Building a safe and inclusive culture
Training our workforce
During 2020, Persimmon delivered c.12,600 training days (excluding apprenticeships and sponsored higher or further education courses) to employees and construction workforce, c.1,700 of which were delivered remotely.
Training days delivered in 2020
Of workforce participating in training
Approximately 13% of our current workforce participate in a formal training programme with c.345 apprentices learning traditional craft skills such as bricklaying and joinery, which is among the largest commitment to apprentice training in the industry.
In addition, the Group has c.70 sales trainees and c.265 colleagues training in disciplines such as accounting, quantity surveying, planning and construction.
Promoting Gender Diversity
|Our gender data
(as of 31 December 2020)
|Board||Male||5 (63%)||5 (63%)|
|Female||3 (37%)||3 (37%)|
|Senior Executive Committee and direct reports||Male||55 (74%)||NR*|
|All colleagues||Male||3,768 (72%)||3,941 (75%)|
|Female||1,453 (28%)||1,344 (25%)|
|Median gender pay gap||12.7%||12.4%|
* NR = Data not reported during period
We have set a number of stretching targets to improve gender diversity across the Group including, that by the end of 2025 we aim for:
of our employees to be female
of our Executive Committee and direct reports to be female
of our employees in management roles to be female
In 2021, we have recruited a dedicated Director of Talent and Diversity to help achieve these targets.
The median Gender Pay Gap in 2020 for the Group was 12.7% (2019: 12.4%), which compares favourably with the Office of National Statistics figures for 2020 of 15.5% (2019: 17.3%). Consistent with our industry our median Gender Pay Gap is driven by the composition of our workforce with a higher proportion of men in skilled construction roles (such as bricklaying and site management), the market for which is competitive.
Persimmon is part of the Home Builders Federation’s Diversity and Inclusion Group with the aim of developing a more diverse and inclusive workforce across the industry. We are also a member of the Apprenticeship Diversity Champions Network (ADCN), part of the National Apprenticeships Service to demonstrate our open and inclusive culture in recruiting and employing young people.
We recognise that women, as well as people from a broad range of backgrounds, are under-represented across the industry as a whole and the Group is determined to do more to attract a more diverse workforce, recognising the benefits that this brings.
We conducted our first employee engagement survey in 2020 to monitor and improve engagement across the Group. The Group’s employee engagement index score was 80% with the survey finding that 90% of colleagues felt committed to Persimmon and what the Group is trying to achieve.
The survey also highlighted some areas for improvement – for example, employees would welcome better methods of communication and information distribution, an area that was also raised by Persimmon’s Employee Engagement Panel.
To address this, the Group has increased its use of online training, regular Team Talk updates and investment in an online HR system.
Formerly known as the Group’s Young Achiever of the Year Awards, the Achiever Awards were extended to recognise excellence amongst all colleagues regardless of age.
There are five awards categories: Trade Apprentice of the Year, Trainee Sales Advisor of the Year, Business Trainee of the Year, the ‘Unsung Hero’ Award and the Duncan Davidson Award, from which the overall Achiever of the Year is selected.
In 2021, an employee awards programme for our Site Managers will be introduced, recognising achievements in build quality to drive further behavioural change to improve the service we deliver and the quality of our homes.
Social Mobility Pledge
We are signatories to the Social Mobility Pledge, a coalition of 450 businesses designed to boost opportunity and social mobility in the most deprived areas of the UK. Our track record in advancing social mobility was recognised by the Pledge as demonstrating best practice in the sector.
Working with the Social Mobility Pledge team, we will implement a number of recommendations through their Opportunity Action Plan to continue to improve social value in local communities in which we operate.
Living Wage Foundation
The Group voluntarily adopts the payment criteria of the Living Wage Foundation for its own employees and we will apply to become an accredited Living Wage Foundation employer during 2021. The Real Living Wage is set by the Foundation annually and is based on the cost of living. In line with the Foundation’s guidance, we have increased the minimum pay rate to £9.50 per hour, from 1 January 2021, although the majority of our colleagues earn in excess of this.
We demand the appropriate levels of conduct from all of our stakeholders, including our employees in all of our operations. We value our reputation for ethical behaviour, integrity and reliability. Embedded within our operations are our Human Rights and Anti-Bribery and Corruption policies, a code of Ethics and policies that support our Modern Slavery Statement.
As we are a UK housebuilder and the vast majority of our subcontractors and suppliers are also UK based, we do not consider that human rights abuses, modern slavery and bribery represent a significant risk to our business. However, we have appropriate procedures in place to provide assurance that our employees and suppliers are working to the high standards we demand.
We have identified the most significant potential human rights impact areas to be; the labour and employment rights of our employees, subcontractors and those working within our supply chain; the health and safety of our workforce; and the rights of communities where we undertake our developments. As a responsible employer, we are committed to compliance with all UK labour, health and safety, planning and environmental legislation.
We continue to take our role in combatting modern slavery and human trafficking seriously, and have implemented a number of initiatives within the year to strengthen support in this area. This has included joining the Gangmaster and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) ‘Construction Protocol’ to access and contribute to industry good practice in combating modern slavery. Our ‘Site Manager Essentials’ course includes a programme of modern slavery training and other site based staff receive a GLAA developed ‘Toolbox Talk’ on the matter. The Group’s Internal Audit department has performed an assessment of modern slavery controls within our supply chain.
Staff are provided with details of the Group’s Anti-Bribery and Corruption policy and management reinforce the adherence to our policies and procedures. For example, during 2020, the Group developed and delivered mandatory anti-bribery and corruption training modules for senior members of staff. In addition, we have whistleblowing facilities to ensure employees and others can raise concerns confidentially. During 2020, the Group ran a campaign to remind employees of the whistleblowing facility. Any whistleblowing reports can be made anonymously and all are investigated independently by our Group Internal Audit department.
We will create a safe and inclusive culture focused on the wellbeing of our customers, communities and workforce.
UN SDG alignment
|Material issue||Target||How we will achieve it|
|Build quality and safety||Report on Independent Quality Controller Review metrics and target to improve our % score year-on-year.||Implemented and monitored through Group Construction policies and procedures.|
|Report on the results of independent quality audit against The Persimmon Way with target to improve % year-on-year.|
|In 2021, reduce NHBC Reportable Incidents by 20%.|
|Health and safety||Report on Annual Injury Incidence Rate and reduce the rate year-on-year.||Implementation of key health and safety processes delivered and monitored through Group Health,
Safety and Environment teams
|Aim to achieve third party certification/auditing to ISO 45001/18001 or similar.||To be reviewed and implemented through Group Health, Safety and Environment department.|
|Annually report on KPIs following our site inspection regime with a target to improve year-on-year.||Implementation of key health and safety processes.|
|High risk suppliers by trade to be encouraged to utilise Supply Chain Sustainability School’s Modern Slavery training.||Engagement with supply chain and Supply Chain Sustainability School.|
|Talent attraction, development, diversity and engagement||By the end of 2025, aim for 40% of Persimmon employees to be female.||
|By the end of 2025, aim for 35% of Persimmon’s Executive Committee and direct reports to be female.|
|By the end of 2025, aim for 45% of Persimmon employees in management roles to be female.|
|To become a Living Wage Foundation accredited employer.||Working with the Living Wage Foundation to ensure everyone who works on site or in our offices is paid a rate based on real life living costs.|