One of the core principles of the 2018 UK Corporate Governance Code was to place greater emphasis on colleague engagement by ensuring that the interests of employees are properly represented at Board meetings. In this context the duties of Helen Jones, Non-Executive Director, have been extended to incorporate Board accountability for 'Colleague Voice'. A network of colleague champions has been established to support colleague engagement and a total of 111 listening groups took place during the year, with Helen personally attending sessions in every area of the business.
We do not tolerate discrimination, harassment or bullying in any aspects of our business operations. A Whistleblowing Policy and supporting procedures enable colleagues to report concerns on matters affecting the Group or their employment, without fear of recrimination. Appropriate and robust policies and procedures are in place for reporting and dealing with such matters, further details can be found in the Audit Committee Report.
Driving for Diversity
We recognise the value that diversity brings. Our focus remains on increasing the overall number of women at Halfords – and to increase the number appointed and promoted into more senior roles. Through our efforts across the training and recruitment process, the overall number of women has increased as a percentage of the total workforce this year, from 27% to 29%. The percentage of women on the Board remains at 50% while in the Senior Management Team it has decreased from 37.5% to 30%.
In order to support its estate of Retail stores and garages, the Group sources products from a large number of suppliers both within the UK and overseas; further information on our policy and due diligence processes can be found in the Directors' Report.