We understand that it’s people who make places, which is why we strive to engage with our clients and staff using clear communications and understanding things from their perspective.
Recognising how important it is for our colleagues to be able to spend quality time with their families and how this can support their health and wellbeing, Embark operates an enhanced family leave policy.
For all eligible colleagues throughout the UK, Embark Group offers 6 months’ full pay followed by 6 months at 25% pay for both maternity and adoption leave, and 4 weeks’ full pay for paternity leave. As a diverse and inclusive employer, the Group recognises the importance of family, whether that be to grow or care for them. The Policy encourages employees to spend quality time with their family, with enhanced pay giving families one less thing to worry about at an important time, and also builds on Embark’s goal to provide a family-friendly workplace as part of a market-leading employee proposition.
Embark recognises that 2020/21 has had a huge impact on its business but more importantly its employees. Everyone has had to deal with the challenges of our new ways of working and this has highlighted the importance of maintaining a good work-life balance; taking positive steps to look after our wellbeing and being supportive of others.
Employee wellbeing is a key priority for the Embark Group and we’re working towards a workplace environment which encourages and supports a healthy work-life balance, offering a range of initiatives that can aid everyone’s wellbeing.
We host regular wellbeing sessions to support our employees with hints and tips on how to look after their health and wellbeing, covering topics such as:
These sessions have also been recorded and are available to anyone via our employee portal, along with leaflets and tools to support looking after everyone’s mental health and wellbeing. Staff also have access to services including a virtual GP and counselling sessions.
We hold an annual Group wellbeing walking challenge which involves teams competing against each other with their smart devices automatically tracking progress. In 2022, 27 teams took part, over 60 million steps were taken, and 40,000 km were covered.
We have also introduced a team of Mental Health First Aiders – we now have more than 20 colleagues across various business units qualified to help and support all employees. Giving everyone the ability to talk in complete confidence to a supportive team who are available to listen and point colleagues in the right direction for the most appropriate ongoing support.
Embark also has an Employee Assistance Programme, which can help with personal problems and/or work-related issues that may impact colleagues work performance, health, or mental or emotional wellbeing.
There is a wealth of information on a range of topics from financial management to health checks and employees are entitled to a number of telephone counselling sessions and up to four face-to-face sessions per year.
In light of the global pandemic, our employees’ safety is a top priority and in line with government guidelines, the Embark Group has undertaken a full Covid-19 risk assessment for all its office locations, and control measures have been reviewed via a physical on-site audit. View our workplace risk assessments.
The Embark Group began its journey in 2013. Since then we have grown to become one of the UK’s largest retirement savings providers following the successful implementation of our strategy. One of our companies was legally required to report gender pay gap for 2021, but we have also continued to publish our overall Group findings voluntarily as in previous years, to demonstrate our commitment to gender and pay equality.
Protecting vulnerable consumers is a key focus for us and is more important than ever due to the impact of the pandemic.
We continue to analyse and strengthen our approach to supporting vulnerable customers across the business, through improving our processes and appointing a network of Vulnerable Customer ‘Champions’. Our vulnerable customer policy is reviewed on a regular basis, with Vulnerable Customer training mandatory for all staff. We also constantly monitor a central Vulnerable Customer register so that staff are made aware of individuals at risk, and work closely with White Label partners to ensure compliance with our business principles.
All customers are at risk of becoming vulnerable, but this risk is increased by having characteristics of vulnerability. These could be poor health, such as cognitive impairment, life events such as new caring responsibilities, low resilience to cope with financial or emotional shocks and low capability, such as poor literacy or numeracy skills.
Embark has a clear policy, processes, and procedures to ensure we support our most vulnerable customers and provides annual training to all colleagues, as well as enhanced training to all of those with direct customer facing roles. In 2021 Embark introduced a national network of Vulnerable Customer Champions to offer further support and guidance to those dealing with vulnerable customers across the business as and ensure as a business that we continuously learn and improve our processes, procedures, and training to ensure positive outcomes for all our customers including those most in need.
Colleagues were offered a new benefit selection, so that they have the option to be able to give to the causes that they care about – Give As You Earn. As an introductory offer, Charities Trust offered to match the first £10 donated each month in May and June 2021 on any new donations. For a donation of £10, which will cost £5.50/£8 depending on employees’ tax rate, their chosen charity receives £20.
We have looked to set out our approach to the Act, including the steps we are taking to protect potential victims of modern slavery, with the aim of preventing and eradicating slavery and human trafficking in our business and supply chains.