Benchmark has reaffirmed its commitment to becoming a leader in corporate sustainability and has put this into action through the foundational work we undertook in 2018.
We believe this is something that can serve as a model for corporate sustainability across the sector and create happier people, animals with lives worth living and a healthier environment and planet.
Our goal is to lead by example and engage, support and develop initiatives that promote sustainability in the food chain.
Business Integrity and Fair Competition
All corruption, extortion and embezzlement are prohibited. We shall not pay or accept bribes or participate in other illegal inducements in business or government relationships. We will conduct our business consistent with fair and vigorous competition and in compliance with all applicable anti-trust laws. Benchmark employs fair business practices including accurate and truthful advertising.
Code of conduct
Our values and policies guide how we make decisions and what we do and say each day. Our values set the standards of behaviour we expect from one another, and which external parties can expect from us. Our policies cover whistleblowing, anti-fraud and anticorruption, financial reporting as well as regulatory compliance.
Equality, diversity and inclusion
We strive to attract a diverse workforce and provide equal opportunities throughout the business. We aim to conduct our activities without discrimination and value everyone as an individual. Within the Group, there are some differences with regard to the benefits to which permanent and temporary employees are entitled, due to geographies and the number of hours worked. As a minimum, we comply with each country’s employment laws. Beyond this we aim to offer a competitive package of benefits that support and protect our people, are valued by our employees and are appropriate to our local markets.
Our commitment to operating responsibly is central to our strategy and overseen by the Board.
Gender pay gap
The introduction of mandatory gender pay gap reporting in England, Scotland and Wales is a positive step for diversity and gender equality and will likely lead to increased transparency. Whilst Benchmark is not obliged to report on this issue, as we do not have 250+ people employed at one site, we believe the potential benefits of reporting on gender pay will give us:
- Greater understanding of where we need to take action
- Access to a far wider reaching talent pool
- A different way of thinking around diversity and inclusion more widely in the workplace
- Reduced risk of equal pay claims and attrition.
Our gender pay gap report can be found here. We will also review the gender pay gap within our overseas companies. This is an area that we take very seriously. More than 50 per cent of our employees are women and we continue to recruit women into senior roles.
Harassment and bullying
The company will not tolerate acts of discrimination, regardless of whether it is direct discrimination, discrimination by association, perception discrimination or indirect discrimination which are considered a breach of this policy and all instances of such behaviour or alleged behaviour will be taken seriously, fully investigated and may be subject to disciplinary procedures up to and including dismissal.
Freedom of Association
We recognise and respect our people’s rights of freedom of association, for example being members of our Employee Engagement Group, a works council or a Union.
Benchmark uses management systems to facilitate continual improvement and compliance with the expectations of these principles. The management system elements include:
- Commitment and Accountability
Benchmark demonstrates commitment to the concepts described in this document by allocating appropriate resources.
- Legal and Customer Requirements
Benchmark identifies and complies with applicable laws, regulations, standards and relevant customer requirements.
Benchmark shall safeguard and make only proper use of confidential information to ensure that company workers’ and associates’ privacy rights are protected. We collect and hold data in written and electronic format in line with applicable laws and Company policies to meet business needs and legal requirements.
Benchmark has mechanisms to determine and manage risks in all areas across the Group.
Benchmark maintains the documentation necessary to demonstrate conformance with these expectations and compliance with applicable regulations.
- Training and Competency:
All Benchmark employees are trained appropriately in working within these codes of conduct.
- Continual Improvement:
Benchmark aims to continually improve by setting performance objectives, executing implementation plans and taking necessary corrective actions for deficiencies identified by internal or external assessments, inspections, and management reviews.
We believe that openness and good communication promote a better culture. Our whistleblower channel facilitates the reporting of concerns about potential compliance issues, with regard to both laws and regulations, in the areas of environment, human and labour rights, equality and diversity, health and safety, business ethics and anti-corruption, conflict of interest and professional behaviour.
Benchmark are committed to ensuring that there is no modern slavery in our own operations and engage actively with our suppliers to prevent any modern slavery in our supply chains. Read our Modern Slavery Statement here.