UK Directors’ report, employment of disabled persons and employee involvement, SI 2008/410 Sch 7

Mitchells & Butlers plc – Annual report – 28 September 2019

Industry: leisure

The Group employed an average of 45,560 people in FY 2019 (FY 2018 44,802). Through its diversity policy, the Company seeks to ensure that every employee, without exception, is treated equally and fairly and that all employees are aware of their responsibilities.

Our policies and procedures fully support our disabled colleagues. We take active measures to do so via:
• a robust reasonable adjustment policy;
• disability-specific online resources (accessible via the Group’s online recruitment system); and
• processes to ensure colleagues are fully supported.

The Group is responsive to the needs of its employees. As such, should any employee of the Group become disabled during their time with us, we will actively retrain that employee and make reasonable adjustments to their environment where possible, in order to keep the employee with the Group. It is the policy of the Group that the recruitment, training, career development and promotion of disabled persons should, as far as possible, be identical to that of other employees.

Mitchells & Butlers engages with its employees continuously and in a number of ways to suit their different working patterns. This includes:
• line manager briefings;
• communications forums and roadshows held by functions or brands across the Company;
• a dedicated intranet for the Retail Support Team;
• ‘Mable’, the Mitchells & Butlers online learning platform;
• email news alerts;
• focus groups;
• weekly bulletins – specifically targeted at retail house managers and mobile workers;
• employee social media groups; and
• a monthly magazine poster, Frontline News, for the retail estate.

Details of the financial and economic factors affecting the performance of the Company are shared with all employees at the appropriate time using the methods listed above. In addition, and in order to align more closely with the 2018 Code, the Board has agreed that Dave Coplin will act as a link to the Board for the general workforce in order to strengthen the ‘employee voice’ at the Board. This will involve attending employee forums, focus groups and Company awards and providing feedback on values and behaviours, employee development and upskilling and ensuring that feedback is listened to and acted upon where appropriate.

We provide opportunities for employees to give their feedback to the Company in a number of ways, from team or shift meetings in restaurants, bars and pubs and engagement surveys for all employees to the Mitchells & Butlers Business Forum. Business Forum representatives collect questions from employees across the Company and put them to members of the Executive Committee. The questions and answers are published in Frontline News and online.

Engagement with Mable (Mitchells & Butlers’ online learning platform) has grown significantly since launch in July 2017, with over 22,300 people logging in each month to participate in formal learning and social discussion. Mable is used to deliver on-line interactive courses, 90% of which are designed in house, and utilises gamification, videos and social learning groups. Mable encourages engagement and proactive, discretionary learning with over 1.3 million courses completed since launch.

Mitchells & Butlers is keen to encourage greater employee involvement in the Group’s performance through share ownership. It operates two HMRC approved all-employee plans, which are the 2013 Sharesave Plan and the Share Incentive Plan (which includes Partnership shares). The Company also operates two other plans on a selective basis, which are the 2013 Performance Restricted Share Plan and the 2013 Short Term Deferred Incentive Plan. Further details on the plans are set out in the Report on Directors’ remuneration.

During the year, the Company has remained within its headroom limits for the issue of new shares for share plans as set out in the rules of the above plans. The Company uses an employee benefit trust to acquire shares in the market when appropriate to satisfy share awards in order to manage headroom under the plan rules. A total of 900,000 shares in the Company were purchased by the employee benefit trust during FY 2019.