It is through our people that we deliver, build and grow. We provide a range of benefits to help us attract and retain the best employees including benchmarked salaries, goal-focused bonuses and incentive schemes, regular appraisals, training and professional development and internal promotion. We are proud of our high rates of employee retention.

Our approach is supported by policies and procedures which are regularly reviewed by the Board and updated as required. The Company Secretary circulates updated policies to all staff and regularly refreshes the staff handbook to ensure it reflects best practice and the latest regulations. All permanent employees are eligible to join our benefits schemes, including life insurance, permanent health insurance, medical insurance and our pension scheme.

Training and development

We continue to invest in training and promote personal development at all levels. We encourage and invest in our staff to attend seminars and training courses relevant to their role. Our annual staff seminar provides employees with an operational update and an overview of half and full year results, which keeps them engaged and included in how the Company is run. This year we have instituted a new business-wide training programme run by Victoria Denny-Morley, our Jobs and Skills lead at Alconbury, to identify training gaps and to provide a structured programme for the business and individuals. Victoria will also be working with our key consultants to run in-house training sessions during the year on key topics and organising regular site visits for our team to get out and about and see what is going on around the business. This is increasingly important as the business grows and there is a need for new joiners to understand the ambition, ethos and heritage of Urban&Civic.

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Our Community Development lead, Steph Burton explaining her role at the Urban&Civic staff conference.

Human rights

We expect high standards of our employees and have policies covering health and safety, diversity, bullying and harassment, anti-corruption and bribery and whistleblowing policies. These are included in our staff handbook.

Employees are expected to report any concerns related to our business or our supply chains.

We take a zero-tolerance approach to slavery and are committed to ensuring there are no acts of slavery within any part of our business or our supply chains. We have adopted an Anti-slavery and Human Trafficking Code of Conduct which sets out the conduct expected of all our employees and the steps to be taken to ensure that slavery and human trafficking are not taking place within the business or its supply chains.

We expect all our first-tier suppliers to comply with the Modern Slavery Act and our Anti-slavery and Human Trafficking Code of Conduct and to communicate these requirements to their suppliers. We communicate our zero-tolerance approach to modern slavery at the outset of any relationship and request evidence from our suppliers that they have not undertaken any acts of modern slavery and are compliant with the Modern Slavery Act and our Code of Conduct. If doubts are raised about a supplier’s compliance and they cannot provide evidence to the contrary, we will cease arrangements with that supplier within 12 months.

Our modern slavery statement and Code of Conduct are included in our staff handbook and we have policies and procedures to monitor our business. These include due diligence processes, training, reporting and monitoring, policies covering the issues, and protection for whistleblowers. Our formal statement regarding modern slavery and human trafficking was published in January 2018 and is available on our website, as required under the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

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Diversity

We have a diversity policy to encourage the recruitment, development and retention of a diverse workforce and to eliminate discrimination. This policy is reviewed annually and can be found on our website. Appointments are made on merit, skills and experience but with due regard to the benefits of diversity. You can read more about our approach to diversity in the report of the Nomination Committee on page 89.

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Breakout session at the staff conference