Our people 2019
In 2019 we launched our ‘Respect and Protect’ campaign for our people delivering frontline local services around the UK – including waste and recycling collection, street cleaning and landscaping, parking enforcement, call handling, leisure centre management and cycle hire.
Developed and agreed with our employees and customers, as well as trade unions and the Police, our new ‘Charter of Protection’ addresses difficult encounters that may occur with members of the public, face-to-face in our towns and cities or when interacting through our customer contact centres.
Aligning with our own internal Code of Conduct, the Charter clarifies how we expect our colleagues to be treated as they go about their duties, and our commitment to safeguarding them from unacceptable behaviour.
People should not be subjected to violence, aggression or abuse in the workplace, but unfortunately, incidents do sometimes occur. In 2018 alone, our UK Citizen Services colleagues were subjected to 350 reported incidents. In one case, a parking enforcement vehicle was shot at. Others have been involved in vehicle collisions due to dangerous driving by irate and disgruntled motorists, and even assaulted for intervening in criminal activity.
“Together with our customers and unions, we have a shared interest in enabling our colleagues to do their very best work,” said Liz Yates, Operations Director for our UK Citizen Services business, “empowered by public appreciation for the services they provide, not constrained by fears of unacceptable behaviour.”
“Our campaign is a joint approach to ensuring that the risks of violence and aggression at work are assessed, prevented and addressed appropriately. We will work with our partners and enforcement agencies to support our people; they deserve respect and protection and we must collectively do all we can to ensure they can operate in the best possible conditions for their work and wellbeing.”
We stand resolutely beside our colleagues who find themselves subjected to unacceptable and unwarranted behaviour whilst carrying out their work. Our aim is to raise awareness and understanding of the challenges whilst reducing the number of incidents. Our people will never shy away from their civic duty – our role is to support them as best we can. Respect and Protect provides a framework of response for identifying, preventing and managing these risks. This includes fostering a culture of zero tolerance and non-acceptance, training and supporting police investigations where appropriate.