Supporting Equality and Diversity
Bowmer & Kirkland is committed to being an equal opportunities employer in accordance with the key requirements of the Equality Act 2010. The characteristics that are protected by the Equality Act are embedded in the company’s ‘Equal Opportunities and Dignity at Work Policy’ . Employment policies, procedures and entitlements are contained in the ‘Employee Information Handbook’ , that is regularly updated and available to all staff on the company’s intranet site. To help monitor equal opportunities all new applicants are invited to complete an ‘Equal Opportunities Form’ , to help provide data on the characteristics that are protected by the Equality Act.
We already employ a more diverse workforce in respect of gender compared with the national average of women employed in construction services. Much of this increase is evident in the number of professionally qualified women working on our construction projects as Surveyors, Construction Managers and Engineers. The proportion of female to male employees who are currently on training courses at University and Colleges is significantly higher than our average figures and therefore our number of female employees is likely to continue to rise in forthcoming years
Respect for Human Rights
Wherever we work we ensure that we do not exploit anyone. We up hold the rights of all those who work for or with us, and the communities in which we operate. Through our ‘Code of Conduct’ subcontractors are expected to act fairly and with integrity towards all employees and persons affected by its activities, including the promotion of ethical standards.
We are committed to:-
• supporting all the principles set out in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights
• supporting the International Labour Organisations standards
• complying with national legal requirements regarding wages and working hours
• complying with our company policies setting out the rights of everyone who works for, or with us, or who is impacted in any way by our activities
• observing, protecting and promoting these rights wherever we operate
Communications with Employees
All employees receive a copy of our company’s magazine (Key Notes) issued six monthly, which covers news and events from around the whole Group, including matters of general employee interest. More regular news bulletins are included on our in-house company Intranet. ‘Safety Matters’ is issued every three months in which we select a safety, health or environmental topic as the focus of our toolbox talks to site staff. Information leaflets are regularly issued to staff, including the British Heart Foundation workplace newsletters. Individual construction divisions use a variety of methods to communicate key business goals and issues to employees and also consult and involve their employees.
Promoting Ethical Purchasing
We acknowledge that we have an opportunity to exert a significant positive influence in terms of sustainable procurement on the goods that we purchase and install. Our Environmental Purchasing Policy provides a framework to staff, suppliers and subcontractors to implement ethical purchasing practices when purchasing materials.
Our aims are to:-
• procure timber from well managed and sustainable sources
• engage with our supply chain to reduce the use of non- renewable resources and purchase goods and services that meet ethical standard
• encourage the re-use and re-cycling of materials
• avoid the use of hazardous chemicals and use less damaging alternatives where appropriate
The EU Timber Regulations introduced in March 2013 has been incorporated into our Management System to ensure that the suppliers and source of all permanent works timber is traceable, avoiding illegally harvested timber and timber products from being used. Schedules in the Management System also allow those projects subject to BREEAM accreditation to identify the certification which applies to timber sourced for the project (e.g. FSC/PEFC/BES 6001) and record any documentation in respect of its source. During the year we successfully delivered 29 projects under BREEAM that required the sourcing of timber to be specified.
United Nations Global Compact
Bowmer & Kirkland acknowledges that the United Nations Global Compact presents a platform for companies to advance their commitment to sustainability and corporate responsibility.
The Global Compact’s framework enables companies to develop sustainable principles and practices relating to it’s four core values:-
• Upholding Human Rights
• Enhancing Labour Standards
• Protecting The Environment
• Preventing Anti-Corruption
To ensure that Bowmer & Kirkland fully complies with the UN’s Global Compact’s 10 principles that support the above four core values, we have embedded these principles in our policies, procedures and practices through the new International Standard on Social Responsibility - ISO 26000.