Corporate Social Responsibility and Bribery Policy

Introduction
Abels Moving Services recognises that it has an obligation to its customers who pay for its services, to its staff employed to deliver those services, and to the environment as a whole.

Abels corporate social responsibility policy covers the key elements: quality and customer service, staff training, health and safety, discrimination and the community.

Quality

Customers use the various services of Abels because of our reputation for both quality of service and value for money. We have received a number of awards which reflect this:

  • BSEN ISO 9001:2008 Quality Assurance and Investors in People standards
  • The Queen’s Royal Warrant for removal and storage services held since 1988
  • Local business awards
  • Regional commendation in the National Training Awards.

The company’s management philosophy is:

  • To provide customers with high quality services which adapt to changing market requirements
  • To stay ahead of the competition by constantly improving and developing the services provided
  • To offer employees every opportunity to do interesting work and to be properly rewarded
  • Those employees who are not serving the customers directly should be supporting those who are
  • Ideas about the business will be shared with all employees and the management team will consider any thoughts and ideas you may have to improve the business
  • To generate sufficient cash to invest in the future of the business, while satisfying the requirements of the shareholders
  • To fulfil its responsibilities to the community and environment.

The Royal Warrant

Abels was awarded a Royal Warrant, by appointment to HM the Queen for removal and storage services, in December 1988. It has since retained this ever since.

This award highlights the outstanding quality of service which is provided by Abels.

Abels Quality Statement

  • We are totally committed to providing a quality service
  • We achieve success by understanding the needs of customers and satisfying those needs with the support of our suppliers.

Customer Service

Understanding and anticipating customer needs:

  • We take active steps to help our customers define their requirements
  • We work in partnership with our customers, adapting our service to meet their needs wherever possible
  • We always try to see the customers’ point of view and respect their attitudes and feelings
  • We regularly ask customers for their feedback and take appropriate action through formal and informal schemes
  • We are proactive and work to anticipate customer requirements, offering assistance before the customer asks
  • We take ownership of queries, in the absence of colleagues, to assist the customer
  • We treat our customers with respect and courtesy and can be relied upon for confidentiality and discretion

Our service:

  • We operate a “no problem” mentality at all times and are pleased to go that extra mile to enhance client expectations
  • All staff in the team are clear about what is expected of them and attend regular training to enhance skills
  • We endeavour to do things correctly first time, on time, every time
  • Any negative customer feedback is responded to quickly and professionally and analysed as an opportunity for improvement
  • We establish and maintain consistent service standards
  • We are committed to the idea of continuous review and improvement of customer service.

We measure customer satisfaction through a customer questionnaire. Customers are encouraged to complete the questionnaire after their move has been completed, asking them to mark various aspects of our service, and provide any comments they deem necessary. A selection of these comments is uploaded on this website www.abels.co.uk/reviews.

Training
The company will take all necessary steps to ensure that employees are trained for their duties effectively throughout the duration of their employment. In certain circumstances, continued employment of some staff may be dependent on the achievement of an educational standard or successful completion of a course of training.

Abels Moving Services was the first in the removals industry to create its own in-house training school. It is used for training Abels staff and staff from other removers and home delivery teams from major retailers such as Marks & Spencer, Selfridges and Laura Ashley.

More information about staff training and the Abels’ training school can be found on the website www.abels.co.uk

Environment
We are concerned about the environment in which we live as well as the environmental implications of the products and materials we use.

General Policy

Abels’ objective is to minimise environmental effects, while providing a wide choice of services to meet the high performance requirements of our customers. Being a consumer of paper products we make every endeavour to use the products responsibly. We encourage use of products from a source which is effectively managed and controlled, together with products which are recycled. As a transport operator we are committed to run efficient and well maintained vehicles and seek ways to reduce our effect on the environment.

Our general aims are:

  • To reduce waste and the consumption of the world’s resources
  • To reduce the release of pollutants into the environment
  • To design products to minimise any negative effects on the environment in production, use and disposal
  • To supply an improved service to meet our customers’ requirements which will contribute to the protection of future generations’ environment
  • To comply with all applicable environmental laws and regulations.
  • Maintain our ISO14001 standard

Health & Safety
The company is committed to ensuring, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all employees by:

  • Providing and maintaining safe plant and work systems
  • Conducting regular risk assessments
  • Providing safe arrangements for the use, handling, storage, transport and disposal of articles and substances
  • Providing the information, instruction, training and supervision necessary to ensure health and safety
  • Maintaining safe means of ingress and egress
  • Providing and maintaining a safe working environment, including welfare arrangements
  • Consulting, as necessary, with employees on matters concerning their health, safety and welfare
  • Obtaining expert advice, as necessary, to determine levels of risk and advising on their reduction or elimination.

Discrimination

Equal opportunities policy

We are committed to the principle of equal opportunities in employment. We are opposed to any form of less favourable treatment or financial reward through direct or indirect discrimination, harassment or victimisation to employees or job applicants on the grounds of race, religious beliefs, political opinions, creed, colour, ethnic origin, nationality, marital / parental status, sex, sexual orientation or disability, and to any form of less favourable treatment on the grounds of handicap or age.

We recognise our obligations (as below) under the Sex Discrimination Act, The Equal Pay Act, Article 119 of the Treaty of Rome, The Race Relations Act, The Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 and The Employment Equality (Religion or Beliefs) Regulations 2003, the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006, and The Codes of Practice published by the Equal Opportunities Commission, the Commission for Racial Equality and the European Commission. We aim to eliminate:

a) Discrimination on the grounds of sex or marital status and for the promotion of equal opportunity in employment
b) Racial discrimination and the promotion of equal opportunity in employment
c) Discrimination in pay between men and women who do the same work, or work of a similar nature or work of equal value
d) Discrimination on the grounds of religion or beliefs
e) Discrimination on the grounds of age

Community
Abels Moving Services recognises the importance of being socially and environmentally conscious and giving back to the community. We provide support to a number of UK and national charities as part of our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives.

Abels are proud partners of East Anglian Childrens Hospice (EACH) and the leading Norfolk Cancer charity, Big C, aiding these local organisations throughout the year in the great work they do. Abels has a scheme in place that sees thousands of items donated by its clients when moving home and are removed free of charge and collected for the charities to collect and then sell in their retail outlets.

Employee Wellbeing

  • Abels Moving Services Ltd will not use child labour within any element of its services.
  • All UK & European laws / regulations concerning working conditions will be adhered too.
  • All employees shall be provided a clean, safe and healthy working environment to operate within, aligned against Abels Moving Services Ltd Health & Safety Policy.

Working with Young People and Vulnerable Adults
It is the Company’s policy to recruit, train and supervise employees so as to adopt best practice to safeguard and protect young people and vulnerable adults from abuse, and themselves against allegations.

If you are aware of any form of abuse or harm of a young person or vulnerable adult at work by a colleague or any other person, you must report this to your Line Manager or a Director. The matter will be investigated. Confidentiality will be maintained as far as possible, but cannot be guaranteed. You should remember that it is the young person or vulnerable adult that you are protecting.

Employees who raise concerns in good faith will be protected by the organisation from reprisals or victimisation. Any employee with knowledge of such abuse or harm, who does not report it, will be subject to disciplinary action. Anyone attempting to stop or discourage another staff member from coming forward to express a serious concern will be subject to disciplinary action. Likewise, anyone who criticises or victimises another employee after a concern has been expressed will be subject to disciplinary action.

A young person or vulnerable adult’s behaviour must be managed effectively and in a manner appropriate for their stage of development.

A young person or vulnerable adult will be treated with respect at all times. You must ensure that Company rules are applied consistently so that the young person or vulnerable adult knows what is acceptable behaviour at work and what is not.

You should never:

  • use or threaten physical punishment
  • use techniques intended to single out and humiliate the young person or vulnerable adult
  • use menace in response to a young person’s or vulnerable adult’s behaviour.

Physical intervention should only be used to manage a young person or vulnerable adult’s behaviour if it is absolutely necessary to prevent personal injury to themselves or others, to prevent serious damage to property, or in what would reasonably be regarded as exceptional circumstances. Any occasion where physical intervention is used to manage a young person’s behaviour must immediately be notified to your Line Manager.

Bribery Act 2010 – Company Policy
The Abels Group will not tolerate bribery at any level in order to gain business or to fulfil contracts for customers.
Should any employee consider that a person with or for whom we work may indulge or require a bribe they should bring this matter to the attention of senior management without delay and log their concerns accordingly.

Based upon a management risk assessment we believe the risk of bribery within our organisation to be extremely low. All staff may review the risk assessment to satisfy themselves that adequate judgement has been made from their personal knowledge of the way we and our suppliers do business.

In addition we will follow the [ethics and business integrity program] led by Harmony Relocation Network for its worldwide organisation.

Any questions please ask.

Philip Pertoldi
Group Managing Director

19th September 2016

Notes from Audit Review with Grant Thornton:
Having considered this at our Audit Review with accountants, we are of the opinion that the risk of bribery in our business is extremely low and most certainly not a practice we would ever condone. There is a very small risk that some overseas agents who operate in countries where facilitation payments are common practice may offer officials payments for speedy clearance of shipments. Having considered this, our selection process of agents is important and the use of bona fide companies reduces the risk substantially and in proportion to our levels of business to these areas is miniscule. In light of this we will minute that having considered the risks we do not see the need to introduce a formal assessment of every agent we use. Should we, however, enter into any formal contract with an agent overseas for a reasonable volume of business, then we must consider if we are at risk to potentially be liable for investigation and then review what actions are needed.

Formally the Shareholders would not countenance the winning of business by any form of bribery and this is something we would expect you as managing the daily business to fully respect and draw our attention to any time you feel we may be at risk as a business.

FIDI FAIM Code of Conduct
By agreeing and committing to this Charter, each FIDI Affiliate undertakes to:
1. Never engage in any form of bribery, either directly or through any third party.
2. Never offer or make an improper payment, or authorise an improper payment (cash or otherwise) to any individual, including any local or foreign official anywhere in the world.
3. Never attempt to induce an individual, or a local or foreign official to act illegally or improperly.
4. Never offer, or accept, money or anything of value, such as gifts, kickbacks or commissions, in connection with the procurement of business or the award of a contract.
5. Never offer or give any gift or token of hospitality to any public employee or government official or representative if there is any expectation or implication for a return favour
6. Never accept any gift from any business partner if there is any suggestion that a return favour will be expected or implied.
7. Never facilitate payments to obtain a level of service which one would not normally be entitled to.
8. Never disregard or fail to report any indication of improper payments to the appropriate authorities.
9. Never induce or assist another individual to break any applicable law or regulation.