We strive to maintain an environment that respects all colleagues and is free from all forms of discrimination and harassment.
We are proud to be an Equal Opportunities employer and we are fully committed to promoting equal opportunities in employment and treating all our colleagues and potential colleagues fairly.
We have a robust Equality and Diversity Policy which applies to all colleagues, regardless of length of service, as well as job applicants, consultants, self-employed contractors and agency workers. It covers all aspects of employment with us including recruitment, training, career development, performance management, promotion, pay and benefits, conduct at work, disciplinary and grievance procedures and termination of employment to ensure a fair and consistent approach.
The spirit of our policy also applies to any engagement with third parties. We will not tolerate unlawful discrimination.
We also have an established Inclusion Action Group within the business, with whom we engage and consult on a range of inclusion and diversity related issues and have an annual strategy that includes focus on the activities and national events we participate in to educate and engage all colleagues.
We have a clear policy of paying colleagues appropriately for the same or equivalent work, regardless of their sex (or any other protected characteristic). As such, we:
- Carry out annual pay audits
- Evaluate job roles and review pay grades regularly, to ensure a fair structure.
We also publish an annual gender pay gap report. Our report details our gender pay gap information and, although our median gender pay gap is currently higher than we wish, we are actively taking steps to address this.
Our gender pay gap compares favourably with that of organisations across the Financial Services industry and we are committed to continuing to do everything we can to reduce this.Our annual gender pay gap reports
We have been a Living Wage employer for several years, and in 2017, we were accredited by the Living Wage Foundation - the mark of a responsible employer, and testament to the value we place on our team.
A clear objective of our remuneration decisions is to ensure that we retain our status as a Living Wage employer – we believe this is a key element of our commitment to being a responsible employer.What is the real Living Wage?
We have in place a Reward Policy which we believe is clear, straightforward and transparent.Rewards and benefits
We are committed to continually increasing colleagues’ engagement and building an organisation that engenders satisfaction, purpose and pride in its people. We are also committed to regular and clear colleague communications to demonstrate the value we place on our colleagues and ensuring all colleagues feel collaborated with and an integral part of our success.
Our Colleague Forum, which is made up of colleague representatives provide direct feedback to our Executive, representing colleagues’ views, concerns, questions and ideas, helping us improve our business and keep colleagues' feedback an important element of our progress.
Informal meetings with our Directors are a regular part of our activities, offering colleagues the chance to explore and discuss matters of general importance, in a more relaxed setting.
Fortnightly Managers' Briefings, outline key corporate information and provide Managers with further insight into our business’ activities, objectives, and performance. This is a valuable open forum to share ideas, ask questions and celebrate success. This ensures our Managers have a strong understanding of the activities undertaken within the business, in order to better support their teams.
Our new joiners also take part in a comprehensive induction programme, giving them the opportunity to connect with fellow new joiners and existing colleagues, understand our business and our partnership values, that help us to feel a strong sense of pride in the way we do things to make our company a great place to work together.Culture and values
Our colleagues’ wellbeing is important to us, and we are committed to implementing programmes which safeguard and enhance our colleagues’ wellbeing, and which respond to shifts in working patterns and practices.
We actively encourage colleague suggestions as to how we can make our business a better place to work, and we offer business wide benefits (this includes additional holiday days and personal development time).
Examples of our wellbeing programmes include:
- A mindfulness programme available to all colleagues
- An online mental health first aider course, available to all colleagues. We also have in place Mental Health First Aid Ambassadors who receive annual refreshers/additional training to support colleagues, in confidence
- Wellbeing-focused measures including, for example: free flu shots; office fruit; a free Employee Assistance Programme for those in need of support, such as counselling; ad hoc events, like free ice-cream on the hottest days of the year and free pies on some of the coldest; a fully paid day each year to volunteer in the community; and ‘Colleague Extraordinary Days’, in which colleagues are able to take a day out of the office to do something extraordinary
- Actively promoting our colleagues’ financial wellbeing by offering free in-house financial advice from qualified Financial Advisers
- Fully endorsing flexible and agile working, and implementing a maternity policy which puts us ‘best in class’ in the Financial Services sector
- Providing coaching services to enable our colleagues to achieve their personal career objectives
- Our Swindon offices include a Wellness Suite for colleagues to reflect, to pray or, for returning mothers, to express milk; as well as a fully equipped gym to help promote physical wellbeing: We also offer weekly virtual yoga and exercise classes to those working remotely, or from some of our smaller offices.
We continually develop colleagues’ skills and competences to manage performance: Our approach is a significant factor in our improved performance.
We foster a culture of personal development and have structured performance management and assessment systems which enable our colleagues to achieve ambitious business objectives, as well as their own personal objectives.
Examples of the development opportunities available include:
- Inviting colleagues to progress their qualifications with support from The Openwork Partnership – including funding learning materials, providing expert trainers, and additional time off to support revision
- Enabling colleagues to learn with other like-minded individuals and take advantage of our unique and market-leading Openwork Academy
- Providing all colleagues with access to our in-house events programme - ‘OpenLearning’ and our online learning system – the ‘OpenLearningZone’ - A platform offering a whole raft of either bite-sized learning or longer courses. The learning platform comprises thousands of online items including videos, articles and multi-media courses, so that colleagues can take ownership of their personal development at a time (and place) convenient to them
- Offering weekly ‘Lunch & Learn’ development sessions (bitesize programmes on an array of varied topics, from personal wellbeing, diversity & inclusion education, soft skills and how to be more effective using IT).