Health and Safety

Being able to deliver Oxford Biomedica’s products and services both in a safe and sustainable manner is our number one priority. Through the systematic evaluation of all activities, Oxford Biomedica ensures that significant risks are identified and controlled to minimise the risk to employees and anyone else who may be affected by Oxford Biomedica’s acts or omissions. Oxford Biomedica endeavours to maintain its facilities and equipment to the highest standards.

Our response to the COVID-19 pandemic was reviewed twice by Inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive, and on both occasions the Inspectors left without raising any areas for improvement.

Oxford Biomedica’s Health and Safety Management System covers all aspects of its work, from working with hazardous substances, to use of display screen equipment. The electronic Health and Safety Management System (introduced in 2020) has continued to evolve and grow with the organisation. The new system includes incident reporting and management, action tracking, risk assessment, and Oxford Biomedica’s Health and Safety Policies and Procedures, making it a ‘one-stop-shop’ for our employees, and providing improved performance monitoring and metrics that drive improvements.

Oxford Biomedica continues to focus on the output of the Safety Climate Survey, engaging with staff and their Safety Representatives to identify improvements revolving around eight factors that contribute to a positive safety culture. The eight factors are: Accident and near miss reporting; Organisational commitment; Health and Safety oriented behaviours; Health and Safety trust; Usability of procedures; Engagement in Health and Safety; Peer group attitude; and Resources for Health and Safety.

Oxford Biomedica has revised its management of fire evacuations, introducing electronic roll call and training 40+ managers to support new command and control structure. Our Health Surveillance programme and systems have been improved, with the result that Oxford Biomedica can now provide better metrics to managers and a more targeted, rather than a blanket, approach.

Oxford Biomedica continues to have a first-class safety record, as Oxford Biomedica has continued the trend of having no major injuries. Health and Safety is a standing item on the Board’s agenda and there is a quarterly Safety Committee chaired by a member of the Senior Executive Team (SET). Oxford Biomedica is committed to meet both the letter and spirit of all Health and Safety regulation and best practice.

For more details of Oxford Biomedica’s 2021 ESG people objectives see page 57 of the Oxford Biomedica Annual Report.

Engagement

Oxford Biomedica is committed to making sure that it regularly asks employees for their views and suggestions on a variety of issues through multiple channels and forums.

Oxford Biomedica established a Workforce Engagement Panel (WEP) in 2020. The WEP is made up of employees representing all levels and functions across the organisation. The purpose of the WEP is to enable employees to discuss issues of importance to them and ensure that the senior leaders and Oxford Biomedica’s Board hear the views of the workforce. Eight meetings took place in 2021, including two meeting with Stuart Henderson, the Board’s designated Non-Executive Director, to facilitate direct discussion and engagement at Board level. Increased engagement is planned for 2022, including a schedule of monthly meetings.

Oxford Biomedica is committed to making sure that it regularly asks employees for their views and suggestions on a variety of issues, including leadership, communication, safety and wellbeing. As part of the 2021 ESG people objectives, three Pulse surveys were completed focused on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. These surveys provide rich insights into how employees are feeling, their concerns and their suggestions for future improvement. A number of actions resulting from the surveys were put in place throughout the year, such as regularly reviewing Oxford Biomedica’s COVID-19 secure workplace guidance and continuing to provide lateral flow COVID-19 testing kits to employees working onsite.

In response to the changes in working practices, due to the COVID- 19 pandemic and feedback from employees, Oxford Biomedica revised its approach. New flexible ways of working guidelines were created to offer employees more choice, where possible, around when, where and how they work. Oxford Biomedica took a principle led approach to flexible working, putting in place supportive structures, including a ‘ways of working’ policy, while empowering employees to decide when and where they work to be the most effective; for them, their team, and the business. 

In 2021, Oxford Biomedica launched its first ever company-wide employee engagement survey as part of the ESG people objectives. A dedicated internal communication campaign was created to encourage employees to take part and share their views on a wide range of subjects including trust, inclusion, support, collaboration, and rewards. The survey ran for two weeks and 70% of employees participated, exceeding our target of 65% as a first survey of this kind. The overall results were positive. Oxford Biomedica’s sustainable engagement score, a key overall engagement indicator, was more favourable than those of other benchmarked groups, including the global pharmaceutical norm and the UK norm, with a score of 84%. High-level business-wide results have been shared with all employees and three focus areas for 2022 have been identified.

Oxford Biomedica’s employee engagement strategy has been developed and approved by the Senior Executive Team. In 2020, began to be implemented in 2021. The strategy creates further opportunity for senior leadership visibility, more frequent two-way communication across a variety of channels, including internal social media and virtual events, enabling the Group to keep all employees up to date and engaged as the business grows. Further details of the 2022 ESG People objectives are set out on page 57 of the 2021 Annual Report.

Training and Development

The Group invests in the development of its people at all levels. Every employee has a development plan, to ensure they are supported to meet our corporate objectives and effectively achieve their individual performance objectives. This includes identifying learning and development needs and an individualised programme with the support of their manager. Progress is reviewed continuously with line managers.
 
In addition to this, Oxford Biomedica has a modular Management Development Programme which is offered to all managers at Oxford Biomedica. Managers attend modules in various management related topics over a period of several months, and are given support to embed their learning throughout the programme.

Equality, Inclusion and Diversity

Oxford Biomedica is committed to building a more inclusive organisation where all forms of diversity are celebrated and strives to make the employee experience one of inclusion and belonging to maintain engagement and commitment.

Oxford Biomedica has an Equal Opportunities Policy aimed at providing equal opportunities in employment and avoiding unlawful discrimination in employment and against third party associates. The company also has a Dignity at Work policy in order to create a work environment free of harassment and bullying, where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.

Further to initial work started in 2020, Oxford Biomedica set out in 2021 to undertake a diagnostic phase of work to develop an understanding of people’s experiences, opinions, and aspirations in the areas of equality, diversity and inclusion (ED&I). A recommendation report has since been shared with the SET which highlights the bright spots and areas of opportunity. These outputs have also been shared and discussed with Oxford Biomedica’s senior leaders. Further to this activity a three-year ED&I plan has been created and Oxford Biomedia is committed to implementing its year one objectives in 2022, which include awareness raising throughout the business and establishing benchmarks to enable transparency across the business.

Alongside this work in 2021, the Group also engaged its senior leader population in inclusive leadership sessions to better educate, inform and raise awareness of this important topic. The Board and the senior management are fully committed to providing equal opportunities for all employees, irrespective of race, gender, religion, national origin, disability, or any other personal characteristics, and embrace diversity in all forms.

Further details of the work done in 2021 and the 2022 ESG people objectives are set out on page 58 of the Oxford Biomedica Annual Report.

The table shows the gender split across the organisation as of 31 December 2021:

 
Male
Female
Total
% Male
% Female

Board including non-Executive Directors

 

7

 

3

 

10

 

70%

 

30%

Senior managers and direct reports

24

24

48

50%

50%

All other employees

350

407

757

46%

54%

Total

381

434

815

47%

53%

 

Gender Pay Gap Report

Under new government legislation that came into force in 2017. Oxford Biomedica is required to publish an annual gender pay gap report.  The gender pay gap is the difference between the average earnings of men and women, expressed relative to men’s earnings. The Gender Pay Gap Report 2017 can be downloaded here. The Gender Pay Gap Report 2018 can be downloaded here. The Gender Pay Gap Report 2019 can be downloaded here. The Gender Pay Gap Report 2020 can be downloaded here. The Gender Pay Gap Report 2021 can be downloaded here.

The Gender Pay Gap Report for 2021 has been prepared by Oxford Biomedica and we are pleased to report a continued increase in representation of female employees at the more senior levels of the organisation. This has had a positive impact on the Group’s mean and median gender pay ratio.

Health and Wellbeing

The health and wellbeing of all of employees is of upmost importance. Oxford Biomedica’s aim is to help employees feel good at work and at home by fostering a positive health culture. Empowering colleagues to take personal accountability for their physical, emotional, mental and financial wellbeing is important and we support colleagues by providing access to a number of benefits, wellbeing resources and initiatives throughout the year.

The Group’s wellbeing strategy for 2021 continued to focus on focused on mental wellbeing and, in particular, resilience. The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasised that, whilst Oxford Biomedica cannot control the external environment around us, we can support employees and provide them with the tools to manage their personal response to these external factors.

In 2021, Oxford Biomedica provided all employees the opportunity to join four speaker events. Through the power of storytelling these speaker events merged elements of inclusion and mental health, emphasising resilience. A number of national dates were recognised and aligned with these storyteller sessions including Stress Awareness Week, Mental Health Awareness Week and Pride.

In line with the 2021 ESG objectives, Oxford Biomedica offered a variety of wellbeing sessions to the whole workforce, which included: mindfulness courses, and updates from our benefit providers including the Employee Assistance Program service and private medical insurers, Bupa. Financial wellbeing events took place in the form of group and 1-2-1 sessions. Guest speaker sessions were also delivered on the topics of ‘The importance of good hydration’ and ‘Nutrition and the effect of nutrition on mood and performance’. All events were well received.

Oxford Biomedica added two new wellbeing offerings to its benefits package in 2021. An online wellbeing platform that provides a gateway to over 3,000 experiences, covering lifestyle, mental and physical wellbeing and learning vouchers, to pay for or contribute to costs associated with any structured learning, be that a course, online programme or other structured learning arrangement to help employees strike a balance between work and non-work life

The Group understands it has a duty of care towards all employees and continually assesses the risks to the workforce. Throughout 2021, regular communications were shared with employees in respect of the latest government guidelines in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as providing regular updates on measures available to provide extra protection.  

Health and wellbeing remain an important focus for our ESG objectives for 2022 and will introduce further wellbeing initiatives offering a variety of choice, with a key theme being ‘something for everyone’.

 

 

2021 ESG people objectives:

  • to implement a new Group-wide employee engagement programme, to include a Group-wide employee engagement survey and quarterly pulse surveys.
  • to create an action plan for Equality, Inclusion and Diversity, to include the roll out of unconscious bias training.
  • to introduce further wellbeing initiatives with a focus on mental health and resilience.