Running our business to a higher standard

Strengthening our corporate governance and sustainability policies, reviewing our business principles and ensuring our people embrace diversity and inclusion.
Our purpose is to improve the lives of our customers, build a better society for the long term and create value for shareholders. Our strategy is designed to ensure we are embedding a positive culture based on our business principles and behaviours, celebrating our successes, recognising contributions, and addressing areas for improvement.
Our people and culture

Our people are at the heart of what we do. So that we continue to deliver the best for our customers, we need to make our employees feel engaged, empowered and proud to work here.

Culture

The foundations of our culture are built upon three values:


1. Straightforward. We need to communicate in a simple way that 
is easy to understand.

2. Collaborative. All businesses should work togetheracross the group.

3. Purposeful. We must be fully committed to the products and services provided by us to customers.

Every year we ask each business to present how they are evolving, protecting and measuring their culture. Our Group CEO, Group HR Director and Group Chief Risk Officer get together to evaluate how each business puts our business principles into practice.

Employee engagement

Our worldwide employee engagement index is currently 72%.

We want our employees to be fully engaged with our culture. Our ambition is that this culture allows all our people to share their views and contribute fully to our business agenda. In 2018, we moved to a new methodology of measuring employee engagement, away from an annual survey to a more frequent digital basis. We now have a platform that provides real-time insight on engagement and helps leaders and management to build action plans, focusing on the improvements that matters the most for our people.

Diversity and inclusion

An inclusive work environment

We have taken steps to ensure that we are creating a positive, flexible and inclusive work environment for everyone. We introduced agile working contracts in 2018, providing many employees with more flexible working arrangements. 

Improvements in technology are enabling our employees to be more agile in terms of where they work, with many no longer fixed to one office location. We have put in place strong family-friendly policies including a parental leave coaching programme and emergency back-up care. This means our people can access nannies, nurseries, child-minders, holiday clubs, or eldercare specialists at short notice, with two days a year paid for by us. 

Gender diversity

Our 50/50 by 2020 gender initiative started in 2014 and we continue to work with leading diversity campaigns to help us achieve our goals, including the 30% Club, the Diversity Project and the Women in Finance Charter.     

We still have some way to go to reach our Women in Finance target of 40% of women in senior roles, and our aspiration of gender balance at all levels, but we’re starting to see our actions making a difference. For instance, we were recognised in the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index for the first time in January 2019. 

Our focus on gender diversity initiatives has resulted in a positive impact on the recruitment and promotion of women. We’ll continue our efforts to ensure women are represented at all levels in our business, but we’re taking a broader approach to make Legal and General group a place where talented people, whatever their identity or background, can thrive. 

Gender pay gap

We have now produced our second Gender Pay Gap report which measures the difference between the average pay of men and women across the whole company. Although we’re pleased to report that we’ve seen a 2.6% reduction in our median gender pay gap, we know there is much more to be done. Despite a positive change overall, the slight increase in the gender pay gap in our investment management business underlines that this is an on-going challenge. 

Our gender pay gap report provides a full analysis of pay by gender.

Ethnicity

We recognise that we have a long way to go before the proportion of people in our executive team and senior management team begins to reflect the UK’s ethnic profile. In 2018, we made a small start by responding to the BEIS Ethnicity Pay Gap consultation and signing the Race at Work Charter. We welcome the greater transparency on pay, recognition and diversity that these initiatives will bring. 

Our support for the LGBT+ community

We want to create a culture where LGBT+ people feel comfortable to work and express their individuality. Our L&GBT network has successfully partnered with LGBT Great to raise awareness of LGBT+ inclusion in the investment management industry. Their success has resulted in awards for both the network chair and its business sponsor. We have promoted activities that recognise the importance of the LGBT community such as Pride events in all our major locations.

Focus on social inclusion

As a business we want to be economically and socially useful and our work on social inclusion is very much aligned to these business goals. Our Socio-Economic Mobility (SEM) Committee forms part of the wider Legal and General Inclusion Team.

Our objectives are threefold:


1. Raise awareness of issues related to social mobility in
the UK amongst our colleagues.

2. Level the playing field for young applicants from less affluent backgrounds applying for positions to our organisation, with an emphasis on ‘social mobility cold spots’

3. Support retention and career progression of existing talent from relatively disadvantaged backgrounds.

Talent development

We need to identify the skills and capabilities that are needed for the long-term growth of the company. Employees can take responsibility for their own career development, with relevant, easy to access and tailored support from us. Many of our training programmes are available online, making access to learning easily available anywhere and anytime. In 2018, we delivered programmes around digital skills to encourage new ways of working for all of our people. We committed to mental health first aid training and unconscious bias sessions, helping us to foster the behaviours that make the company a place where everyone can thrive.

Employee health and wellbeing

We believe that all employees should be emotionally, mentally and physically fit, resilient to change and performing at their best. We achieve this by working to deliver a proactive, integrated and consistent plan of activities to support employees’ physical and mental health and wellbeing at work through our My Health, My Money and My Life programmes.

A key focus for us is mental health. Our ‘Not a Red Card Offence’ campaign continues to work with high-profile, inspirational sports people to start to reduce the stigma of talking about mental health.

Our priorities have included:

  • Specific mental health training for staff when dealing with both colleagues and customers
  • Encouraging openness regarding mental health; and
  • Developing a positive narrative that is communicated with colleagues all around the world.

We have over 100 trained Mental Health First Aiders across
our business whose role is to support colleagues by taking time to listen, and by signposting additional support resources.

Our Health and Safety team supported the business in a number of trials regarding Agile/New Ways of Working, providing guidance to the project teams and reviewing 375 Ways of Working/Home assessments throughout 2018.

Code of ethics

We have a code of ethics which underpins how we operate. The code covers significant areas such as being open, honest and fair; discrimination; conflicts of interest; operating within the law; safeguarding personal data; and avoiding bringing the company into disrepute.

Our ‘Speak Up’ campaign seeks feedback from our people, customers and external partners, to capture positive evidence of our business principles in action and areas that need focus. The introduction of the new GDPR legislation in 2018 led to the adoption of increased data protection standards and new personal privacy procedures. There have been no reported incidents of data protection breaches that resulted in litigation, penalties or fines from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

Our suppliers

We work closely with key group suppliers to help to ensure they meet and maintain high standards in line with our Supplier Code of Conduct, contract terms and governance requirements.

The purpose of this is to establish and maintain standards that ensure our key suppliers operate ethically, are environmentally responsible and that their employees are treated with respect and dignity. All key suppliers are expected to have processes in place to maintain these standards and to be able to provide evidence of meeting these standards if required.

We also look to address where possible relevant environmental considerations in the sourcing process, for example, all new applicable sourcing requirements which come up for tender will be required to consider the need for single-use plastics.

Understanding and reducing the impact of modern day slavery

With the assistance of Anti-Slavery International, we were able to review modern slavery risk in our core supply chain in relation to the Modern Slavery Act. We have hosted a number of workshops with key suppliers to help us understand the impact and process of slavery in the UK and how we would practically spot signs of slavery in addition to more traditional governance methods. We have set a number of common expectations for our suppliers and jointly decided on indicators of working standards, which are being integrated and evolved into our Supplier Code of Conduct and governance.

Human Rights

Our responsibility is to respect all human rights. Our proactive approach reflects our ethical commitment and helps to establish and maintain successful relationships with all stakeholders. Our actions encompass all of our stakeholders in all group businesses.

Improving all aspects of our supply chain

We use a fair, transparent and ethical supply chain process by sourcing the best solutions available to meet our business needs. We are keen to hear from new suppliers and actively looking at better ways to engage with smaller firms. We are constantly reviewing our approach to proactive supplier governance and our newly sourced software and tooling will provide a consistent, transparent digital platform to help us further develop our supply base and how they are managed.

How we work with government

We have a set of principles for engagement with government and policy makers. We believe people should know what we do and what we stand for.

As part of growing our business in the USA we have continued to engage with stakeholders across the United States at Federal, State and City-level, including Chambers of Commerce and will continue to do so.

Our public policy principles

1. We make no political donations. We are politically neutral, working with all parties, officials, regulators and other policy organisations in the jurisdictions we operate in.

2. We work collaboratively both directly and through a range of industry representative bodies.

3. We aim to deliver evidence-based, practical proposals for consideration by policy-makers.

4. We aim to be experts and thought-leaders: we are an organisation rich in expertise that we’re willing to share with those responsible for formulating public policy.

5. We’re focused on delivering positive outcomes for customers, shareholders, investment markets, the broader economy and society.

Our engagement with government

As part of our dialogue, we responded to over 49 government and regulatory consultations, as well as shaping responses from trade and industry bodies. Our main areas of discussion with central and especially local government in 2018

have included:

  • supporting jobs and growth through urban regeneration

  • changes to the pensions and ‘at retirement’ market

  • financial regulation – both conduct and prudential

  • corporate governance

  • risk sharing

  • financial regulation – UK, US and EU

  • reforms to both prudential and conduct regulation

  • engaging with UK, US and EU national and regional government on direct investment into infrastructure and housing

  • discussions on ESG and sustainable finance

  • the UK’s exit from the European Union

  • international trade.

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