The Leekes Retail & Leisure Group are pleased to support the Welsh Government’s Economic Contract initiative which requires businesses to demonstrate their commitment to growth, fair work, employee health & skills and reducing their carbon footprint.
There are a number of areas where we can demonstrate the support the Group gives to the aims of Welsh Government to develop businesses to meet the needs to today and to prepare for the challenges and opportunities of the future which include:
Leekes Retail is a family owned and operated retail business with a history of over 125 years trading across multiple locations. Led by our Managing Director, Emma Leeke, we pride ourselves in supplying quality products and excellent levels of service, covering everything you need for your home from kitchens and bathrooms to furniture and all the finishing touches.
We have a strong employee led brand with exciting employment opportunities for multiple professional disciplines and for colleagues looking to work full or flexible and reduced hours. This is evidenced by excellent retention rates as our colleagues recognise that they work within a business that is inclusive, fair, respectful and appreciative of all employees.
Our recruitment and career development strategy ensures that everyone, regardless of their background, race, ethnicity or gender have equal opportunities.
The business operates with multiple disciplines, incorporating a range of professional skills such as IT, Finance, Marketing, Sales, Store Design, Visual Merchandising, Buying, H/R, Warehousing & Logistics and Construction.
Our breath of professional career opportunities has enabled us to create a business environment that attracts and retains a good balance of men (48%) and woman (52%) across the group.
Our female colleagues are paid as a median average 5.13% less than male colleagues (8.45% in 2017). We believe that the narrowing variance is a direct reflection of the family friendly approach to working hours which the company takes. All staff are supported in their approach to balancing their working and family life and in many cases, this means looking at working reduced hours, which is possible, especially and more commonly within the lower paid retail assistant roles. However the family friendly approach and support offered also enables senior managers to work part time and this is an option taken up by a number of senior female managers.
The male to female ratio is very close, with 52% of the workforce being female and 48% male, but 49% of females work on a part time basis, compared to 10% of men. A January 2019 released labour market assessment by the Office for National Statistics reports that 41% of employed women work on a part-time basis. We are pleased that our family friendly approach to working hours has resulted in a higher than average take up of this flexible option. Clearly the high proportion of part-time women employed in the business impacts on all of the gender pay gap comparisons, including salary payments and the opportunity to generate commission payments, as many choose to work roles with a smaller remit.
Having reviewed the data we are confident that the gender pay gap is not a pay equality issue as we know that our approach to both recruitment and pay is gender neutral.
We regularly monitor remuneration by role to ensure that pay rates are governed solely by job position and not gender. Senior Management and Line Management roles across the group are well spilt between male and female (45% female) and have equal salary and bonus & commission criteria. Female staff operating in the same role as male colleagues receive the same remuneration package.
The diversity of our workforce shapes and influences the bonus gap. The bonus and commission based criteria against which male and female employees is gender neutral and is not the cause of the pay differential.
Once again, the figures are significantly skewed by the proportion of part-time staff who operate on the retail floor. The figures are then widened further by the high proportion of male staff who work within the construction and warehousing and logistics division of our business where our remuneration is structured to attract and recruit the best people and includes a variable commission/bonus payment.
The persistent reputation of the construction and warehousing and logistics industry as a ‘non-traditional’ one for women, with few relevant career opportunities, has hampered efforts to bolster gender diversity and is evidenced by the mean bonus pay gap.
As is evidenced across many retailers the profession tends to attract a higher number of female workers who choose, due to their wider roles within their families, to work fewer hours. Our business follows that trend and the lower pay quartile has females making up a greater percentage of the workforce.
We remain committed to offering our colleagues the opportunity to work reduced hours if that suits their lifestyle choices. However our experience is that it is females who are more likely to take advantage of this choice of working hours and does inevitably have an impact on the gender bonus comparisons and in our business, it is this flexible approach which impacts on these results.
We are proud of our ability to recruit and retain staff across our business and believe that the employment practices we embrace along with our strong family values enable us to be an employer of choice with in our geographical sites of operation.
At Leekes, we recognise that we should endeavour to ensure that we have a positive impact on the working conditions of those working directly or indirectly for our business.
We try to ensure that our suppliers share our vision of a fair and safe working conditions.
The company's principal activities are in the retail sector through the operation of home department stores. We are a part of the Leekes Leisure and Retail Group, and our ultimate parent company is J.H. Leeke and Sons Limited. J.H. Leeke and Sons Limited has its head office in Rhondda Cynon Taff, South Wales. The Group has over 1,100 employees all based in England and Wales.
We are committed to trying to ensure that there is no modern slavery or human trafficking in our supply chains or in any part of our business. Our Anti-Slavery Policy reflects our commitment to acting ethically and with integrity in all our business relationships and to implementing and enforcing effective systems and controls to try to ensure slavery and human trafficking is not taking place anywhere in our supply chain.
We have in place systems to:
The Leekes Supplier Code of Conduct covers our minimum requirements in these areas and all our suppliers, and their supply chain, are asked to confirm their adherence to our standards.
All of our suppliers are asked to confirm their adherence to the following standards:
Child labour MUST NOT BE used by a supplier. A child is defined as any person under the age at which the local minimum age law stipulates for work or mandatory schooling. As a general rule this would be anyone under fifteen years of age.
* Bonded Labour, e.g. a person becomes a bonded labourer when their labour is demanded as a means of repayment for a loan. There MUST NOT BE any slavery, forced, bonded or involuntary labour in use across a supplier’s operation. To ensure compliance, workers should have the legal right to work at the premises, to leave the premises at the end of their working day and the freedom to terminate employment at any time in accordance with the agreed notice period.
There MUST NOT BE any labour who could be considered to have been subject to Human Trafficking. To ensure compliance, workers cannot be recruited through a person who arranges or facilitates the travel of another person with a view to that person being exploited. It is irrelevant whether that person has consented to travel.
Workers MUST BE prevented from exposure to any health and safety hazards that are likely to pose an immediate risk of causing death, permanent injury or illness.
A reliable system for recording working hours and wages for each individual employed MUST BE in place within a supplier and these should be available for audit.
There MUST NOT BE any form of bribery offered or used in relation to the Leekes business.
We have zero tolerance to slavery and human trafficking. To ensure all those in our supply chain and contractors comply with our values we reserve the right to request access to our suppliers manufacturing facilities at any time for members of our Buying Team or our representatives to check compliance with the Leekes Supplier Code of Conduct.
This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes our slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ending 31st March 2020. It was approved by the board on 24th September 2020.