We always aim to behave ethically and are committed to creating positive changes in three key areas: Our People, Our Communities and Our Environment. This focus is reflected in our business strategy and day to day activities, demonstrating our core values.
At Hymans Robertson, our people are the core of our success. Reflecting our four values – partnering, straightforward, friendly and confident – we make a promise to everyone at Hymans Robertson that we will work with them to make this the best job they will ever have.
We truly believe that attracting, retaining and developing a talented and diverse workforce is key to our success. As well as providing positive opportunities, we encourage individuals to develop their full potential. We recognise the fundamental importance of diversity and inclusion and a proactive approach to wellbeing in the workplace. We support initiatives that provide fair pay; insisting that all staff employed directly or indirectly by us receive the Living Wage as a minimum.
Getting this right has helped us achieve ‘Best Companies’ accreditation for the past seven years, and feature on the Sunday Times ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ in 2014 and 2015.
Delivering better outcomes for our clients is what gets us up in the morning. We love solving problems and have definitely found that two heads (or more) are always better than one when it comes to finding the best answer. Diversity is the key. Combining different perspectives, styles, experience and skills are the magic ingredients.
Everyone at Hymans Robertson is treated fairly and equally. Despite that however, like many businesses in the UK, we find women are under-represented at a senior level in the firm. Over the past 3 years we have worked to redress the imbalance and have made some good progress: women now represent nearly 30% of our partners. Our work is far from finished however, and we continue to challenge unconscious bias and out-dated perceptions of work and career paths to increase the number of women progressing to the top level in our firm.
Ultimately our goal is to become gender-blind, where both male and female colleagues can enjoy the same opportunities for rewarding careers, shared parenting and to lead the firm towards its 100th birthday in 2021 and beyond.
In pursuit of this we offer reciprocal mentoring, flexible working practices, technology to support agile working and support for those returning from parental leave. We do not run women only development programmes but instead look to develop a shared understanding of the opportunities and barriers to advancement for both men and women.
Of course diversity isn’t all about gender. Unconscious bias is diversity’s biggest enemy, and we make good use of our growing understanding of this to make Hymans Robertson an inclusive work place for all.
Committed to paying the Living Wage
Hymans Robertson LLP is committed to ensuring that all directly employed and contracted staff receive fair remuneration for the job they perform. This is demonstrated through our commitment to pay all staff the Living Wage. This voluntary commitment requires all staff, whether employed directly, as contractors or through our subcontractors, to receive as a minimum the appropriate Living Wage rate, set each year by the Living Wage Foundation. These rates are based on research and reflect the levels of income required to meet a socially acceptable minimum standard of living.
Committed to ending slavery
The policies we have in place and our anti-slavery statement, reflect our commitment to acting ethically and with integrity in all our business relationships and to implementing and enforcing effective systems and controls to ensure slavery and human trafficking is not taking place anywhere in our business or supply chains.
Good for individuals, good for the community
Reflecting our commitment to help create positive changes for our people, our communities and our environment, we actively support and encourage our people in a variety of charitable activities. At the heart of this is supporting them in their efforts to give back to the communities we live and operate in.
Every employee is allocated one paid volunteer day each year. In 2015 our people contributed over 1,200 working hours supporting more than 70 charities across the UK. Our volunteers can choose to work with charities close to their hearts, or take advantage of local charitable opportunities coordinated by our ‘helping hands’ groups in each of our offices. Charitable activities have included painting and decorating, garden maintenance, transporting and hanging pictures for an art exhibition, and hosting celebration parties for both the younger and older generations.
We also offer skilled volunteering opportunities through the charities we support via our Financial Literacy programme. Hymans Robertson currently partners with Mencap, Tomorrow’s People and TLG The Education Charity, and our volunteers contribute their time and expertise to deliver financial education training to disadvantaged young people in England and Scotland.
Read some of our Volunteer Stories in our
Supporting others is a core part of the firm’s Corporate Social Responsibility agenda, with 2% of our profits distributed to charities each year. In 2015 this amounted to over £136,000. Although we provide much needed cash, our connections with charities involve much more than just writing a cheque.
At Hymans Robertson, we actively support a variety of charitable activities which include fundraising and various collections. Employees are also encouraged to make good use of their ‘volunteering day’ and in 2015, employees spent more than 1200 hours volunteering directly for charities.
Helping young people
Recently, we have embarked on our most ambitious stream of activity yet: allocating around 1% of profits, along with our time to help improve the financial literacy of young disadvantaged people. We are firmly committed to building this series of strategic projects, leveraging our own expertise.
Our work on financial literacy is in its infancy but we have already helped over 100 disadvantaged young people to improve their knowledge of financial matters through several series of workshops undertaken in partnership with three fantastic charities: Mencap; Tomorrow’s People and TLG The Education Charity. 2016, also sees us enter into a partnership with The Prince's Trust.
Our very ambitious aim is that by 2024, we will have made a difference to the lives of 10,000 disadvantaged young people through financial education and employment opportunities, using our own skills in financial matters and our educated workforce.
Each of our four offices in London, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Birmingham boasts a local ‘Helping Hands’ team who organise a whole range of different fundraising activities and collections, facilitate volunteering days and work in partnership with a small number of local charities.
They also have a small budget which allows them to make donations to local partner charities. The approach is different in each office, depending on local ‘traditions’ and also the extent of other volunteering opportunities available through our ‘Financial Literacy’ workshops.
Doubling our efforts
We support employee commitment to their own charitable activities by recognising that individuals are not just employees and for a number of (sometimes quite personal) reasons, they are involved in a range of diverse charitable activities. We support their commitment by matching their fundraising efforts and providing time to volunteer. These charities are also often well supported by colleagues in each office through monthly or quarterly fundraisers.
In 2015, scores of Hymans Robertson staff ran, cycled, walked and sang their way to raise over £50,000 to donate to causes they hold close to their hearts, with a further £11,799 donated in matched funding. The firm also provides an uplift on any donations made by employees through Give As You Earn and in 2015 we offered charity donations as raffle prizes at our Annual Staff Meeting.
Our Charity Partners
We have formed strategic partnerships to enable us to support Our Communities both through the Helping Hand streams and in delivering Financial Literacy workshops. Working in partnership means that we not only provide funding, but we also donate materials and our time through employee volunteering. A focused and joint approach means that we can really make a difference to each of these partner charities. In the links we have given a flavour of some of these partnerships.
In 2016 we were delighted to host two further Managing My Money programmes, in London and in Birmingham. This eight-week programme aims to develop vital money management skills and increase financial literacy for young people with a learning disability, through a series of workshops.
Managing My Money focuses on an area of life most of us take for granted: what money is and how to manage it. Providing a foundation in the essentials of money, budgeting and financial security to young people with a learning disability not only equips them with practical skills but can also support their independence. Every programme culminates in a group project where the participants put their learning into practice; last year the highlight for both our Mencap Birmingham group, and our Birmingham office, was undoubtedly the Christmas Fair.
Hymans Robertson and Tomorrow’s People have developed a financial inclusion programme, “Money Matters” which forms part of Tomorrow’s People “Working It Out” curriculum aimed at 16 – 24 year olds.
“Money Matters” is designed to provide an understanding of money skills which will support the young people as they make the transition into further education or work. It aims to develop their knowledge and understanding of money through a series of workshops, as well as provide access to the corporate environment and exposure to the people who work there.
Our partnership objective is to help young people understand and manage their finances and the programme has been successfully delivered in Barking since 2014. In 2016, we have also expanded the project to work with vulnerable young people in Glasgow.
“I learned a lot about money and budgeting skills, and it has helped me for where I am living now. I have improved on budgeting at home now.”
“The best experience was getting advice on saving up, as I hadn’t thought about it. It isn’t as hard to save up as I originally thought.”
In 2015 our partnership with TLG - The Education Charity supported the design and delivery of a financial education course, “Making The Most of Your Money”, now an accredited part of TLG’s PSHE (National Curriculum) programme for Financial Management.
In February 2015, a cohort of young people from different TLG Education Centres attended a two-day workshop at our London office to learn how to deliver the course using a “train the trainer” approach which enables them to support the delivery of the course to other TLG students. To date, a further twenty-three young people have received training following this format. In 2016 we will deliver further workshops in Edinburgh and London.
Paul Chenery of TLG:
“By partnering with Hymans Robertson, we are able to offer new skills and innovative experiences that can lead to genuine qualifications to help young people progress in their lives. In partnership we are enabling financial literacy for disengaged young people aged 13 to 16, typically those living in some of the hardest to reach communities who face high levels of financial exclusion.
We will build their knowledge, skills and confidence, in managing money and the financial choices they face now and in the future. We can equip young people to be advocates for financial inclusion within their families - the vast majority of which are also financially excluded at the present time.”
At the start of 2015, Glasgow Helping Hands partnered with The Simon Community Scotland, which works to combat the causes and effects of homelessness. All our Helping Hands teams focus on offering support within the local community and care is taken to build strong relationships and ensure the support we offer adds value throughout and our staff truly feel they’ve made a difference.
Throughout the year, more than seventy of our Glasgow colleagues volunteered their time to help redecorate rooms at one of the charity’s service centres in Govanhill, in Glasgow’s Southside. Govanhill is home to women who need supported accommodation while moving out of homelessness. The charity aims to improve all the services provided, and with the help of willing volunteers, has worked hard to ensure it feels safe and welcoming:
“We want women to feel at home until they are ready to take the next step in their journey.
To date, nine Hymans Robertson Glasgow teams have turned their hand to painting and decorating and successfully completed twelve rooms. As well as volunteer support, Hymans Robertson provide the necessary materials to complete the job!"
We are delighted to have embarked on a new partnership with The Prince’s Trust in Scotland. Maintaining our partnership focus mainly on financial literacy, our people have the opportunity to volunteer for The Prince’s Trust Achieve and TEAM programmes. Achieve is an education programme for 13 to 19 year olds which offers them a practical approach to learning, whilst TEAM supports 16 to 25 year olds with training and practical experience to transition from unemployment into further education or employment.
In September 2016, the first of our volunteers successfully delivered a CV and interview skills workshop for young people taking part in the Edinburgh TEAM programme. Our team of volunteers spent a day at The Prince’s Trust centre in Wester Hailes, Edinburgh, sharing their own career experiences, including stories about their worst job, or the weirdest interview question. With a focus on CV writing, job applications and interviews, the workshop aims to prepare the young people for the world of work.
We look forward to supporting further programmes in both Edinburgh and Glasgow throughout 2016 and 2017.
As a professional services firm, Hymans Robertson’s impact on the environment is relatively small. However, we still believe that it is important to adopt new approaches that help to further lower our impact. We regularly review our processes, with the aim of reducing business travel, waste and our consumption of energy, water as well as other resources.
We are ESOS compliant and are currently implementing recommendations made during the audit process last year. This will help in our ambition to obtain ISO14001 accreditation in the coming months. Our approach is one of continuous improvement.
Commuting and Business Travel
We have taken a number of steps to reduce our carbon footprint associated with travel. These relate not just to business travel but also our employees’ commutes each day.
Improved video conferencing, tele-conferencing and online meeting facilities have encouraged a reduction in business travel between offices for internal meetings. We do, however, recognise that, as a professional services firm, contact with clients is still an essential element of our service.
We also offer employees a ‘cycle to work’ scheme which allows them to purchase a bicycle at reduced cost. We also provide secure storage and showering facilities. Interest free season ticket loans are available to employees, to encourage the use of public transport, with parking facilities either extremely limited or absent at each of our four offices.
Energy & Resource Consumption
Where possible, we purchase environmentally responsible products from likeminded companies and continuously monitor our energy, water and resource usage.
In 2016, we aim to reduce our (sustainably sourced) paper usage by 20% by the introduction of a new secure printing strategy early in the year.
Recognising the limitations of occupying shared buildings, we work closely with the building management teams and other tenants to improve the overall energy and resource consumption in each of our offices. For example fitting movement sensor lights in each of our four offices.
Reducing our the waste our business produces
We manage all business waste according to reduce, re-use, recycle principles. We work closely with our suppliers to continually make improvements to reduce waste. We operate an In-house bottling system in all offices which has completely eliminated the use of plastic bottles (and also the need to transport bottled water).
All offices have segregated recycling facilities in break-out areas. With three of the four offices operating a ‘no individual waste bin’ policy. Old office and IT equipment is disposed through certified environmental waste management services providers.
As with resource usage, we work closely with the building management teams and other tenants to ensure that we successfully reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfill.
The Hymans Robertson Foundation recently reached a highly significant milestone with its registration as a charity in England & Wales (1168951) and Scotland (SC046931). This marks the culmination of a great deal of hard work by people across the firm and is a very satisfying achievement.
The original idea behind setting up the Foundation was the aim to make a real difference to the lives of disadvantaged young people by helping to improve their financial literacy. The financial literacy ambition remains a key component of the Foundation objectives and the work in this area is very active through the Hymans Robertson Financial Literacy Programme.
In addition, over the last year, the Foundation remit has expanded, with the whole 2% of firm profits (allocated to charitable activities) coming under the oversight of the Foundation Trustees. The key reason for making this change was to provide more transparency and oversight of our charitable donations. As such the Foundation has relatively broad charitable objectives (as defined in our registration). These are:
This allows for flexibility (for future programmes) and enables us to oversee the majority of charitable support by the Trustees. The majority of charitable donations are distributed through the Hymans Robertson Foundation, and in particular, but not exclusively, by the provision of grants to support activities carried on in pursuance of any of the above purposes.
Charitable donations are linked to either volunteering or fundraising. These are currently organised into three strands:
Financial Literacy – Partnering with a small number of charities we offer workshops to disadvantaged young people to build confidence and enhance opportunities for the future.
Local Community Support – each local office partners with a small number of local charities, offering all kinds of support (primarily volunteering and in kind donations)
Matched Giving – employees are supported in their own fundraising efforts for charities of importance to the individual.
The independence of the Hymans Robertson Foundation is the responsibility of the Trustees, appointed by the Board of Hymans Robertson LLP. The Trustees oversee all the charitable activities in the firm working closely with individuals in each of the three strands.
The Trustees of the Hymans Robertson Foundation have a strong representation from the Board. This commitment reflects the importance Hymans Robertson LLP places on the Foundation’s activities.
Gail Paterson (Chair)
Clare Gardner (Secretary)
While seeking to respond to all requests for information, the Hymans Robertson Foundation normally only approaches those charitable organisations which it believes can help in the delivery of its current campaigns.