The Group subscribes to the Association of Management Consulting Firms' Code of Ethics (available at www.amcf.org) and in the UK the Code of Ethics of the UK Management Consultancies Association (available at www.mca.org.uk).
The codes of ethics conform to regulatory and legislative initiatives and assure the users of consulting services that members are publicly committed to providing the highest quality work.
The Board considers the financial management team as holding an important role in corporate governance, having both the responsibility and authority to protect, balance and preserve the interests of all stakeholders. Specific polices are in place and form part of the financial management team's twice-yearly appraisal.
All employees can voice their concerns about any unethical behaviour through an internal "whistleblowing" process.
The Group operates in a number of countries and its employment practices vary to meet local requirements and best practices within a framework established by the Group.
It is Group policy that all people be treated with dignity and respect. The Group is committed to providing and fostering a working environment that is free from harassment, discrimination, victimisation or bullying and where all employees are treated with dignity and respect.
Our ability to become a high-performing organisation depends on our inclusion of people who come from diverse backgrounds. It is Group policy to ensure equal opportunities exist without discrimination for all employees, irrespective of their race, colour, creed, religion, gender, ancestry, citizenship, sexual preference, marital status, national origin, age, pregnancy, or any other reason prohibited by the laws of the individual countries in which it operates. This applies with respect to recruitment, promotion, compensation, transfer, retention, training and other employment actions. In South Africa the Group operates positive discrimination in respect of previously disadvantaged individuals. Wherever possible the employment of members of staff who become disabled will be continued and appropriate training and career development will be offered.
One of the Group's key objectives is to achieve a shared commitment by all employees to the success of the business. We recognise the importance of employees understanding the Group strategy, the businesses' priorities and the expectations of individuals. Presentations on strategy and priorities are made at meetings of employees and are supplemented by monthly communications from the Group Chief Executive.
Employees have a written job description and are appraised by their manager quarterly or semi-annually using a formal process. The Group is committed to providing support to help realise the full potential of all its employees, whilst recognising that the ultimate responsibility for personal development must rest with the individual. There are executive and management development programmes for current and future leaders of the business; training programmes for client facing staff and an induction programme for all new staff. There is regular communication via internal meetings, email, intranets and in-house magazines.
Charitable and political donations
No political donations were made in 2009 or 2008. Charitable donations of £152,000 were made during 2009. In addition pro bono work is carried out by a number of the Group's consultancies with good causes worldwide. During 2009 the market value of work carried out for these charities totaled £245,000.
The Board has established a Charitable Donations Committee to oversee the charitable donations by the Group. Three senior members of staff were appointed to the Committee and meet at regular intervals to review proposals for donations.
The Group encourages its employees worldwide to contribute actively to their local communities.