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.
2016 marked the third year of Hymans Robertson partnership with Tomorrow’s People, and the first year we partnered with Tomorrow’s People in Scotland. We were delighted to work with three Tomorrow’s People teams across Glasgow, delivering the jointly developed financial inclusion programme, ‘Money Matters’, as part of Tomorrow’s People ‘Working It Out’ curriculum.
Aimed at 16 – 24 year olds, ‘Money Matters’ is designed to provide an understanding of essential money skills to support young people as they transition into employment, training or further education. The workshops are hosted in our offices and presented by employee volunteers, with the added aim of offering an insight into the corporate environment and the people who work there.
“It’s a great way to challenge your perspective on the world and see it from a different viewpoint, which is a refreshing and energising experience. I hope it does some good too and passes along some basic but useful life lessons to young people committed to advancing themselves.”
“We were really pleased to be able to volunteer, although the prospect of helping the young people manage their money better was slightly daunting. However we left the session feeling re-energised by their attitudes.”
“The idea of presenting was a little daunting, however, it was incredibly rewarding, and we hope that just possibly we helped give the group some food for thought for both the present and times to come.”
Continuing our partnership with TLG, in 2016 we were delighted to welcome a group of TLG students and staff to our Edinburgh office. Our partnership with TLG has supported the design of an accredited series of lesson on ‘Making the Most of Your Money’, and ongoing delivery through ‘train the trainer’ workshops. With the support of TLG staff, our volunteers teach, mentor and coach the students in learning how to deliver the course to their peers. Since these workshops, the programme has subsequently been delivered to a further 23 young people at TLG Newcastle and 12 at TLG Bradford.
Taking part in the two day workshop at Hymans Robertson, Edinburgh, was a fantastic experience for Danny, who faces significant challenges in his personal life. Danny particularly relished the opportunity to present and lead on ideas he had come up with during the workshops. He also benefited enormously from the opportunity to travel out of his normal environment and interact with people he might not otherwise encounter. Participating in the workshops has given Danny greater confidence in his ability to communicate his ideas, and he has since moved on to college where he is thriving.
"Presenting to a group of 15 year olds was a refreshing experience, and very different to the usual meetings I attend. It was really gratifying to use skills I have learnt in work to help these young people understand the importance of money management and demonstrate how they can apply this knowledge in their own lives. It also taught me a lot about how to keep presentations engaging, interactive and tailored to the audience!"
Supporting local communities plays an important part in our charitable activity, and each of our local Helping Hands teams has the autonomy to partner with several local charities of their choice. Our Glasgow Helping Hands teams has partnered with The Simon Community Scotland since the start of 2015. One of the projects they took on was to help upgrade the Govanhill Women’s Service centre, in the Southside of Glasgow. Govanhill offers a home to women in need of supported accommodation whilst moving out of homelessness. Throughout 2016 more of our enthusiastic volunteers put their DIY skills to the test, and by the end of the year, thirteen bedrooms and one flat have been redecorated.
Simons Community Director of Services:
“The environment at Govanhill Women’s Service has been transformed over the last year with teams from Hymans Robertson giving their time, energy and risking some new experiences to make a difference for people who expect so little. The service often takes in women who have been through traumatic episodes arriving in the clothes they stand in. Having a room that's beautifully decorated, comfortable, well-furnished and with some little extras is of huge value when you have nothing. The staff from Hymans Robertson have made a lasting and telling difference not just to the building but to the safety, health and self-worth of every women coming into the service.”
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.