UPDATE ON ACTIVITIES 2019/20
Supporting colleague health and wellbeing
We have been increasing our focus on mental health awareness in the business for around two years, primarily educating and engaging colleagues through face-to-face training for our managers and via our Home Comforts in-house communication tool. We are now using our insight to tailor mental health and wellbeing initiatives more effectively, focusing on early intervention and prevention. In May 2020, we partnered with a provider who develops clinically-approved content (licensed from the Black Dog institute) to develop an app with mental health and mood-tracking modules. Around 500 colleagues have signed up to date and we are receiving positive feedback.
We also used Home Comforts to understand and react to colleague sentiment and wellbeing during the Covid-19 crisis, expanding it to include a ‘Wellbeing hub’ where we collated information and advice on finances, healthy eating, and emotional wellbeing. Over 1,000 colleagues have logged in to this content.
Diversity and inclusion
We believe that having a diverse and inclusive working environment correlates directly with the health and wellbeing of our colleagues. We are committed to:
- Educating and raising awareness (by explaining, for example, the background of Pride month and Black Lives Matter demonstrations).
- Promoting colleague engagement (through conversations and internal network building).
- Understanding and celebrating colleague diversity (starting with better data collection).
Our programme is fully endorsed by our leadership team and the Board, and we have appointed a strategic partner to audit our policies and practices and help to build awareness and make our commitments resonate more strongly in our workplace. We are also looking to extend diversity and inclusion training, and audit our colleague practices from a diversity and inclusion point of view.
This year we collected ethnicity data from new joiners. At the end of February 2020 our data covered 59% of our colleagues and, of these, 89% are white British. Our planned colleague census in April 2020 was put on hold owing to the Covid-19 crisis; however, we intend to complete data collection by the end of 2020. We are also supporting our 300 or so colleagues who are EU nationals to obtain ‘settled status’ in advance of the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020.
We published our third gender pay report in July 2020 and were pleased to report that we reduced both key gender pay gap metrics. Our 2019 median gap was 7.6% (2018: 7.9%) and our mean gap was 18.0% (2018: 19.2%). We know we need to work hard to meet our aim to reduce these gaps further given the skew towards women holding lower-paid roles in our business – as is the case in the UK retail sector in general. At Dunelm, for example, 80% of our colleagues are hourly paid in our stores and, of these, 74% are female. Nonetheless, we are committed to improving and remaining open to change. During the Covid-19 crisis, for example, around 70 furloughed store colleagues took on flexible home-based roles supporting the Customer Care Centre. While this approach alone will not reduce our gender pay gap sufficiently, it serves as a reminder that there may be other solutions to consider.
At the end of June 2020, the overall breakdown of male and female colleagues remained at 32:68 with no significant movement over the year. The analysis by job role is as follows: