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Our people are at the heart of our success. We believe that engaging all employees and galvanising their efforts in line with the Company’s Vision and Values will set us on a successful path to achieving all our business objectives.

Our people and their response to COVID-19plus

The Eurocell team rose to the challenges posed by the pandemic, with our teams across Group working together to keep each other, our customers and suppliers safe during this challenging period.

For our operational and branch teams, where jobs require colleagues to be on-site, we implemented a comprehensive range of COVID safety measures to support our continued production and trading. We also provided the required equipment and support for our back office colleagues to work from home wherever possible.

Our Safety, Health, Environment and Quality (SHEQ) and Human Resources teams have worked hard on employee communications, ensuring we reach out regularly to our c.2,000 colleagues, to keep them informed and up to date with the ongoing changes to safety measures and on our business performance.

Communications included the introduction of short awareness videos delivered on-line, and regular updates from our Chief Executive Officer.

We also increased in our communications on health and wellbeing. For example, in May we ran a successful campaign during Mental Health awareness week and promoted our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) for those who need more specialised help beyond that provided in-house through our management teams and Human Resources business partners.

Resourcing and recruitmentplus

Despite the challenges of 2020, we have continued to develop our resourcing systems to ensure that we attract the best people into our business as vacancies arise and provide a better candidate experience. Our commitment to internal development also continues to be a vital component of our people plan, as we work to ensure people are in the right jobs at the right time with the right training.

During the second half of the year, we successfully transferred c.140 agency workers into fixed term or permanent contracted positions, giving those individuals stability in a time of great upheaval and ensuring the business had the capacity to fulfil orders during a very busy period.

Eurocell’s recruitment policy ensures that full and fair consideration is given to all applicants based purely on their aptitude and ability and irrespective of any declared disability. For employees who become disabled and declare this to us, we have mechanisms in place through occupational health providers to support new ways of working where this is desirable by the individual and possible with reasonable adjustment and training in the workplace.

Talent pipelines through the Apprenticeships and Kickstart schemesplus

We were pleased that we were able to support our Apprentices throughout the upheaval and uncertainty of 2020. Our ‘Trade Supplier’ apprentice programme continued throughout lockdown, with virtual meetings and online support from the tutors. We expect this group of apprentices to complete their qualification on time in 2021.

We have continued to support the recruitment of new apprentices and the transition of existing employees into apprenticeship programmes in 2020, with c.12 appointments spanning finance, procurement, administration and manufacturing roles.
Eurocell is also delighted to be part of the Government’s new Kickstart scheme and we were granted funding for 69 new roles which we will recruit in Q1 2021.

These initiatives are vital to our philosophy of talent development and internal growth and we look forward to supporting all of our young apprentices in 2021.

Performance and Development Review (‘PDR’)plus

We recognise that employee engagement (the energy and purpose our staff get from being immersed in their jobs), is key to the achievement of overall business targets. In 2019 we therefore designed a new performance management cycle and associated processes. This provides a forum for employees to discuss and agree their business aligned objectives and development needs with their manager.

Following the launch of the new PDR process and tools in 2019, we made steady progress in 2020 and began to embed this new approach to performance management. We have focused particularly on our branch network, where the large number of small sites presents a unique challenge in this area, The senior management team are working hard at ensuring our people are clear about the expectations of their role, their behavioural competencies in line with company values and in identifying development needs.

Plans are in place to introduce this new approach and PDR process across the rest of the business in 2021 to help engage all colleagues in their work and the part they play in Eurocell’s overall success.

Incentives and rewardsplus

We want to ensure that we attract the best people, either internally through our talent pipeline or from outside the business, that provide the right skills and knowledge that support the continued growth of our Company. It is therefore important that we continue to benchmark our remuneration packages to ensure that they remain competitive.

Every employee has access to a range of benefits that will support them both inside and outside of work. Our total reward strategy ensures that all employees are eligible for a range of incentives that include a defined contribution pension scheme, life insurance, Save as You Earn (‘Sharesave’) schemes and access to a range of savings and special offers through our Eurxtras platform. This platform also facilitates user-friendly communication with all employees, allowing the business to provide the latest news from across the organisation.

The incentive and reward framework for our sales force in our branches was revised in 2020, enabling a clearer line of sight between company targets and individual reward.

Also during the year, the Group’s inaugural Save As You Earn (SAYE) scheme , launched in 2017, reached its maturity with gains made by all participants and increased share-ownership by our colleagues. We intend to continue to launch SAYE schemes on an annual basis.

The Eurxtras platform continues to operate as a communication tool and provide a range of savings and special offers to employees. Through the pandemic, and particularly whilst the business was closed during the UK’s first lockdown, when a high number of our colleagues were furloughed, we took particular care to ensure employees were made well aware of everything they were entitled to.

Learning and development plus

We are committed to continuously improving the availability and quality of training and development for employees at all levels across the Group.

During 2020, in light of the COVID restrictions, we stepped up the use of video and online training to ensure our compliance and induction training continued.

During the latter months of the year, our programme focused on training our warehouse colleagues in new manual handling equipment and new ways of working at the new site. Our external partners have been pivotal to this hands-on training rollout and we are very grateful for their support.

We continue to embed the use of our Learning Management System, particularly within the branches, using on-line tools to continue with compliance and product training at pace across the whole of the network, without the need for physical meetings.

Diverse and inclusive cultureplus

In line with our Company Values, we continue to enhance our policies, procedures and associated management training to further develop a culture of diversity and inclusiveness at Eurocell.

The recruitment platform and processes we introduced in 2020 ensure that our equality and diversity standards are transparent and this enables us to make decisions without bias or discrimination.  

We provide specific support for specific groups and individuals throughout our business, including the provision of free English and Maths tuition for non-English speakers, access to improved Occupational Health support, mental wellbeing support and a free Employee Assistance Programme. We have stepped up our communication in a variety of methods this year to enable our people to access what they need in order to feel supported and included, whatever their background or needs.

Our objective is to make Eurocell an employer of choice across the UK. We have actively embedded our values and behavioural standards into the new PDR process described above. We are now planning the rollout of a new and complementary talent development review process, a new leadership development programme and a consistent corporate induction programme for 2021. We aim to ensure that all our employees feel included in our successes and reach their potential, whatever their current capabilities or background. 

We recognise the benefits of encouraging diversity across the business and believe that this will contribute to our continued success. All appointments are made based on merit and are measured against specific objective criteria, including the skills and experience needed for the position. We remain committed to increasing the participation of women throughout the Group while recognising we operate in a historically male-dominated industry.

Gender analysis Male no. % Female no. % Total average no.
Directors 5 83%   1 17% 6
Executive Committee 5 100% - - 5
Other senior management 30 71% 12 29% 42
Senior management 40 75% 13 25% 53
Other employees 1,657 88% 235 12% 1,892
Total 1,697 87% 248 13% 1,945

New policies and proceduresplus

The health and wellbeing of our colleagues is of the upmost importance to us. We have continued to review and develop our company policies and procedures in this area to reflect our evolving business and the environment in which we operate. These revised policies provide our people with the help, support and guidance on all employee related issues. For example, during 2020 we have significantly increased our occupational health provision. We also introduced an improved ‘Managing Absence’ policy to support our health and wellbeing plans.

Health and safetyplus

We employ over 2,000 people and the safety and the well-being of these employees and our contractors is our first operational priority.

  2020 2019
Injury frequency rate1 3.6 4.8
Lost time injury frequency rate2 0.7 0.9

1 Injuries per 100,000 hours worked.

2 Lost time accidents per 100,000 hours worked.

Our health and safety performance continues to benchmark well with industry standards.

The generally positive trend in incident-related performance, established through 2018 and 2019, continued through 2020 with significant reductions in both of our two primary incident rate measures.

Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) decreased by 22% to 0.7 lost time incidents per 100,000 hours worked, while Injury Frequency Rate for all incidents fell by 25% to 3.6 injuries per 100,000 hours worked although the number of RIDDOR-reportable injuries rose slightly to a total of 19 across the Group (2019: 17), all of which were classified as minor.

As a result, further accident reduction targets have been set, as part of a suite of linked KPIs for 2021, supported by a new, more robust, incident investigation process which is currently being trialled for full introduction across the Group. This will provide a greater degree of structure and guidance to lead operational management teams towards more thorough investigation and the identification of more effective countermeasures.

Recent changes to the structure and approach of the Health and Safety team will allow closer and more collaborative working relationships with operational management teams. This change, along with the scheduled improvement programmes, should see an acceleration in the rate of improvement and bring further confidence in our ability to effectively control our risks.

During the year, our two profile manufacturing sites achieved successful transition from OHSAS18001 to the new ISO45001 health and safety management standard, thereby demonstrating the Company’s commitment to the protection of our employees, partners and customers.

Our ability to monitor performance and identify potential areas of weakness continues to evolve. Using smart phone technology, audit records are stored online and can be used to generate analysis which can be used to quickly and easily identify trends and areas of strength or weakness.

Programmes for improving workplace standards and reducing injury potential have also continued across our businesses.

For example, Vista Panels invested further in the provision of bespoke racks and trolleys to ensure that large, bulky and heavy composite doors and other products can be stored and transported safely, significantly reducing manual handling risks.

A major yard clean-up operation carried out at our two recycling plants to remove unusable waste, reduce the number of waste skips, clean up spillages and dig out overgrown vegetation has resulted in a reduction in injury risk, the generation of more useable operational space and the creation of a significantly-improved visual impression of the sites.

Finally, good progress has been made with regard to the sharing of safety performance information with the introduction of the Eurocell Safety Wall at our extrusion facility. The wall draws together a various information sources and creates a focal point around which powerful safety conversations can be held.

Working together through hard times

Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, our colleagues achieved some great successes in 2020.

Award winnersplus

Eurocell won two awards at the National Fenestration Awards 2020:

  • Recycling Company of the Year; and
  • Trade Counter of the Year.

We were also awarded second place in the Conservatory Roof Manufacturer category.

These independent awards, which recognise the best in our sector, highlight our strong sustainability credentials as well as the commitment and dedication of our teams.

“We are extremely honoured that the hard work of our teams has been recognised by the industry. After such a difficult year, we are delighted to have received two awards at the National Fenestration Awards 2020.”

Andy McDonnell, Managing Director, Eurocell Building Plastics

Apprenticeship schemesplus

Early in 2020, working in collaboration with Interserve, we launched a new and exciting apprenticeship scheme: the ‘Trade Supplier Development Programme’. The scheme provides our branch colleagues with the opportunity to achieve a Level 2 Trade Supplier qualification. 26 of our Trade Counter colleagues successfully passed the selection process and were enrolled in the scheme. 

The programme continued on track throughout the year, despite the disruption caused by COVID, with the branch network temporarily closed for a period in Q2, and the very strong demand experienced in the business during H2. Training was delivered on-line and using virtual meetings. We expect a good proportion of the group to complete their apprenticeship and graduate in 2021 as planned.

“We prioritised working with Interserve to deliver the Trade Supplier Development Programme in 2020, demonstrating our on-going commitment to invest in our people at all levels right across the business.”

Bruce Stephen, Group Human Resources Director

New Head Office fit-outplus

The major components of this project have been the installation of mobile cantilever racking, the use of mobile platforms for put-away and picking processes and the implementation of IT systems to facilitate efficient operations. However, the project also included the fit-out of our new Head Office and welfare facilities, covering four floors and over 25,000sq.ft. of office and work space.

The office fit-out work, which began at the height of the first COVID lockdown, was completed by our own in-house property team. This group is responsible for our branch development work, including the fit-out of new branches and the refurbishment of older sites. This year they also installed the infrastructure for COVID-safe branch operations, including safety screens for our trade counters.

The Head Office work was completed successfully on time and within budget, despite the very challenging conditions. In order to comply with the new COVID-19 guidelines and legislation, the team lived on site, staying away from their homes and family for several weeks at a time.

“The in-house team did a fantastic job on the new Head Office – we now have modern, flexible workspace for our teams to enjoy. I would like to thank them for the sacrifices they made in order to get the job done during such a challenging period.”

Mark Hemming, Chief Operating Officer

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