Sustainability

EMIS Group is committed to high ethical standards and contributes to economic development, whilst both improving the delivery of healthcare and the quality of life for our people and the communities within which we work and live.

Employees

People strategy

2016 saw the development of the Group’s people strategy. The aim is to foster passion and engagement by supporting and developing employees to achieve, learn and grow at EMIS Group. It outlines its commitment to employees through: offering a fair and competitive deal; bringing in the best talent; creating a learning organisation; doing the basics brilliantly; providing compelling communications; caring for people; and contributing to local communities.

A fair and competitive deal 

Following the Group’s growth via acquisition, colleagues fed back for the last two years that they would like to see a fairer company in relation to pay and benefits. As a consequence, a review was completed in 2016. In conjunction with Hay Group, all job roles within scope were evaluated and colleagues were given the option to accept a new standardised contract that ensures all colleagues in equivalent roles have the same terms and conditions. 

A learning organisation

Continuing to deliver 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.

Nearly two-thirds of the Group’s managers, over 300, have started an internal management course, “Leading the EMIS Group Way”. This training programme is aimed at equipping managers with skills such as performance management, influencing styles and communication.

A number of employees have gained NVQ qualifications across the Group and this will continue throughout 2017. The apprenticeship scheme continued with several graduates from the scheme being employed on a permanent basis. The Group continues to support local communities by offering work experience placements across a variety of Group departments.

“The work our people do is important not only to the business, but to society as a whole, as the solutions we create and the services we provide help to improve patient lives.”

Nicola Cliffe, EMIS Group human resources director

Pension schemes

95% of all employees are now members of a company pension scheme. New employees are auto-enrolled into their relevant scheme with the contribution rates the Group offers ahead of the minimum requirements. EMIS Health Specialist and EMIS Care, the last parts of the Group to implement pension arrangements, started auto-enrolment in August 2016 and all colleagues have joined their schemes.

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).

Employee benefits

A new benefits portal for all employees was created during the year, delivering an enhanced suite of new benefits for colleagues around the Group. Employees now have access to a range of flexible benefits through this portal including: buying and selling holidays, car leasing, childcare vouchers, the opportunity to increase pension contributions and life cover.

Share incentive scheme

The Share Incentive Plan (SIP) continues to be offered to all employees with over twelve months’ service. At the end of 2016, 1,004 employees from across the Group were shareholders in the SIP.

Community 

EMIS Group’s presence in, and contribution to, local communities around its offices continues to remain important. The Group has supported a wide range of initiatives this year, including a range of both national and local charities, from CLIC Sargent and Oxfam, to local elderly and homeless initiatives.

Environmental management 

Accreditations

We continue to recognise the importance of protecting the environment and mitigating the impact of the Group’s activities.

EMIS Group has established an environmental management system that provides a framework for managing and reducing the Group’s environmental impacts and establishes programmes to help achieve our environmental objectives as part of the continual improvement process. Following certification of the management system ISO 14001:2004 in 2014 and the continued development of the environmental management system, the Group will transition to the updated ISO 14001:2015 by December 2017.

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

Three key areas remain:

  • utility usage
  • waste
  • travel.

Utility usage

Baseline data across the Group was recorded in 2016 and targets have been set to continue to reduce usage during 2017. EMIS Group is now compliant with Article 8 (4-6) of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive (2012/2/EU).

Waste

The Group disposed of 48 tonnes of IT waste, which was all recycled in line with our ISO 14001 accreditation and environmental management system. Targets have been set for the reduction of waste in 2016.

CO2 Emissions

Vehicles available to staff have a CO2 emissions average of 112g/km (2015: 112g/km).

Video conferencing facilities have been installed across the Group and targets established to further reduce business travel by encouraging mobile working, as well as offering the ‘cycle to
work’ scheme.

Health and safety 

Reporting

The EMIS Group Board receives reports twice a year on environmental and health and safety compliance across the Group.

Health and safety is a centralised Group Services function with responsibility for day-to-day activities in each business. During the year, audits of all policies and procedures were undertaken, along with a managed roll-out of Group policies through an online system which records compliance by individuals to ensure a consistent environmental and health and safety approach across the Group.

Training

All new starters receive health and safety induction training, and existing staff have all received refresher training. A total of 1,462 training modules were completed during the year.

In addition, 268 members of staff have attended instructor-led training sessions. Further modules will be released throughout 2017, if required, through the online system, which was introduced during 2016.

Accidents/incidents 

Information from any reported accidents is collated from across the Group. There was a 29% reduction in accidents and incidents in 2016.

There was one RIDDOR accident reported across the Group in 2016, compared to four in 2015. Reviews of the risk assessment process and the type of accidents and incidents that occurred during the year were carried out.

Work has continued to encourage company vehicle drivers to undertake advanced classroom-based and in-car driver training, and to work with our insurers to improve the standard of driving and reduce the number of motor accidents.

Ethical business practices

Our policies detail the standards expected throughout the Group including free and fair competition, the prohibition of bribery, honest and fair dealing with suppliers, and ensuring that the welfare of workers and employment conditions within the supply chain meet recognised standards. The Group has a statement of ethics and a whistleblowing policy in place which is reviewed annually by the audit committee. All employees are made aware of the Bribery Act and refresher training is undertaken regularly.

For more detail on our sustainability policy and activities, please see the annual report and accounts 2016.