Corporate responsibility

We are committed to developing and implementing a successful corporate responsibility programme that benefits key stakeholders. We believe that a successful business must also be a responsible business.

We aim to:

  • Achieve sustainable profits for our shareholders
  • Build enduring relationships with key stakeholders, including our customers, partners and the community
  • Value our employees
  • Respect the environment
  • Use our core skills to give something back to our local communities.

Our corporate responsibility objectives support our vision and values, with a focus on four areas:

These corporate social responsibility principles are part of the way we operate on a daily basis and reflect the way we deal with customers, our people, partners and the community.

Customers

We promote a customer-focused culture and are proud of our excellent reputation for customer service and the many outstanding customer service awards we have won around the world. Our Customer Promises outline our commitment to our customers; we make things easy for customers and treat them fairly, every step of the way. All our people are committed to our customer promises - from management teams to those on the front line.

Employees

Our strategy to deliver consistently good customer service is embedded in our recruitment, selection, development and reward arrangements across the Group. We aim to attract, motivate and retain the best talent we can and this underpins our consistently high customer service.

All of our businesses have adopted People Promises and whilst these differ in each territory, they are based on a common set of values. They also complement our customer promises and align our employees’ interests to the delivery of excellent customer service.

Our people are considered for employment, training, career development and promotion on the basis of their abilities and aptitudes, regardless of physical ability, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion or ethnic origin. Our gender split in FY17 across the Group was 55:45 (Male:Female) with a team of over 5,000, as shown in the table below.

Employees at 31 March 2017
  Male Female
Executive Board members 30 11
Senior Managers 315 255
Other employees 2,534 2,097
Total 2,879 2,363

We apply fair and equitable employment policies and these ensure that entry into, and progression within, the Group is determined solely by the fair application of relevant job criteria and by personal ability and competence.

We actively promote the international transfer of our employees where this is likely to assist the development of both employee and business, and our senior HR community meets regularly to share best practice and identify opportunities to develop our employees’ careers.

Full and fair consideration (having regard to the person’s particular aptitudes and abilities) is given to applications for employment and the career development of disabled persons. We will take all practicable steps to ensure that if an employee becomes disabled during the time they are employed, their employment can continue. We continue to review both performance and potential as a key part of our annual performance management, career development and succession planning processes. We have co-ordinated talent and leadership programmes across the business, from front-line developing leaders to senior executives.

We are developing and implementing a succession planning strategy to ensure we have the talent available to match Group growth. We are also working with an external partner to identify individuals outside the organisation to join HomeServe and ensure that we promote an international mindset and experience.

We ensure all our people benefit from effective communications and engagement, with regular business updates, senior management briefing sessions and “surgeries”, question and answer opportunities and constructive relationships with employee representatives across the Group. We also encourage our management teams to hold regular informal update meetings and social events to keep our employees informed and engaged. In FY17 our overall employee engagement level rose to 81% from 78% in FY16.

Community

Each business is encouraged to develop a local strategy to support and give back to the communities in which we live and work.

In the UK, there are four different programmes that:

  • Incentivise our people for volunteering for groups that matter to them. In FY17, we made over £11,000 in donations to community groups, including Scout groups, sports teams, homeless centres and hospices. Our people have given over 3,000 hours of their own time to these groups
  • Encourage our people to choose a charity that matters to them, and raise money for that charity that is then matched. Around £25,000 has been raised for a wide range of local and national charities, which we have matched
  • Work with the charity, Education & Employers, on their ‘Inspire the Future’ campaign to place over 40 of our People (including engineers and marketing managers) as volunteers in local schools and colleges speaking to students about their own job and career path
  • Work on major refurbishment projects where we can use our skills to help others. Projects have included a team of our engineers volunteering their time for BBC DIY SOS installing a whole new heating system and also a team of 40 People who helped one of our elderly customers who was having difficulty maintaining his home.

For the thirteenth year, our UK contact centres were selected by the Comic Relief charity to receive donations from the public and over 450 of our people volunteered on the evening, taking over 2,000 calls. We continue to support the Midland Langar Seva Society, which feeds homeless people in Birmingham 365 days a year. Support has included onsite food and clothing collections and our people volunteering every Thursday night in Birmingham. Since the start of the partnership, over 14,000 meals have been served at the open kitchens.

In the US, just over $70,000 has been contributed to local community charitable organisations and another $77,000 to customers in need. Initiatives included:

  • The HomeServe Helping Hands programme where charitable assistance is provided to employees whose personal circumstances present significant challenges
  • The Charitable Pitch Campaign which provides HomeServe employees with the chance to “pitch” their ideas for charities: it gives invaluable insight into the personal lives of our employees and gives a tremendous pipeline of worthy social causes. In FY17, we contributed $45,000 to key charities; Red Rover Foundation, American Cancer Society, Humane Society, Best Buddies (Disabled Children) and CT Advocates of Southwest Connecticut
  • HomeServe Cares and Goodwill Jobs where we assist customers with repairs that they could otherwise not afford. During the year, $38,000 of work has been performed
  • Supporting our partners in their local communities. This charitable work totalled just over $17,000 in FY17.

In France we have continued working with Habitat & Humanisme, and activities included providing meals for under privileged people and supporting residents with our contractor network. In FY17 we also deployed a number of claims free of charge.

Over 470 employees in Spain have been directly involved in community activity. Over 230 employees have raised money for cancer charities including races across Spain and a charity football tournament organised by the NGO “Cooperación Internacional”. Using the skills of 127 employees and contractors, we repaired and painted seven social centres.

Environment, Health & Safety

Health, safety, wellbeing and environmental guardianship remain central to everything we do. All our businesses comply with ten guiding principles for occupational health and safety and for environmental management. We focus on safe working environments, developing motivated and supported employees, and we strive for zero work-related injuries and illnesses.

In FY17, we engaged a specialist supplier to complete a Group wide audit and a plan has been put in place to implement the actions arising from that activity. As part of this, we intend to enhance our reporting and controls in line with recommended HSE best practice and to encourage cross business learning.

Leadership

Johnathan Ford, Group Chief Operating Officer, is the Director responsible for environmental, health and safety matters. HR Directors lead Health & Safety matters in each business, except in the UK where responsibility has transferred to the Chief Risk Officer.

Continuous improvement

Intra-company safety benchmarking is strong and accident frequency rates are used to compare injury rate, safety culture and levels of engagement; and in preparation for the new ISO45001 specification gives a leading indicator of safety leadership. Across the Group we have continued to see a positive trend in the reduction of accidents or incidents in FY17.

The UK has promoted the use and benefits of the employee assistance programme which covers stress management. The business has received a Gold award from the Royal Society for The Prevention of Accidents. The Health & Safety framework has been judged as continuously improving and this is the 7th Gold award in a row for the business which is a great achievement.

France has continued to see a significant reduction in the number of work related accidents, and there have been considerable improvements to the working environment following the move to a new modern office building. A support hotline has been implemented for all employees in France with a view to assisting with stress management.

The US has seen a reduction in the number of injuries and has made significant improvements to the injury management process which focuses on early medical intervention and early access to occupational medical facilities where required.

During FY17 the environmental conditions of all our locations in Spain were reviewed with subsequent investment in lighting, air conditioning and reducing noise pollution. A key focus through a range of health campaigns has been placed on ensuring employees are able to check their health and get access to expert advice where required.

Carbon emissions continue to be measured across all Group companies. The UK business is not part of the UK Government’s monitoring scheme as carbon emissions are below the scheme’s threshold.

Legal

There have been no prosecutions or other enforcement actions taken in respect of our businesses by any of the national health, safety or environmental regulators.