The Group encourages an environment which gives individuals the opportunity to develop their careers and reach their full potential. Through a variety of learning opportunities and initiatives that are designed to help employees develop their skills the Company provide a platform for personal development creating opportunities for individual growth whilst ensuring employees have the correct skills and knowledge to provide an outstanding service to our customers.
The continued engagement with apprenticeship schemes, alongside the investment in both internal and external training programmes, including the Macfarlane Leadership Programme, aimed at supporting the development of future leaders, has seen an increase in training hours for the Packaging and Labels business in 2019 to 16 hours per employee. The Group, including acquisitions has provided on average 15 hours of training per employee during 2019.
In addition to traditional methods of training, the provision and encouragement of on-line training programmes has supported all employees to engage in their personal development, irrelevant of role or geographical location.
The Company also provides Sponsored Further Education programmes, to support employee engagement in long-term education.
The gender breakdown of Directors, Senior Managers and other Group employees at the year-end is shown below:
Macfarlane Group use a number of ways to engage and communicate with employees on a regular basis. Through business update sessions, functional forums and informal review meetings a platform is provided for employee participation and involvement. A number of tools are also used in order to obtain employee feedback including targeted employee questionnaires and workshops. These forums along with annual appraisals, departmental meetings and individual one-to-one discussions provide an opportunity for our employees, to engage in an open two-way dialogue covering topics including business performance, strategic targets and the overall wellbeing of our employees.
Interactive tools are also provided to employees via mechanisms such as tablets enabling employees to gain information, advice and provide feedback instantly. In addition to supporting engagement with the employee these interactive tools support the provision of outstanding customer service.
Company policy is to encourage the employment of disabled persons where the disabilities do not hinder these persons in the performance of their duties. Where an employee becomes disabled every effort is made to re-settle that employee in a suitable post. Registered disabled persons, once employed, receive equal opportunities for training, career development and promotion.
Engagement in local communities and supporting charities is encouraged. During 2019, we supported events either from a resource or a financial perspective. Each year Macfarlane Group makes a one-off donation to a charity chosen by the workforce; for 2019 this was Cancer Research UK.
Gender Pay Gap
Macfarlane Group reported its Gender Pay Gap information in April 2019. This showed men’s mean hourly rate to be 12.9% higher than women’s and women’s median hourly rate to be 9.9% higher than men’s. The median pay gap in favour of women is reflective of the fact that our sales function is predominantly female, while the lower earning band of employees in production and logistics is predominantly male. These results do however change when reviewing the mean pay gap information. This is reflective of the demographics of the Senior Executive team and those printers (typically male) employed within Macfarlane Labels as skilled professionals, who receive competitive basic pay and a full shift system, offering a significant uplift on standard hourly rates.