We are a diverse, dynamic and passionate workforce, united in our values and motto to ‘have fun making fun’.
In September 2019 we were two organisations that united, but now we are very much one team. We’ve evolved and launched our new brand identity, embedded our Group values (our ‘DNA’ as we call it), worked on standardising our policies and procedures, consolidated HR and other systems and aligned everyone to our shared purpose of ‘Crafting entertainment with care’. More than that though, we’ve bonded - we are a happy team, an effective team and a growing team, with 1,576 employees globally.
As part of our expansion plans during 2020 we both opened an office in Ceuta (Spain) and began operations on the Isle of Man. We also work very closely with a select number of service providers in Hong Kong, Malta, Philippines, Spain and Uruguay. We treat these providers as our partners, including them in significant business communications and extending many of our staff benefits to their employees, most recently including them in our new share-incentive scheme. Our career’s website has recently been relaunched and advertises both Gamesys and partner organisation jobs.
The backdrop throughout 2020 of course has been COVID-19. Whilst this has presented challenges, not least a swift adjustment to working from home for many, our teams have responded amazingly well. They’ve kept the business running and supported each other, and our players, through these hard times. Incredibly, our engagement index, which was most recently measured in April 2020, mid-pandemic, is still very high, 92%, and even higher than last year (2019 = 89%), something we’re really proud of.
Our Gamesys Cares goals for 2021 are to: maintain high levels of engagement; embrace flexible and agile hybrid working models; proactively support employee holistic wellbeing; continue to hire, nurture and develop the most diverse and inclusive workforce in the industry; invest in learning and development; and ensure our culture and values underpin everything we do.
We live by our DNA
Our DNA shapes everything we do. It’s the language we use, it’s the context for our decision making and it’s what sets us apart from our peers. We hire people that reflect it, evaluate our employee performance against it and celebrate those who most embrace it in our quarterly ‘G-FORCE’ Awards. These awards, along with a £1,000 cash prize, are given to ten colleagues nominated by their peers each quarter.
Learning and development
90% of employees agree that Gamesys invests in their development.
Fostering talent and enabling continual learning is what we want to be known for. It’s what keeps our teams doing their best work and it helps us attract and retain the very best people. Our commitment to learning and development is set out in our Group-wide Training Policy and delivery is centrally managed by dedicated resources in the People Team. The opportunities available to employees across the globe include:
- Induction training.
- Mandatory regulatory and compliance training specific to geographic location and in accordance with the Group’s global regulation matrix.
- Role-specific training and financial support for relevant professional qualifications.
- Structured soft-skill training programmes targeted at all levels of the business (graduates, employees, aspiring managers, managers, leaders and senior leaders) and available to all employees.
- Industry expert-led training Academies. These new Academies cover specific functions and all employees from the relevant department are encouraged to participate. Our Marketing Academy launched in Q4 2020 and subsequently Technology and Operational Academies have been launched.
- Access to circa 7,000 LinkedIn Learning and e-books.
- Paid study leave.
We use surveys to seek feedback on, and drive improvements to, our training.
In light of COVID-19 the majority of our training has now been adapted for remote delivery. Our delivery platform offers an excellent user experience, with chat, breakout and split screen capabilities. We continue to listen to feedback and evolve our approach, for example, by introducing content on how to work effectively remotely.
Improvements and consolidation of our training related systems has enhanced our reporting capabilities and we are now able to report training figures by time. Overall, the average number of training hours per employee is high, in excess of three days per person.
Individual training needs and plans are formalised as part of the performance review objectives (‘G PRO’) process. This twice-yearly process also includes goal setting, performance reviews, and career planning. G PRO employee performance ratings coupled with Company performance are directly related to bonus payments.
Aside from the G PRO process, career progression is facilitated by strategic workforce planning, an internal jobs board and a commitment to advertise all jobs internally before looking externally. A personalised career development tool that intelligently uses skills matrixes to identify potential career paths and associated development plans for employees is currently being rolled out across the company.
Diversity, inclusion & respect
97% of employees agree that Gamesys accepts everyone’s individual differences.
‘Stay wonderfully weird’ is one of the six strands of our company DNA. We really do embrace the individual differences of our richly diverse workforce (74 nationalities operating across nine countries) and our aspiration is to have a Company so diverse that nobody even notices. It’s something our leadership team don’t just believe it but really champion and we’ve made respect the central theme of our Code of Conduct.
Formally our commitment to non-discrimination is set out in our Human Rights Policy, which prohibits discrimination against all International Labour Standard (ILO) recommended characteristics (including race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, age, sex or sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion or belief, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, political opinion or disability). This applies to all aspects of employment including recruitment, pay and conditions, training, appraisals, promotion, conduct at work, disciplinary and grievance procedures, and termination of employment. If an employee were to become disabled during their employment, we would strive to continue their employment.
To protect our employees we will, where necessary, close player accounts.
A number of controls and procedures are in place to facilitate non-discrimination, including diversity monitoring, unconscious bias training for managers and the executive team, gender-neutral job descriptions, enhanced parental, maternity and paternity leave, flexible working and participation in the UK government’s Tax-Free Childcare and childcare voucher schemes. In some locations maternity pay has been increased to exceed legal minimum standards. During 2020 we ran a series of three keynote speaker webinars on diversity and inclusion, each hosted by an external expert.
We publicly report our UK gender pay gap, which for April 2020 was 15.2% for Gamesys Ltd and 2.9% for Mice & Dice Ltd. For Gamesys Ltd this is an improvement on, but still comparable to, last year (16.4%). The disparity reflects our on-going challenge to attract more women into the gambling and technology sector and to increase female representation at the most senior levels of the business. For Mice & Dice Ltd the gender pay gap for 2020 (2.9%) is a marked improvement on 2019 (13%). This part of the business has seen a significant reduction in staff numbers (sportsbook employees did not join Gamesys in the acquisition) and the remaining, sizable, marketing department has a number of senior females in post.
We know there is more that we can do. Along with using expert advice from Business in the Community (BITC) and Stonewall, whom we have recently partnered with, we leverage the experience and insights of our employees. Across the Group we have four vibrant voluntary networks to champion the needs of different communities (parents; women; Black, Asian and ethnic minority; and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, transgender, genderqueer, queer, intersexed, agender, asexual, and ally community). These funded groups provide platforms for networking, education and mentoring, and are empowered to drive changes in our business. Senior representatives from these networks attend a newly formed Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group which meets monthly and reports on progress to the ESG Committee and Board.
From 2021 each employee will have a diversity and inclusion related personal performance objective.
Safety, health and wellbeing
97% of employees agree that Gamesys supports their wellbeing
Maintaining the health and safety of our employees and contractors is vital, but more than that, we see ourselves in our position to positively influence the wellbeing of those who work for us. Our Group commitment in this area is set out in our Human Rights Policy.
In terms of health and safety, as an office-based organisation our overall risks are usually relatively low. Safety incidents are rare (0 reportable incidents in 2020) and physical and mental health concerns are both infrequent. Our sickness related absence rate for 2020 was low 1%1.
We conduct health (including mental health) and safety risk assessments and implement mitigation measures at a local level, in accordance with the health and safety regulations of the relevant country, sharing best practice as appropriate. Of course, for this year COVID-19 related health risks have been paramount and you can read more about how we have protected and supported our employees through the pandemic here.
Steps that we take to promote employee health and wellbeing across the Group include:
- Providing a dedicated wellbeing subsidy for all employees.
- Offering a broad range of core and locally tailored benefits that collectively positively contribute to health, safety and wellbeing.
- Incentivising physical health through competition e.g. the Virgin Pulse Global Wellbeing Challenge 2020 which 315 employees took part in.
- Running mental health first aider training sessions for managers.
- Monitoring absenteeism and other safety, health and wellbeing indicators.
Further, locally co-ordinated initiatives include the provision of confidential and anonymous mental health support services, financial support for active travel, wellbeing-related webinars, online yoga sessions, nutrition plans and resources to support mental wellbeing.
1 This data is from February 2020 (when our HR systems integration was completed) to December 2020.
Rewards and benefits
|Core benefits||Learning & development programmes; ‘G MINE’ (all employee share-incentive scheme); paid holiday leave; paid volunteering leave; wellbeing subsidy; work from home allowance; flexible working; enhanced parental leave; corporate discounts and Company events.|
|Financial incentives||‘G Force’ Awards; free share award; referral bonus; and tenure awards for length in service.|
|Variable pay||Twice yearly bonus based on a combination of individual performance (‘G PRO’ assessment) and company performance (EBIDTA)|
We are committed to providing decent and market-aligned rewards and benefits to our employees. Employee reward packages are set individually based on the role, level, knowledge and experience of the employee. We pay equally where there are equal roles and performance and we conduct regular internal and external benchmarking to ensure consistency, comparability and fairness.
Core benefits are available to all employees. Additional benefits are tailored to the local area and norms. These may include childcare schemes, medical insurance, life insurance, employee assistance programmes and pension schemes.
In mid-2020 an all-Company share save scheme (‘G MINE’) was launched. This scheme allows employees and our closest business partners to purchase shares, and for each share purchased they receive an additional matched share. Since launch over a third of employees have become shareholders, demonstrating their loyalty and confidence in the business.
Under this same scheme a one-off free share award was also announced in Q4 2020, with a combined value of up to £1.8m, subject to the Company achieving a stretch performance target.
A further one-off benefit to employees in 2020 was granting an additional day off to celebrate the anniversary of the unified Group formation.
The association between Director remuneration and sustainability performance will be reviewed by the Remuneration Committee in 2021.