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Centrica

About Centrica

Centrica is a top 30 FTSE 100 company, and the parent company of British
Gas. It has growing energy businesses in the UK and North America. Upstream, it sources, generates, processes, trades and stores energy through Centrica Energy and Centrica Storage. Downstream, through British Gas in the UK and Direct Energy in the US, it supplies gas and electricity to millions of homes and
businesses and offers a range of home energy solutions and low-carbon products and services.

Centrica employs almost 37,000 staff members; including over 6,000 in the
USA. It has locations throughout the UK, the Netherlands, Norway, US, Canada
and a number of other countries

For Centrica diversity and inclusion is about maintaining a workplace in
which employees from all backgrounds can flourish. As well as enabling the
business to reach a wider talent pool, embracing a diverse workforce helps
Centrica better understand and meet the needs of their customers.

Supported by a Diversity Steering Group Centrica has a number of
diversity and inclusion initiatives covering gender, ethnicity and age as well
as carers and wellbeing.

Promoting inclusion through Flexibility

Demographic, economic and social changes mean more people want to be able
to work flexibly. For Centrica supporting flexible working is essential if they
are to attract and retain talent from an increasingly diverse labour pool, so
it is a key part of their diversity strategy. 

Centrica’s carer’s and flexible working policies enable their people to seek
different working arrangements during their careers. This has a positive impact
on the employees, the organisation and ultimately Centrica’s customers.

Work:wise is Centrica’s flexible working programme designed to help employees manage work and personal commitments. It offers ‘anytime, anyplace, anywhere’ working for all employees and provides greater control over employees work-life balance and is supported by senior level sponsors, a dedicated Work:wise manager and Work:wise champions. 

Flexible working covers many forms of working in terms of hours,
flexibility or location, or a combination of these things. At Centrica they
consider a range of flexible working patterns including changes to the hours or
times employees work, flexible start and finish times, shift work, job sharing,
staggered hours, part time and compressed hours. Centrica employ a number of
worker types, including office, mobile, field based and home based workers.

Centrica’s academies have also developed a suite of working patterns that
include ‘Life style’ contracts to give greater variation of working
arrangements.  This gives individuals of any age an opportunity to change their career path at a later date and make better use of the skills they have acquired throughout their working lives.

Key fact: 60% of employees have some form of flexible working arrangement in place.

The 12 Values of Work:wise

  1. Work is what I do, not a place I go.
  2. It's not the hours I put in, but what I put in the hours
  3. I focus on and am managed on, my objectives
  4. I work wherever is best for me, my role and my team
  5. I have the equipment and support to do my job well
  6. Even when I'm in another office or at home - I know I am part of a
    team
  7. I am always heard, even when not seen
  8. I work smarter and I live smarter - each part has a responsibility to
    balance the whole
  9. Wherever I am and however I'm working, there is still a job to be done
  10. I communicate with my colleagues every day
  11. We try to help the environment through more efficient use of
    buildings, cars and resources
  12. Working smarter means my colleagues come from a broader, more diverse background

Outcomes

In 2010, 74% of employees agreed that their manager supported their need
to find appropriate balance between work and personal commitments. In the UK
Centrica were awarded the Working Families Top Employers 2010 Awards for
Best for Carers, Best for Flexible Working and Best for Fathers
.

In 2008 Centrica commissioned a research project undertaken by Cranfield
University to examine the impact of flexible working practices on employee
performance. The research identified that:

  • 75% of employees agreed that flexible working is embedded in Centrica’s culture;
  • Flexible workers scored significantly higher than non-flexible workers on organisational commitment, empowerment, job fulfillment and job satisfaction;
  • 70% of flexible workers were either satisfied or very satisfied with their job;
  • There were no statistically significant differences relating to respondent’s age groupings.

Employee testimonies

Alan Caswell: "Flexible working allows me the opportunity to get my
work done without the need to be sat in the office late in the evenings or at
weekends. This gives me a better work/life balance. It also means that I frequently use spare time I have at home to complete work tasks or catch up on emails. I believe that with flexible working both the individual and the organisation
benefits.”

Angela Sudell: "Flexible working allows me to commit the hours
required to do my job at a time that suits me, my family and also flexes around
the changes in commitments of my role. Flexible working on occasion gives me
the opportunity to drop my little boy off in school, to miss the rush hour
traffic and to catch up on work outside of 'normal' working hours. It means
flexibility - on my part as well as my department and manager as those
designated work from days or later/earlier starts are sometimes changed through work demands. On the whole through, this way of working as enabled me to have a fulfilled work and home life. With two very small children it's a situation many of my friends admire."

Recognition

 

  • Centrica has been certified by the Corporate Research Foundation (CRF) Institute as one of Britain’s Top Employers for 2011, ranking third overall, in recognition of the organisations that have met the highest standards of HR. Steven Veenendaal, CEO of the CRF Institute:

“The combination of an aging workforce, the economic recovery, and staff
shortage in certain industries is making employers increasingly aware of the
importance of selecting and retaining the right people and making sure they
come to work every day feeling motivated and engaged. The certified
organisations have put the welfare of their employees at the top of their list
of priorities and are doing exceptionally well in offering their employees the
best working conditions. You will see that translated in the long-term
sustainability of these companies.”

  • British Gas ranked 14th in the Sunday Times Top 25 Best Big Companies 2011, based on an independent survey of our people's perceptions of what it's like to work for the company.
  • Winner of the 2010 Employers Forum for Age ‘Overall in the Private Sector’ Award.
  • Winner of the 2010 international AARP Age Award (3rd year running)
  • 2010 Top Ten Employer for Working Families (WF) (3rd year running). Winner of 2010 WF ‘Best for Carer’s, ‘Best for Fathers’ &
    ‘Best for Flexible  Working’ Awards.
  • Winner of 2011 WF ‘Best for Fathers’ & ‘Best for Flexible  Working’ Awards.