of measures designed to support the economy during COVID-19?

Businesses should think beyond the value they create for their shareholders. They need to think about the value they create for their employers, their customers, the public, and future generations. Moreover, they should engage in dialogue with these stakeholders. When rebuilding the economy, this mindset could provide the basis for a fair and sustainable economic recovery.

This new mindset, if followed in practice, is what can give firms their social licence to operate.