Board leadership and company purpose
The Role of the Board
The Board has overall responsibility for establishing the Group’s purpose, culture and strategy to deliver the long-term growth of the Group and generate value for shareholders. Good corporate governance facilitates clear delegation of authority from the Board through to our Executive Committee and Senior Leadership Group, and beyond, to promote clear disciplined decision-making and ensure the effective execution of our strategic priorities.
The Board assesses and monitors culture through our employee Net Promoter Score which measures satisfaction and is measured monthly. Deborah Kemp is the Non-Executive Director responsible for employee engagement and she has conducted meetings with the Company’s Senior Leadership Group which provided valuable feedback to the Board.
The Board and the Remuneration Committee continually review and improve the rewards and benefits offered to employees across the Group and during the year advance payments were paid to colleagues in respect of their 2021 discretionary bonus in early March 2021 with the balance settled in the normal manner.
The Group has also introduced an enhanced holiday scheme to give employees an extra day of annual leave for each year of service up to a maximum of five years. This is in addition to the buy and sell holiday scheme which is aimed at ensuring that employees get the right balance of time away from work. The Group’s Save As You Earn (“SAYE”) scheme is open to all UK based employees at a discount of 20% of the Company’s share price. These share options vest after three years to ensure that employees have a personal interest in the longer-term success of the Group.
Our purpose, vision and strategy
The Company has a clear purpose to provide the best possible care to animals and this is underpinned by the vision to be the veterinary company people most want to work for. CVS’s highly skilled and dedicated team of clinicians and support colleagues are at the centre of the Company’s strategy and the Company has committed to making CVS a great place to work and have a career. Our growth strategies also include recommending and providing the best clinical care, providing great facilities and equipment and taking our responsibilities seriously.
Copies of the Annual Report and Financial Statements are issued to all shareholders where requested and copies are available on the Group’s website. The executive and Non-Executive Directors and the Company Secretary frequently engaged with shareholders during the course of the year and in addition, the CEO, COO and CFO have regular meetings with institutional investors, private client brokers, individual shareholders, fund managers and analysts to discuss performance made public by the Group.
The Chairman and the Non-Executive Directors are always available to shareholders on all matters relating to governance and strategy and can be contacted through the Company Secretary at email@example.com
The six key stakeholders identified by the Board are at the heart of what we do, being our employees, our customers, our shareholders, our industry bodies, our community and our suppliers. During the year the Board has met more frequently to focus on stakeholder needs, and in particular the needs of our customers and our colleagues during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Deborah Kemp is the dedicated Non-Executive Director for employee engagement and she consults with colleagues throughout the year on how the Board’s decisions affect them.
The Board has delegated responsibility for overseeing the effectiveness of the Group’s internal controls and risk management systems to the Audit Committee. During the year, the Audit Committee reviewed the effectiveness of the Group’s internal controls and received reports from the Group’s internal audit function in respect of its programme of internal audit reviews.
The Group’s whistleblowing policy is reviewed by the Board annually. The policy sets out the procedures for employees or third parties to raise concerns about any suspected wrongdoing. Employees also have access to a wide range of alternative and informal routes through which to raise concerns. This reflects the open culture and strong internal communication channels of the Group, in line with our strategy and supports the formal whistleblowing policy we have in place. The Board receives a whistleblowing report at each Board meeting and will receive more detailed reports of any investigations that may take place. There were no issues reported to the Board under the whistleblowing policy during the year.
Conflicts of interest
The Board has a Conflicts of Interest Policy and reviews its conflicts of interest register on an annual basis in addition to ensuring that action is taken to identify and manage conflicts of interests during the course of the year. The Board is satisfied that no major shareholder presents a conflict of interest or exerts undue influence over the Board’s independent judgement.