CSR in Practice: People Engagement and Community

Employee Representation

The Company places considerable value in the involvement of its employees and continues to keep them informed on any matters affecting them and provides regular updates on the performance of the business. We communicate actively and openly with all employees in a manner that builds trust, visibility and approachability.

Everyone is actively encouraged to communicate and share information with colleagues. We have recognised Trade Union groups in our plants in the Czech Republic, Scotland and Australia and value the partnership and involvement which these Trade Unions bring to our business. We encourage collective bargaining with Trade Union groups and negotiate with them on the terms and conditions for their members and consult with them on changes within the organisation. Employees can become affiliated with a Trade Union and their involvement in that organisation will not affect them in terms of recruitment, promotion, transfers, development opportunities or any other employment arrangements.

In Europe, we have a long-established European Forum, consisting of management and employee representatives, who meet annually to discuss, communicate and consult on trans-national issues relating to the business.

Where there is no representative group, we establish and encourage an open two-way communication process with employees and have various communication mechanism and methods to keep this active.

Conditions of Employment

All employees are entitled to a basic salary or wage and other terms and conditions of employment, as appropriate, as a fair reward for the time and responsibility involved in any role. The Company regularly carries out benchmarking to ensure that we are competitive on salary and benefits against similar roles in the same local area. The Company support the principle that all employees should, at the very least, be paid the minimum wage set for any job role and our policy is to comply with all legislation in this area.

In many instances, wage rates and salaries are higher and we seek to be competitive on terms and conditions within the local labour markets where our companies are based. We monitor data on rewards and benefits on an annual basis. Each employee also has an opportunity to receive increased payments if the business is growing, the payment is affordable and performance targets have been achieved.

We actively participate within the regions with any legislative consultation process relating to labour rates and engage with trade associations for our industry to develop the standards for our employees and others in the industry.

The terms and conditions on working hours are detailed in the contractual terms and, where applicable, within agreements with our Trade Union groups. Overtime is voluntary and the company will always abide by the legal requirements relating to overtime and payment for it. Legally required benefits such as: annual leave, sick leave, maternity leave and normal working patterns and hours are of course applicable to all, as appropriate.

A safe working environment with the requisite breaks during working shifts and time off is essential and will be scheduled to accommodate the working pattern for all. Furthermore we undertake to do all that is reasonable to ensure no harm will come to anyone working at Devro sites, or within the scope of Devro’s control, by ensuring that we create an environment free from drugs, alcohol, weapons, bullying, harassment and discrimination.
Provision of support for medical cover and assistance and encouragement to fund retirement income are provided in a manner appropriate to the location, and dependent levels of public provision. An Employee Assistance Programme also provides 24/7 for support and advice to every employee on personal, legal and financial matters.

People and Human Rights

We abide by the principles of adhering to uphold individuals’ human rights within our key policies, ranging from business conduct to health and safety, which reflect our commitment to run our business responsibly and ensure that all our employees, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders are treated fairly and with respect. We will continue to behave responsibly in all regions that the group may base operations in the future, and adhere to the highest standards, even where local regulatory requirements are not as advanced as those the group currently operates within.

We are pleased to continue to report that there are no violations reported against the company on Human Rights. Any violations on Human Rights would be reported and action taken.

Grievance

Local policies are in place in the regions to cover the option where an employee or group of employees consider that they have a grievance that they wish to raise. There is a clear process for raising a grievance and, if required, appeal with defined time periods. Each stage from investigation to appeal would be documented and there is a set time frame for each stage to be completed.

We actively encourage and promote that employees should report suspected wrongdoing either of a business ethics or personnel nature, in confidence, through an independent channel. There is a system in place to monitor that any allegations are thoroughly investigated. The policy and process is widely accessible to all employees and regularly publicised within the business.

Discrimination

We are committed to eliminating all forms of inequality and to protect employees against discrimination. We prohibit the practice of discrimination in recruitment, terms and conditions, promotion, discipline, grievance, termination, or retirement benefits on the grounds of age, colour, cast, disability, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, ethnic origin, race, religion or union affiliation.

Any claim of discrimination is investigated promptly through the relevant policy in place, in each region, which is aligned to comply with any local employment legislation.

Child Labour

In every area of the company’s operations we are committed to abide by the rules relating to the employment of young people. For anyone who has not completed their compulsory schooling, the company will ensure that any work or work experience arrangement does not interfere with the completion of their education.

We are committed to ensuring that young employees do not work overtime, at night, or in hazardous jobs and abide by the rules at all the sites in which we operate. If, in the unlikely event, that child labour is discovered, the company will immediately address the situation in the best interests of the child and their family.

Learning & Development

We recognise that effective learning & development offers benefits to the individual and the organisation as a whole, which ultimately contributes to the achievement of our objectives. Learning and development helps individuals to become more effective by improving, updating or refining their knowledge and skill.

We have a Talent Management process operating within the business to cover Performance Reviews, set Development Plans for employees and cover Succession Planning.

In addition to the provision of the local learning and development budgets, we offer support for employees with further education courses, based on the criteria of relevance to the job role. The Group also offers, on a regular basis, a company sponsored programme, open to all employees, to apply for a place on the Open University: Professional Certificate in Management course.

Community

The companies within the Group are seen as part of the community in which they are located. Our companies encourage the employment of local people into our businesses and vacancies are advertised within the local media and agencies. We have numerous examples of different generations of local families working for our business. Devro is well-respected as an organisation within the communities it operates and this encourages loyalty from its employees.

This link with the community extends to charitable causes. We do consider requests from local charitable organisations, as well as national and international causes.
The following table sets out our charitable giving.

Charitable Contributions

  2016 2015
  £ £
America 7,417 18,237
Australia 5,519 8,353
SRO 23,376 22,876
Scotland 9,229 4,981
Total 45,541 54,447

Employees are encouraged to get involved in the local community in support of charitable causes and, in the UK, we operate a ‘Matching policy’ by the Company on monies raised by employees for recognised charitable events.

We have links with educational institutes and local community groups. Within the locality of our manufacturing plants we have various links with educational institutions providing work experience to school pupils, college and university students. The company provides support through charitable donations and resource.