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Developing, engaging and rewarding colleagues fairly is fundamental to the success of our business and also to the relationships that we have with the local communities in which we work.

The business continues to develop its risk management approach delivering improved health and safety management standards and training whilst enhancing the development of its management teams and employees. Year one of a three year corporate strategy providing direction and positive key results is in place. The progress and effects are reviewed routinely by the Board to ensure that key performance indicators and delivery of the improved standards remain on target.

The health, safety and wellbeing of our employees is of paramount significance to us; recognising the key importance of delivering better safety standards and improved wellbeing for our colleagues. The Group continues to drive accidents down and has this year been successful in delivering a 21% reduction in lost time events against 2019 results. This places our collective RIDDOR rate some 70% below the national average for the manufacturing and logistics sectors combined.

A series of coordinated events has taken place across all operations including the delivery of accredited training focusing on health and safety leadership to the senior leadership teams in each business unit.

Individually each business unit has also played its part in delivering a safer and healthier workplace for our employees. At Clonmel, a Health and Safety Day took place in March 2020 with over 100 staff across the site taking part in workshops on food safety, environmental awareness, raising near misses and reporting incidents, working at height awareness and positive health culminating in a presentation on safety awareness.

Wellpark Brewery Health and Safety Day in January 2020 had a significant impact regarding the engagement of employees. There was a series of presentations delivered by internal and external speakers on topics including mental health and workplace transport. Of significant impact was a presentation delivered by a survivor of the Piper Alpha disaster who spoke openly about the impact the event had on him and his mental health.

Across the Matthew Clark depots the key focus has been on addressing the largest risk facing our staff of manual handling. A major project was conducted by colleagues from across the depots to create a new suite of work systems which have since been rolled out to the business. We have also developed a tool for assessing the risks associated with driving and delivering to our customer’s premises. This is showing some very encouraging results at an early stage, achieving a reduction in the overall risk rating by 43%, resulting in a 10% decline in the number of vehicle collisions. The tool is now in the process of being rolled out across the remaining logistics operations.

The Group encourages colleagues to manage their wellbeing and makes available advice on how to improve their health and wellbeing generally. Where possible we avail of facilities local to our sites to enhance opportunities for the improvement of health and fitness. There has continued to be a focus on mental health with initiatives run in various parts of the business. In Tennent’s, interactive workshops were facilitated where teams explored the impact mental health has on our daily working lives and how to identify and support a colleague or friend suffering with mental health challenges. Here too events took place around “Time to Talk Day” and “Health and Well Being Day”. In Bibendum, a series of mental health themed workshops were run while in Matthew Clark a new Wellbeing Policy was launched. Also in Matthew Clark a Christmas Awareness Campaign was run, which highlighted that Christmas is not always a great time for everyone and how to access supports that are available. Following on from this campaign a number of Mental Health First Aiders have now come forward and are currently undergoing training. Once trained they will enhance the network that is already in place in some other parts of the business to positively promote mental health, as well as supporting individuals where needed. An Employee Assistance Programme (‘EAP’) and Health checks also are available in many areas of the business.

In addition to safety of our employees, partners and suppliers, we continue to seek ways to improve the health impacts of our offering. Having been a leader in transparent packaging, we were delighted to confirm that Tennent’s Light has been recognised as the beer with the lowest calories on the market. Tennent’s Light, at only 66 calories a 33cl bottle, is further evidence of not just our efforts to evolve our offerings with changing demand but our commitment to providing healthier substitutes to existing beer offerings.

We continually review the benefits and services we provide to our colleagues to ensure the best level of service while managing the cost both to the business and to colleagues (tax implications). This year we’ve made changes in some business areas including Healthcare, Fleet and the Employee Assistance Program (‘EAP’). This year we re-launched the all employee share scheme (‘SIP’) in the UK and Ireland to enhance the opportunity to participate in the Group’s performance. We have now doubled the amount that colleagues can invest and for each share that is purchased the company matches it with a free share.

We continually strive to support our colleagues in achieving their full potential and have created a variety of development opportunities this year.

This year there was an emphasis on apprenticeships with programmes running across a range of disciplines in various parts of the business. This included apprenticeship training in Sales, Team Leadership, Management, Health and Safety, Engineering, Packaging, Brewing, Logistics, Digital Marketing, People Services, Warehousing and Quality.

Our “Raising the Bar”, initiative continued in Tennent’s this year. The aim of this programme is to ensure colleagues have the skills, confidence and knowledge to deliver, developing them personally and professionally. This year the focus was on leadership training within our management and team leader populations. Similarly, in Matthew Clark, a suite of internal management training interventions was delivered across a range of Behavioural and Employee Relations topics.

We continue to support professional development across the business and this year have supported colleagues through further education and professional exams including SVQ’s in Management, MBAs, CIMA, CIPD and IBD qualifications.

Further emphasis was placed this year on delivering a comprehensive range of skills training across the Group including Lean Operational Excellence, Wine Appreciate and Finance for Non-Financial Managers.

In line with our commitment to ensuring our activities do not cause or contribute to contemporary forms of slavery in the workplace, and taking steps to stop it from happening in our supply chains and elsewhere, a programme entitled “Tackling Modern Slavery in Business” was delivered to appropriate people across the group including members of our Executive Committee, Procurement, Operations Management and HR teams.

We continue to invest many training hours in specialised and compliance training, where appropriate, such as food safety, HACCP, manual handling, forklift driving, chemical handling, first aid and fire safety.

We are an equal opportunities employer. We aim to create a working environment in which all individuals are able to make the best use of their skills, free from discrimination or harassment, and in which all decisions are based on merit. We have a formal equal opportunities policy that commits us to promoting equality of opportunity for all our staff and job applicants. For our operations in Northern Ireland this includes adherence to the MacBride Principles. Our policy states that we do not discriminate on the basis of age, disability, marital status, ethnicity, creed, sex or sexual orientation. The policy also requires our staff to treat customers, suppliers and the wider community in accordance with these principles as well.

We are committed to increasing diversity in our business through access, opportunities and training. We have piloted an inclusion and diversity survey in some business areas as are keen to understand more about the demographic make-up of our colleagues and their views on how inclusion and diversity is supported. We intend to build upon and expand this approach in FY2021 and use the survey output to help identify where further improvements can be made.

An analysis of Directors, senior managers and other colleagues by gender as at 29 February 2020 is as follows:

Engagement with the workforce is considered of paramount importance by the Board and management team. During the course of FY2020, as detailed in the Corporate Governance Report, the Board established new structures to provide for effective engagement by the Board with the wider workforce. These include confidential colleague feedback surveys to all businesses with results presented annually to the Board, and the appointment of a Non-Executive Director to each business unit to understand employee’s views. The business areas assigned to each of the Non-Executive Directors is set out on page 61.

Beyond these structures, each of the business areas already share company and operational updates with colleagues in a range of different ways, including newsletters, business area intranet, email communications as well as formal briefings and informal gatherings with senior leaders which also provide the opportunity for colleagues to ask questions and share their thoughts and any feedback. Business engagement forums are also present in many areas of the business, and are particularly active across operations functions.

Employee contribution and service continuity are celebrated though various business area recognition schemes, including award ceremonies and prize givings and many areas have active social committees who arrange local employee social and community events, for example family days and BBQs.

We have broadened the scope of engagement surveying to take place in all areas of the business across the UK and Ireland. Colleague participation has increased from last year and over 76% of colleagues in these areas participated during FY2020. In most business areas, team managers have direct and instant access to feedback. Feedback provided has enabled departments and teams to identify opportunities for improvements and action plans have been put in place to address these. Where we have surveyed colleagues more than once during FY2020, overall engagement scores have improved.

We do not condone and will not knowingly participate in any form of human exploitation, including slavery and people trafficking. We refuse to work with any suppliers or service providers who knowingly participate in such practices or who cannot demonstrate to us sufficient controls to ensure that such practices are not taking place in their supply chains. Our approach is reflected in our Sustainable and Ethical Procurement Policy, which we circulate to suppliers. We also carry out diligence audits and checks on our suppliers to ensure that they have in place and adhere to appropriate ethical policies including our Sustainable Ethical Procurement Policy, with KPIs for those areas where we believe the potential impact on the Group is material. A process is in place internally to address and remediate any instances of non-conformance with our Sustainable and Ethical Procurement Policy.

A copy of our Anti-Modern Slavery Statement is available on our website.

Our Anti-Bribery and Corruption Policy and accompanying training materials are designed to be straightforward and direct so that it is clear to all employees what they may or may not do as part of normal business transactions. The Policy applies to everyone in the Group equally. It is written to ensure that legitimate and honest business transactions can be distinguished from improper and dishonest transactions. This Policy and the accompanying training will be tracked as part of the internal audit monitoring process to monitor understanding and adherence to the Policy. KPIs have been established for those areas where we believe the potential impact on the Group is material. During FY2020, no incidences of bribery or corruption were uncovered across the Group.

The Group takes its responsibilities as a corporate citizen seriously. This includes respecting and complying with local tax laws and paying the required and appropriate levels of tax in the different countries where we operate. We claim the allowances and deductions that we are properly entitled to, for instance, on the investment and employment that we bring to our communities. We benefit from having always been an Irish company, established in the Republic of Ireland’s corporate tax environment, with our major cider production unit located in Clonmel and the Group is headquartered in Dublin. The majority of the Group’s profits are earned in the Republic of Ireland and the UK, which both have competitive corporation tax rates compared with the European average. In the Republic of Ireland and the UK, we remit substantial amounts of duty on alcohol production.