Sustainability

EMIS Group is committed to high ethical standards and contributing to economic development, whilst both improving the delivery of healthcare and the quality of life for its people and the wider community.

Employees

People strategy

The focus of 2017 was internal communication across the business, to put in place solid building blocks and growth plans. It was also driven by an aim to provide transparency and clarity to colleagues during a time of change and restructure. The period of internal change and restructure in 2017 has meant that the actions planned in response to the 2016 engagement survey, in some areas of the business, were only partly delivered.

Communication

There has been a number of key improvements in communication during 2017, including the introduction of:

  • Workplace (Facebook for work)
  • weekly briefings for line managers
  • monthly senior leadership after calls and quarterly face-to-face meetings 
  • Chief Executive Officer question and answer sessions 

Employee feedback ('Your Say')

Having completed an annual engagement survey for the previous two years, in 2017 the Group carried out another survey, this time using a new tool called Peakon. The survey allows colleagues to give their feedback in the usual way but allows leadership and managers to really engage with their feedback, through individual dashboards and access to the data for their own team. During 2018 we plan to move from one annual survey to regular colleague feedback surveys.

Equality and diversity

Equality and diversity continue to be very important to the Group and it recognises the benefits a diverse workforce brings to the business. Further details on equality and diversity are included in the Directors’ report on page 70 and in the nomination committee report on page 53.

In 2017 focus has been on understanding the Group’s gender pay gap and then planning how to address it in the coming months and years. The final figures and commentary for EMIS Group were not available at the time of preparing this report but will be published shortly on the website.

 

Gender pay gap 

Equality and diversity continue to be very important to the Group
and it recognises the benefits a diverse workforce brings to the
business.

The EMIS Group gender pay gap disclosure can be found here.

 

A learning organisation

EMIS Group continued its focus on building a learning organisation, delivering on the Group’s commitment to develop people. Both job-specific and behavioural training have been implemented during the year, which built on the platform created in 2015. The Group invested in an online learning portal called Virtual Ashridge, available to everyone in EMIS Group. This learning portal supports personal development and 2017 saw the completion of stage one of the leadership development programme, Leading the EMIS Group Way, with over 300 managers receiving feedback to help them focus on their personal development. The arrival of a new Group HR Director at the end of 2017 offers the Group the opportunity to review the next steps for the leadership development programme. The objective for 2018 will be to build strong leadership foundations for the middle management layer, with a focus on getting the basics right to drive performance in the business.

EMIS Group has taken the first steps to establishing a graduate programme to build talent within the business. By having clear growth programmes, starting with graduates across the Group, shows a commitment to developing people and gives employees a reason to stay and candidates a reason to join. The focus is to think longer term about the talent the Group needs while positively impacting engagement, performance and retention. This will contribute to initiatives such as the community agenda, gender pay gap, diversity and inclusion, as well as talent and succession.

Employee benefits 

There is an online portal for employee benefits. Employees have access to a range of flexible benefits through this portal including: buying and selling holidays, childcare vouchers, the opportunity to increase pension contributions and life cover. There is also a discount site, where employees can access special offers from the high street and online stores.

Pension schemes 

91% of all UK employees have pension contributions paid on their behalf into a pension scheme. New employees are auto‑enrolled into their relevant scheme with the contribution rates offered by the Group ahead of minimum requirements. The Group has a phased approach to pension contributions and by April 2019 pension contributions will be a minimum of 9% (4.5% employee and 4.5% employer) rising to 10% by April 2020 (5% employee and 5% employer).

Share incentive scheme 

The Share Incentive Plan (SIP) continues to be offered to all employees with over twelve months’ service. At the end of 2017, 1,109 employees from across the Group were shareholders in the SIP.

Community 

In 2017 EMIS Group announced that it would launch Caring EMIS, a programme to support charities in the UK and India. The programme looks to raise money and awareness, as well as allowing all employees paid time off work to support a charitable or community initiative. In the UK the Group will unite efforts during 2018 to support Mind following a Group-wide employee vote in 2017. Both Mind and EMIS Group share a common driver to improve the health and wellbeing of citizens in the UK. The aim is to help fund two Infoline advisers, answering approximately 14,000 enquires each year.

A charity champions committee of volunteers from all major divisions will drive up employee engagement across the Group. The Caring EMIS initiative will increase employee satisfaction and wellbeing.

In India, the Group will continue to support local charities working with elderly people and children in Chennai.

Environmental management 

EMIS Group obtained ISO 14001 in 2015, and has successfully transitioned to the new ISO 10441:2015 standard. EMIS India is not covered under the scope of the ISO 14001 certification. 

EMIS Group has an environmental management system that provides a framework for managing and reducing the Group’s environmental impacts. These impacts are evaluated to determine those that are significant and therefore require monitoring. The results are recorded in the register of environmental risks and opportunities and are regularly reviewed as part of the continual improvement process.

A three-year plan was put in place in 2015, with six-monthly surveillance visits planned across the EMIS Group to ensure compliance and that continual improvement is made against the set objectives and targets.

Three key areas are:

  • utility usage
  • waste
  • travel.

Health and safety 

EMIS Group is committed to maintaining high standards of health and safety management and to encouraging everyone to contribute to their own welfare and that of their colleagues and others affected by the Group’s activities.

Activity is focused around two key areas:

  • health and safety training
  • health and safety performance measuring accidents and incidents. 

Ethical business practices

EMIS Group policies detail the standards expected throughout the Group. This includes free and fair competition, the prohibition of bribery and all forms of corruption, honest and fair dealing with suppliers, and ensuring that the welfare of workers and employment conditions within the supply chain meet recognised standards. All employees are made aware of the requirements of the UK Bribery Act 2010 upon joining the business and refresher training is carried out annually.

The Group has a comprehensive code of ethics and standards of business conduct document, which provides instruction and guidance to employees on expected behaviour when dealing with a wide range of stakeholders. The Group has a whistleblowing policy, which is reviewed annually by the audit committee, and an associated reporting hotline operated by an external, independent provider.

For more detail on our sustainability policy and activities, please see the annual report and accounts 2017.