Recruiting, developing and retaining our talent is one of our most important priorities. We work towards that objective by communicating openly with our employees, providing training and opportunities for career advancement, rewarding our employees fairly and encouraging employees to give direct feedback to senior management. We recognise the importance of providing a supportive working environment with a healthy work/life balance for all our employees, both at the holding company level and across our portfolio companies.
A key factor in our success is a cohesive and professional team, capable of accomplishing the Group’s objectives. We are committed to attracting and identifying the best professionals, caring and planning for their needs, investing in their development and fostering their commitment.
The Group develops and implements Human Resource (HR) policies and procedures which promote the key principles, areas, approaches and methods that are crucial for building Human Capital Management systems at each business level and at Georgia Capital level in line with the above mentioned policies. Examples of some of our HR policies and procedures include, but are not limited to:
- employee succession planning and recruitment;
- staff administration;
- compensation and benefits;
- Code of Conduct and Ethics;
- employee development and training;
- retrenchment; and
We are committed to employee engagement and we believe that effective communication is key. We strive to provide our employees with a continuous flow of information, which includes our corporate culture, the Group’s strategy and performance, risks relating to its performance, such as financial and economic factors, and our policies and procedures. We provide information in a number of ways, including via managers, presentations, email, intranet and regular off-site meetings. There are feedback systems, such as frequent employee satisfaction surveys, which ensure that the opinions of our employees are taken into account when making decisions which are likely to affect their interests.
Georgia Capital is fully committed to provide equal opportunities as an employer and prohibits unlawful and unfair discrimination. We believe that there are great benefits to be gained from having a diverse workforce. Although we do not set specific diversity targets at Georgia Capital level, we seek to ensure that our corporate culture and policies, particularly our HR policies, create an inclusive work environment that helps to bring out the best in our employees. Georgia Capital’s Diversity Policy establishes a commitment to eliminating unlawful and unfair discrimination and values the differences that a diverse workforce brings to the organisation. The Board embraces diversity in all its forms. Diversity of gender, social and ethnic backgrounds, cognitive and personal strengths and balance in terms of skills, experience, independence and knowledge, amongst other factors, will be taken into consideration when seeking to make any new appointment within the business, whether an employee, client, supplier or contractor. On 31 December 2020, Georgia Capital, as an investment holding company, had a total of 44 employees, of which 26 are females, and 18 are males.
We are supportive of the ambition shown in the recent reviews on diversity, including the Davies Review and the Hampton-Alexander Review and seek to apply the UK Corporate Governance Code in this respect. We will continue to examine ways in which we can increase female representation at Board and senior management level. We do not currently have any formal diversity targets at Board level. However, in 2020 female representation was increased to two female Board members when Ms Maria Chatti-Gautier was appointed as an Independent Non-Executive Director of the Company.
Please see our case studies on developing talent at our portfolio companies and on encouraging female representation at our water utility and renewable energy businesses on the pages 89-90 in the Annual Report 2020.
Human Rights Policy
The Human Resources Policy is an integral part of the employee on-boarding package at each business level with updates communicated electronically. The Human Rights Policy is part of the Human Resources Policy and covers the following:
- equal opportunities and anti-discrimination;
- work environment free of harassment; and
- grievance policy.
We recognise the importance of observing human rights and are committed to implementing socially responsible business practices. Our Human Rights Policy establishes priorities and puts control procedures in place to provide equal opportunities and prevent discrimination or harassment on any grounds, including disability. This Policy applies to all employees and includes procedures in relation to employment processes, training and development, procedures on recruitment and on the continuity of employment of employees who become disabled during the course of their employment.
Code of Conduct and Ethics and Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption Policy
The Group has a Code of Conduct and Ethics, as well as a Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption Policy, which are also applicable to the Group companies. As an organisation that is fully committed to the prevention of bribery and corruption, the Group ensures that appropriate internal controls are in place and operating effectively. Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption Policy enforcement processes include:
- operating an internal whistleblowing hotline system;
- disclosure of gifts or other benefits, including hospitality offered to, or received by, the Group’s personnel;
- voluntary disclosure of corrupt conduct;
- third-party screening to identify the level of risk third parties might pose;
- informing the banks/partners/counterparties about anti-corruption and anti-bribery principles before commencement of business relations;
- ensuring that anti-bribery and anti-corruption clauses are incorporated in the agreements with customers and third parties; •
- ensuring that anti-bribery and anticorruption matters are included in contractual agreements with partners/ counterparties; and
- online training programme aiming to raise awareness of corruption and bribery issues among employees.
As part of the Group’s third-party screening to identify the level of risk which third parties might pose, the Group carries out due diligence such as indirect investigations, which include general research of the activities undertaken by the proposed business partners, research into their reputation and information on whether the company is a related party. The Compliance Officers (the General Counsel and UK General Counsel) have the authority to conduct periodic compliance checks of the operations of the Group.
We are pleased to confirm that there have been no instances of violation of the Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption Policy in 2020
We invite you to read more about our employee matters in the Annual Report 2020.