The company aims to be a highly regarded employer, through its investment in training, policies on equality, a competitive remuneration package and the encouragement of employees to participate actively in business strategy.
The company created over 2,500 new jobs in 2012/13 and is working with several organisations to offer jobs to the long-term unemployed, ex-military personnel and those with disabilities.
In relation to training, the company held over 900 separate training courses in 2012/13, attended by over 3,200 employees, and promoted over 600 staff to management positions. In addition, the company carried out approximately 10 days’ preopening training for each new pub, has initiated a formal one-day induction programme for all new bar and kitchen staff and has an online training programme for pub-based employees.
In addition, the professional diploma in leisure retail management, run in conjunction with Leeds Metropolitan University, is offered to all pub managers and area managers. We believe this diploma to have been the first in-house programme in the licensed trade which allows employees to gain a professional qualification while working. The programme now includes a ‘degree top-up’, also in conjunction with the university. In the last year, 54 employees graduated with a diploma and 13 with a degree qualification.
The quality and volume of the company’s training courses help to create motivation and to provide employees with the necessary skills to carry out their jobs to a consistently high standard. All employees are now able to participate in e-learning, through a dedicated employee website.
The company offers a range of nationally recognised qualifications to employees, including an apprenticeship programme, in which 450 employees participated during the year.
The company is committed to equal opportunities and the elimination of discrimination, harassment and victimisation of employees. Of our workforce, 51% is female and 49% male.
The company has also been recognised as an ‘Age Positive’ employer, by the Department for Work and Pensions. It has also been recognised by the Corporate Research Foundation, in association with The Guardian newspaper, as one of ‘Britain’s Top Employers’, for 10 consecutive years, including 2013 and achieved fourth place in the ‘Large Employers’ category.
The company regularly benchmarks its remuneration packages. In addition to competitive pay rates, the company has created a bonus scheme for all employees. In this connection, the company awarded bonuses and shares (SIPs) for employees of £28.6 million in the year, an increase of 18.8% (2012: £24.1 million). Of the payments, 96.1% were made to employees below board level, with approximately 83.1% of payments made to employees working in our pubs. In addition to this, employees are able to join the company health plan and pension plan, as well as obtain tax-efficient childcare vouchers.