Ethics & Diversity

The Society is committed to ensuring that there is no Modern Slavery or Human Trafficking in its supply chains or in any parts of its business.

The Society is a single entity and does not operate outside of the UK.

All employees are provided with training and have a responsibility to be alert to risks in the Society and the supply chain with regards to slavery and human trafficking. Employees will report any concerns in the first instance as a Risk Event; The Speak Up Policy is also available if this is more appropriate.

Wherever possible, the Society builds long standing relationships with local suppliers and key third parties.

All key third parties have been assessed and are predominantly located within the UK. The Society has undertaken due diligence on all third parties and has good knowledge of their businesses. The Society, therefore, believes that the risk of Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking is low and no further action is required. As a response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Society, in a critical industry, were committed to supporting our members through this challenging period, while doing everything possible to safeguard colleagues. We recognised that reduced cash flow may have led to an increasing vulnerability to exploitation, such as modern slavery. We maintained a branch counter service throughout the pandemic and we have implemented a number of initiatives to support those financially impacted, such as repayment holidays on mortgages and our specialist support teams to help vulnerable members. In addition, the Society took the decision not to furlough any employee and ensured that employees who, for coronavirus related reasons, couldn’t attend the workplace and couldn’t work from home, continued to receive their normal salary.

This statement is made in relation to the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

Mark Robinson
Chief Executive
April 2021

The Society values the differences that a diverse workforce brings to the organisation.

It is the Society’s Policy to establish and maintain a working environment, terms and conditions of service and employment practices and procedures which will ensure that no job applicant or employee receives less favourable treatment on the grounds of gender, marital status, race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion or belief, pregnancy, maternity, paternity, shared paternity, age, educational background and professional background. 

The Society is also committed to ensuring that the workplace is free from all forms of discrimination and harassment.

It is part of the Society’s Policy to employ, and provide a suitable environment for, people with disabilities. Where possible, all reasonable facilities will be provided for employees with disabilities to pursue their careers without difficulty or disadvantage.

Application and Scope

This Policy will apply not only to current employees, but also to prospective employees. Although the primary impact of this Policy may be felt in the areas of recruitment, promotions and transfer, the Policy nevertheless is applicable to any employment matter in which the equitable treatment of a potential, current or ex-employee may be at issue, for example:

  • Access to training opportunities
  • Interpretation of conditions of service
  • Application of disciplinary/grievance procedures, etc
  • The provision of references

The Society supports the Women in Finance Charter and in doing so seeks to attain a minimum of one third representation of the under-represented gender in each of the following groups:

  • All Society Employees
  • The Society’s Executive Team
  • The Society’s Board

In setting these targets, the Society is aiming to support a healthily diverse and inclusive workforce and senior team, whilst recognising that in a smaller organisation relatively large percentage changes can result from normal staff turnover. As at 31 August 2020, based on our targets set, we are:

  • On target at 33% of women, being on the Society’s Board
  • Above target at 50% of women being in the Society’s Executive Team
  • Just below target for men, being the under-represented gender, at 28% across all Society Employees
Society gender targets and progress
Under-represented gender
Target
Actual as at 31 August 2020
The Society’s Board
33%
33%
The Society’s Executive Team
33%
50%
All Society Employees
33%
28%

The Society will publish annually within its Reports and Accounts and on its website the targets and its performance against them.

When the Society signed up to the Charter in September 2016 we had 65% female representation. As of 31 August 2020 we have 72% female representation with 42% female representation in senior management.