Our continued success relies on having a talented workforce. To recruit and retain the best, it is essential we provide our staff with a safe and inclusive working environment that encourages everyone to reach their potential, and develops them to meet their personal career goals.
We are keen to ensure that our workforce is representative of the many communities we serve across the UK and Ireland. Our operating divisions have diversity policies and processes which enable us to comply with the Equalities Act 2010 in the UK and the Employment Equality Act 1998 in the Republic of Ireland.
We are committed to creating open and inclusive workplace cultures in which everyone feels valued and respected. Not only does our diverse workforce enable us to deliver existing services, it also helps inform the development of new or enhanced products and services, open up new market opportunities, improve market share, and broaden our customer base. To help ensure that there is continual improvement in this area, we took the decision in 2015 to work towards the National Equality Standard (NES). The NES has been launched with the support of the Equality and Human Rights Commission and the Confederation of British Industry. It is the first industry-recognised national standard for equality, diversity and inclusion in the UK and has been developed by Ernst & Young in partnership with 18 large UK employers. It aims to become the accepted equality standard for business across the UK.
The NES assessment process includes a review of policies and practices, identifies areas for improvement and provides implementation recommendations.
We continue to monitor and report the gender split of the group’s workforce.
|Proportion of female/male company directors (%)||29||71|
|Proportion of female/male senior managers, including executive directors, directors of subsidiary businesses and heads of function (%)||30||70|
|Proportion of female/male company directors (%)||48||52|
The proportion of our employees from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups has increased to 11% (2013: 10%), matching the UK average of 11%. We also aim to enable those with disabilities to work for us. Since 2005, we started asking employees who are joining us whether they have a disability. 1.1% (2013: 1.8%) have declared they have a disability. This is below the 2014 UK statistics, which reveal that 11% of those who work have a disability.
We have grievance and harassment policies and procedures in our operating divisions which enable employees to raise concerns about discrimination and harassment, should they occur. Our businesses take disciplinary action, which may lead to dismissal, against employees if a breach of policy occurs as a result of their actions or omissions.
We also have ‘Safecall’, a whistleblowing policy and procedure. Safecall provides employees with a mechanism to confidentially raise concerns or complaints in relation to any matters of business conduct or malpractice.
 The ONS, the gender split of those in full time and part time employment in the UK during February-April 2015.