Making decisions to promote the success of the Company for the benefit of its members and wider stakeholders.
The Board remains committed to maintaining open channels of communication with its shareholders and to further strengthen its dialogue with employees and wider stakeholders. The Board recognises that engagement is fundamental to the success of William Hill and, in performing its duties under s172, considers the views of key stakeholders in its decision-making, recognising they are central to the long-term prospects of the Company.
The Board is committed to delivering an enjoyable and safer sports betting and gaming experience for our customers.
Delivering a competitive customer offering through protecting our customers, providing improved product, increased personalisation and ensuring best-in-class customer support is a key focus of the Board and senior management. Customer insights from a number of channels are shared and discussed at Board meetings, as are details on customer behaviours, market trends and competitor activities. KPIs reported to the Board include: Net Promoter Scores; customer satisfaction; and app usability scores.
The Board recognises that culture and values underpin the effective delivery of the Company’s strategy. Management frequently engage with all employees, providing regular feedback and sharing insights with the Board.
Our Non-Executive Directors have collective responsibility for workforce engagement and a number attended the executive leadership forum in January 2020. Further attendance at employee events proved difficult after this, nevertheless the Company was able to organise a number of employee engagement events which involved executive directors and members of the senior leadership team.
At each Board meeting detailed trends and feedback, particularly in relation to employee issues and concerns resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic and the offer for the Company, were provided.
A formal Whistleblowing policy and procedure is in place to allow employees to confidentially raise any concerns or issues they have.
The Board considers the views of all its shareholders as part of its decision-making process. It recognises the importance of effective communication and seeks to maintain open and transparent relationships with its shareholders.
The Company provides regular updates to all its shareholders through public announcements, the corporate website and other published materials.
It welcomes discussions in relation to strategy, governance and remuneration matters, as well as more broader topics.
Our investor relations team prepares a scheduled programme of engagement activities with investors, insights from which are regularly shared with the Board. This helps to maintain an understanding of the issues and concerns raised by this important stakeholder group.
The Board also receives regular updates on investor relations activity, market sentiment and competitors’ performance and strategy.
The Board receives regular updates from the General Counsel & Company Secretary on governance, legal, regulatory and compliance matters.
Our corporate affairs team maintain a calendar of ongoing regulatory and political engagement events throughout the year and the Board is kept appraised of insights, key themes and emerging trends. In 2020, the Board met with the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) to discuss current regulatory activities and the forthcoming UK Gambling Act Review.
Key activities discussed by the Board include the development of the long-term safer gambling commitments with other leading operators, via the BGC.
The Board monitors the relationship and engagement approach with William Hill’s third-party suppliers as set out in our supplier management framework, and ensures the suppliers we work with demonstrate respect for our values, comply with relevant legislation and help support us in the delivery of our customer offering and overall strategy. Our payment practices reporting is shared with the Board through the Audit and Risk Management Committee.
Key supplier contracts are discussed by the Board as appropriate. The Board annually publishes its Modern Slavery Statement which details the activities undertaken by the Company to maintain its zero tolerance approach to modern slavery and human trafficking.
Updates are provided to the Board through the Corporate Responsibility Committee on Environmental, Social and Governance matters affecting the business, so that the longer-term prospects of the Group can be considered in its decision-making. The Board receives updates on KPIs relating to our economic contribution and environmental impact, as well as our positive community contributions through the activities of the William Hill Foundation.
During the year, the Board reviewed current and future actions in relation to the environment and climate change and in January 2020, approved an updated Environmental Policy which included a full spectrum of environmental targets specific to the Company, including energy, waste, water and transportation with five-year targets provided where appropriate
Further details on our engagement approach with key stakeholders can be found in the Annual Report and Accounts 2020.