Employees

Our vision

Be a responsible employer providing attractive opportunities for our people to develop.

Our approach

To attract and engage a committed workforce, ensuring diversity and nondiscrimination. Vitec is committed to respecting the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Our people are a key asset for the Group

Our employees are critical to our success. Passionate, motivated and skilled employees in a good working environment directly contribute to our strategy, performance and reputation. 

In 2015 we continued to focus time and resources on our employees, including initiatives on subjects such as wellbeing, engagement, diversity, employee benefits and training events. 

As an example, the Photographic Division was awarded the Assiteca prize in 2015 for being one of the best large-sized companies in the North East of Italy for the management of corporate welfare.

Health and Safety

The provision of a healthy, safe and productive work environment for all our employees is a priority for Vitec, for which all our management and employees are responsible.

We have continued to impress the need for excellent health and safety procedures in compliance with the Group’s Health and Safety Policy, which is available on our website and to all employees on the Group intranet. This policy sets the Group-wide guidelines for the prevention of accidents and work-related ill-health and provides guidance for the adequate control of health and safety risks arising from work-related accidents.

All accidents and near misses, whether they result in absence from work or not, are reported, with remedial action identified and implemented to prevent such occurrences in the future. Reporting is prompt and any accident resulting in over three days’ absence is reported to senior Divisional management as well as the Group Chief Executive within 24 hours. Our eight year accident record is shown opposite, which details the number of accidents resulting in over three days’ absence from work across the Group. The number of accidents resulting in over three days’ absence increased in 2015 compared to 2014. While it is our aim to have no such accidents, the outturn for 2015 is still a reasonable performance given the number of employees, sites and operations. Each accident has been fully investigated and key issues identified to try to ensure that there is no such repeat. This process should deliver continued improvement in health and safety across the Group’s operations and we will continue to develop our practices to deliver further improvements in this important area.

Our eight year accident record (over 3 days absence)

There have been no work related fatalities since the Group began collating health and safety statistics in 2002.

The Operations Executive reviews health and safety performance every month, discussing accidents and any incidents of note, sharing best practice initiatives and supporting the Divisions in the management of local health and safety committees and the implementation of regular training activity. The Group Chief Executive updates the Board regularly on health and safety performance by way of monthly reports and verbal updates at Board meetings.

Employees receive training on health and safety procedures that are appropriate to their line of work and environment. This may, for example, involve training in warehouse operations, working at heights, fire safety or more general initiatives to make employees aware of the dangers that can be encountered in the execution of their various duties. Within each of the Group’s Divisions separate assessment and training appropriate to operations is carried out for health and safety. Employees are regularly reminded of the need to work safely with posters on notice boards at all sites. For example, the Cassola and Feltre sites in Italy promote the “Are you working safely?” campaign which provides regular tips and key notes on health and safety subjects. Health and Safety Committees at all major sites hold regular meetings to review safety, ensure that operating practices are safe and address potential safety concerns. At the Photographic Division's manufacturing sites in Feltre, Italy and Ashby-de-la-Zouch, UK, a procedure has been set up to observe employees’ health and safety behaviour in the workplace. Using an industrial safety management approach, the procedure checks whether employees’ working practices are compliant with standards and procedures related to personal protective equipment, tools, substances, machinery, handling and other activities, and enables feedback to be given to avoid workplace accidents. In 2015 a total of 42,209 work actions were observed at both sites with an average of 99.6 per cent compliance with safe working practices.

The Broadcast Division’s site in Cartago, Costa Rica, as well as the Photographic Division’s sites at Cassola and Feltre, Italy, have further been awarded the OHSAS 18001 occupational health and safety accreditation. This confirms that the sites operate with a robust health and safety management system, with policies, procedures and controls needed to achieve the best possible working conditions aligned to internationally recognised best practice.

Engagement

Management conference 2015 attendees

We aim to provide our employees with an engaging and stimulating environment where they are encouraged to learn and develop. We communicate with our employees on a regular basis, keeping them informed of business performance at a Group, Divisional and business unit level. Reflecting the diverse global nature of our employees we use multiple channels and a variety of media to communicate with them.

A business overview, focusing on results and key events, is shared with all employees via two annual, global communication videos presented by the Group Chief Executive which are uploaded to the Group intranet.

Alongside Group-wide communications, employees receive briefings on performance and business issues on a regular basis from Divisional and business unit senior management. This takes the form of internal announcements, breakfast meetings with Divisional management, quarterly business updates via video and via the intranet sites.

As an example of the progress made within Divisional communications, during 2015 two new intranet sites were developed and launched to which all employees in the Broadcast Division and Group head office are directed when opening a web browser. The sites contain divisional news, policies, organisation structure charts, key contacts and more. These new intranet sites complement the existing site within the Photographic Division and all three sites are linked for ease of access across Divisions.

In March 2015 we held a management conference in London bringing together the Group Chief Executive, Group Finance Director, and Divisional and senior management across the Group covering strategy, results and achievements with an emphasis on cross-divisional collaboration. Those attending the management conference cascaded key messages to the wider employee population to ensure consistent communication across the Group.

We further communicate with our employees through our Group website. This contains a section on Working at Vitec including links to find out about career opportunities throughout the Group.

Wellbeing

Sharesave invitation 2015 and Japanese whistleblowing poster.

Photographic Division's Sales & Marketing Team

Good3
The Good3 project, launched in 2011 by the Group’s Photographic Division, continued in 2015 with more initiatives undertaken at several sites.

The programme was developed to help employees stay healthy, by providing them with training and tools to develop good habits in the areas of diet, exercise and the prevention of illnesses. One example includes discounted gym memberships at the principal Italian sites of Cassola and Feltre and Manfrotto’s US distribution business based in New Jersey. The Italian sites launched a new project in 2015 to encourage employees to share their membership with a family member to contribute to their sense of wellbeing both inside and outside of the workplace. Healthy eating initiatives also continued to be promoted with a Good3 discounted healthy product line included within site vending machines.

The focus on educating employees to enable them to make healthy decisions is also active within the Broadcast Division. Initiatives include occupational health services and talks, the cycle to work scheme under the Government’s cycle initiative in the UK, annual flu vaccinations, healthy eating, health and safety initiatives and exercise programmes across the UK, US and Costa Rica.

Working environment
We continue to invest in improving the work environment for our employees, creating contemporary spaces with upgraded technology and communication systems that enable collaboration and personal efficiency.

We have also listened to and responded to our employees’ views. Following a trial in 2014, the Photographic Division’s site in Cassola, Italy, launched its Break Area in 2015 with the aim of providing a breakout space where employees could meet and talk during their breaks to increase networking and collaboration. 2015 has seen further promotion of family friendly working with a focus on eliminating negative work patterns and stress. Initiatives linked to this have included Summer Camps at the Photographic Division’s sites in Cassola and Feltre, Italy, offering activities to children between the ages of 3 and 14 when schools are closed. This project helps to foster the balance between the private and working lives of employees. Flexible working opportunities are also available across the Group in both Divisions.

Benefits
We employ around 1,800 employees in 10 countries who are managed in accordance with local employment legislation, policies and our organisational values. Attracting the talent we need and retaining their commitment to our organisation in all of the territories we operate in has required the organisation to commence an assertive approach to our benefits packages, to support our employees and remain competitive in a global market where talent is in short supply.

In the US our employees participate in a consolidated Health Benefits Plan that provides a valued level of healthcare. Employees at the Cassola and Feltre sites in Italy now benefit from the new Benefit Salute health care plan which has been promoted to provide an increasing number of services in line with our policies in terms of health, welfare and support of the individual employee. Similar plans are offered to employees in other territories.

Employees are also given the option to join pension plans appropriate to local markets. In the UK this involves a Company approved pension plan with minimum employer and employee contributions and in the US a 401k plan. Since April 2014 in the UK, all employees except for those who have expressly opted out, are now in a qualifying pension plan.

All employees in the UK, US, Italy, Costa Rica, France, Germany and for the first time in 2015, Japan, are given the opportunity to join an all-employee Sharesave scheme on an annual basis, enabling the employee to save to purchase shares in the Company at a discounted rate. Employees save a fixed monthly amount of up to £350 (or $500 in the US or foreign currency equivalent in other territories) over a fixed term (usually three years but two years in the US) with the option to purchase a fixed number of shares at a discount of up to 20% on the prevailing share price at the time of the offer. The following participation levels were achieved in 2015:

Sharesave participation in 2015
Country Number of eligible employees Number of accounts opened Take-up
US 541 152 28%
UK 331 116 35%
Italy 505 97 19%
Germany 60 11 18%
Costa Rica 179 29 16%
France 13 1 8%
Japan 37 35 95%

Participation levels vary from year to year due to the fact that employees in a particular territory may already be saving at the maximum rate. We plan to continue offering Sharesave to our employees in future years.

The Photographic Division’s Italian sites offer employees a Vitec Shopping Card that allows employees to benefit from special prices on food, drink, travel, clothing, sport, cinema and medicine through agreements with local retailers. These discounts of up to 50% help employees to increase their purchasing power.

Capability and development

Learning and development activity continued to take place in our businesses in accordance with personal development plans, results of annual performance appraisals and organisational need. The Organisation and Talent Review (OTR) has continued to be developed to fully understand the organisation’s capacity and capability for achieving its strategic plans. The OTR enables the Operations Executive to create the leadership pipeline for its critical roles and specify the development requirements to be offered to employees.

The performance appraisal process, in operation in both Divisions, provides the opportunity for the employee to discuss current performance and future potential with their line manager in an objective and positive manner. The development needs identified by the discussions will continue to be used to enhance the global programme of talent development for release more widely across the Group.

In 2015, the Photographic Division implemented its Performance Appraisal (“PA”) system for all its employees. The new system is designed to evaluate the distinctive competencies and skills of each employee. It will enable the business to manage employees’ performance in a fair and inclusive way with a structure that is common across the Division, enabling career development that is aligned to the strategic objectives of the business. All Photographic employees can access the PA system and can find induction models on the Divisional intranet.

Targeted learning and development activities have continued within the Group’s businesses. In 2015, Manfrotto Distribution in the US offered a Tuition Programme for eligible employees for educational assistance with ongoing training which is related to the employee’s current duties or a foreseeable-future position with the company. SmallHD in the US also offers assistance with education expenses and continued development of e-learning for all employees to target specific subjects or current issues within the business. Within the Photographic Division, Manfrotto’s School of Xcellence offers a three day induction programme for all employees called “Shoot and Capture Imaging”, to educate employees on photography and videography.

In 2015, Manfrotto Distribution in the US held a two day structured training and development programme to identify obstacles to progress, develop collaborative working and collectively embrace change. The programme was a continuation of the initial project that ran over several months in 2014. New projects and priorities were identified and will be pursued in 2016.

Equal opportunity

The Kennedy Center's "Competitive Employer of the Year" team at the Shelton site

Vitec has an equal opportunities culture with an express prohibition on discrimination of any kind. In 2011, Lord Davies’ report on Women on Boards was considered by the Board leading to a reiteration of our diversity statement, which is set out on page 45 of the Governance Report and on our website. The Board has continued to monitor progress on this issue and the Group Chief Executive is responsible for developing diversity throughout the Group. The organisation’s current gender breakdown is as follows:

Gender statistics as at 31 December 2015
Number of men % of men Number of women % of women
Board 5 71% 2 29%
Operations Executive 5 100% 0 0%
Senior Management 22 92% 2 8%
Rest of organisation 1,159 72% 458 28%
This data does not include contractors

We continue to recognise the importance of diversity throughout our workforce and the human resources teams continue with efforts to attract women to Vitec and encourage them to apply for promotions. We continue to strive to employ a diverse workforce.

Vitec’s approach to diversity has always followed a strict policy of sourcing the best person for the role irrespective of race, gender, age or disability. We are keen to develop further the recruitment of talented women to the organisation at all levels and are developing policies and procedures across the Group to achieve this. Recruitment processes have been reviewed to ensure a diverse mix of candidates is reviewed and shortlisted for interviews, where appropriate, with a view to increasing the number of women in senior roles. Flexible working policies have been introduced in all the major business units, allowing all employees, regardless of gender, to request flexible working. This is usually granted, unless the needs of the business cannot otherwise be met.

It is Vitec’s policy that applications for employment by disabled persons are always fully considered, bearing in mind the respective aptitudes and abilities of the applicant concerned. The Broadcast Division’s site in Shelton was selected as the Kennedy Center’s Competitive Employer of the Year, an award recognising employers that hire individuals with disabilities and promote their empowerment. The Shelton office was chosen for the understanding, encouragement and sensitivity that management and employees have demonstrated in working with people with disabilities. In the event of employees becoming disabled all reasonable effort is made to ensure that their employment within the Group continues. It is our policy that the training, career development and promotion of disabled persons should be, as far as possible, identical to that of all other employees.