Abels Corporate Social Responsibility and Anti-Bribery & Corruption Policy

Abels Corporate & Social Responsibility

Last Updated: 22nd May 2019

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 9001:2015 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 and after regular reassessments.

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

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 Trust Pilot           

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, John Lewis Partnership, Selfridges and Laura Ashley.

More information about staff training and the Abels training school can be found on the website. www.abels.co.ukhttp://ow.ly/nKEz30p5IBM (Training of Personnel – Security Checked, CRB Cleared).

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:

  • Maintain Abels 14001 standard – annually assessed in March
  • 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.

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:

  • Maintain Abels 18001 standard – annually assessed in March
  • 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 have no:

a) Discrimination on the grounds of sex or marital status

b) Racial discrimination

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 Children’s Hospice (EACH)and the leading Norfolk Cancer charity, Big C, YPL (Young People Littleport) 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 that are removed free of charge and collated 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 anyone is aware of any form of abuse or harm of a young person or vulnerable adult at work by a colleague or any other person, they must report this to their Line Manager or a Director. The matter will be investigated. Confidentiality will be maintained as far as possible, but cannot be guaranteed. We should remember that it is the young person or vulnerable adult that we 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.  We 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.

We 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.

Code of Conduct – 7th October 2019

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.

Abels Anti-Bribery and Corruption

Introduction

It is Abels Moving Services Ltd policy to conduct all of our business in an honest and ethical manner. We take a zero-tolerance approach to bribery and corruption and are committed to acting professionally, fairly and with integrity in all our dealings wherever we operate. We are also committed to implementing and enforcing effective systems to counter bribery.

Our Anti-Bribery and Corruption policy is clear and we support our employees and others acting on the company’s behalf to make decisions in-line with our policy. This methodology applies to all our employees, directors, consultants, contractors, agents or other person or body acting on our behalf, and extends to all our business dealings and transactions in all countries in which we or our agents operate. We take care to ensure we only do business with suppliers and partners who share our values. It is our policy to comply with the UK Bribery Act (2010) and all other bribery and corruption laws in the countries where we do business.

Who must comply?

This policy applies to anyone who is employed by, or performs services for, or on behalf of Abels Moving Services Ltd, anywhere in the world, in any capacity, including consultants, contractors or agents. Any persons employed by, or performing services for, or on behalf of Abels Moving Services Ltd outside the UK must comply with local bribery and corruption laws as well as this policy.

Bribery and Corruption

It is illegal to give or receive a bribe under the Bribery Act 2010 and organizations are liable for bribes taken or given on their behalf where they do not have adequate procedures in place.

Bribery is the offering, promising, giving, accepting or soliciting of money, a gift or other advantage as an inducement to do something that is illegal or a breach of trust in the course of carrying out an organization’s activities.

Corruption is the misuse of public office or power for private gain; or misuse of private power in relation to business outside the realm of government.

What is a Bribe?

A bribe is an inducement or reward which is offered, promised or provided in order to gain improperly any commercial, contractual, regulatory or personal advantage:

  • to anyone to persuade them to or reward them for performing their duties improperly or:
  • to any public official with the intention of influencing the official in the performance of his/her duties

The bribe can be made direct or through a third person.  It is still an offence to make a bribe, even if it is turned down or fails to have the intended effect, and is a breach of trust.

If any instance of bribery or corruption is identified, we will take corrective steps immediately.

Gifts and Hospitality

Giving and receiving ordinary and usual business hospitality and entertainment and promotional or other business expenditure which seeks to improve the image of the company and its services or to establish or cement cordial relations is recognised as an established part of doing business.  Our company’s policy does not prohibit reasonable and proportionate hospitality and promotional or other similar business expenditure (offered or received) intended for any of the foregoing purposes.

This policy does prohibit the offer or receipt of gifts, hospitality or expenses whenever they could influence or be perceived to be capable of influencing the outcome of a contractual or material business transaction.  This may be the case if timed around particular business decisions.

Facilitation payments and kickbacks

We do not make, and will not accept, facilitation payments or “kickbacks” of any kind.  Facilitation payments are typically small, unofficial payments made to secure or expedite a routine government action by a government official.  Kickbacks are typically payments made in return for a business favour or advantage.  All employees must avoid any activity that might lead to, or suggest that a facilitation payment or kickback will be made or accepted by us.

Donations

We do not make contributions of any kind to political parties.  No charitable donations will be made for the purpose of gaining any commercial advantage.

Record Keeping

  • We will keep financial records and have appropriate internal controls in place which will evidence the business reason for making any payments to third parties
  • All expense claims relating to hospitality, gifts or expenses incurred to third parties must be submitted in accordance with our expenses policy and specifically record the reason for the expenditure
  • All accounts, invoices, memoranda and other documents and records relating to dealings with third parties, such as clients, suppliers and business contacts, must be prepared and maintained with strict accuracy and completeness. No accounts must be kept “off-book” to facilitate or conceal improper payments.

Raising Concerns

Employees will be encouraged to raise concerns about any issue or suspicion of malpractice at the earliest possible stage.  No employee will suffer any detriment as a result of raising genuine concerns about bribery, even if they turn out to be mistaken.

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.

Monitoring

The effectiveness of this policy will be regularly reviewed by the Board.  Internal control systems and procedures will be subject to audit under internal audit process.

Conclusion

All employees are responsible for the success of this policy and should ensure they use it to disclose any suspected concerns or wrongdoing to their line Manager or Director.

Failure to comply with this policy may result in disciplinary action, including dismissal (employees), or appropriate sanctions (business partners) in addition to civil or criminal charges.

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.

 

This policy has been approved and adopted by the Board of Abels Moving Services Ltd – 7th February 2020