11 July 2019
Unite Students’ ambition is to be recognised as a quality place to work. We do this by creating a diverse, inclusive, representative and engaged workforce. As a customer service organisation and to deliver Home for Success, the engagement and development of our employees is a key.
Investors in People
We are proud to have achieved an Investors in People (IIP) Gold award, placing us in the top 3% of the UK organisations actively working with IIP. The award reflects our continuing commitment to our employees in creating a great place to work and developing our people to achieve their true potential.
Unite Students understands the benefit of having a happy and motivated workforce who earn a fair salary for their hard work and commitment. In 2015 we were proud to receive the Living Wage accreditation, a first for our sector and we remain committed to maintaining this going forward.
Gender Pay Gap Reporting
We recognise the importance of diversity and the benefits it can bring to the workplace. Unite welcomes the Government’s introduction of Gender Pay Gap reporting legislation under the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulation 2017 and what it sets out to achieve.
We believe in a work life balance, so we have family friendly initiatives that provide time away from the workplace and support an appropriate balance between work life and home life. Our parental policies and procedures reflect our commitment to equality and diversity, and provide our people with clear guidance to ensure they are fully aware of their employment rights.
Our Employee Panel comprises of a group of peer elected representatives, chaired by our Group People Director, and allows employees to engage regularly with senior management to discuss business performance and issues of concern and interest at a local and national level.
We are committed to supporting our people in their own learning and development by providing access to a range of learning interventions that are linked to the skills, knowledge and behaviours they need to perform at their best in their roles. Our Talent Development team work with the business to identify learning solutions that enable our people to develop the capabilities they need.
We run employee effectiveness surveys several times each year and employees are encouraged to give open and honest feedback. The survey results support us in driving further change across the business, and action plans are used to address gaps at a local and national level. Participation rates have increased year on year and have provided us with valuable insight into what it feels like to work at Unite Students.
We operate a non-discriminatory employment policy, which focusses on diversity and inclusion and where full and fair consideration is given to all applicants.
Unite Students provides a variety of work spaces, benefits and services to ensure employees are productive and motivated at work and are able to achieve a healthy work/life balance.
Responsible and sustainable business
As a FTSE 250 listed company, Unite has a duty to promote the success of the business for the benefit of shareholders. We believe there is no contradiction between this goal and behaving in a responsible and sustainable manner towards all those we affect. We must act with the highest standards of corporate governance and integrity at all times across all areas of our operations whilst ensuring our company values are upheld.
Diversity In Action Group and Support Networks
Unite Students values diversity in the workplace and recognises the ongoing need to drive cultural change. To support this, an opportunity was opened for interested employees to join a group who will champion diversity initiatives and support with engagement across the organisation. The group consists of volunteers from across the business who meet quarterly.
A notable output from the Diversity in Action Group was the launch of the Women’s Network. This is a self-governed group designed to support the sharing of best practice, provision of peer to peer support and to help empower women in the workplace. Following the successful launch of the Women’s network, further network groups are planned.
Safety, wellbeing and security of our customers and visitors
- We seek to conduct our business in accordance with the highest standards of business and personal ethics at all times, as outlined in our code of ethics.
- In support of the code of ethics, all Unite staff are subject to our corporate gifts and hospitality policy and expenses policy, which together leave no spaces for bribery, corruption or fraud.
- Colleagues with access to specific confidential or sensitive information are subject to the employee share dealing code, which requires them to seek written permission from the company secretary before buying or selling shares, and imposes various ‘closed periods’ prior to annual reporting.
- We provide all colleagues with guidance on reporting any concerns such as improper accounting or conduct, fraud or criminal acts, health and safety breaches, anti-competitive behaviour, discrimination, bullying, harassment, environmental damage or any other such activity.
- Unite′s Company Secretary and Head of Legal maintains a regulatory change tracker in order to forewarn the business of impending legislation or regulation.
- Alongside this activity, we treat the safety and wellbeing of all our customers and visitors extremely seriously. We operate a strict and robust contractor management process to ensure that anyone carrying out work within our business does so safely. Our customer safety and wellbeing is paramount.
- We also operate a network of wellbeing ambassadors who are located in each of the cities in which we operate who are able to support our customers where needs may arise.