People - Drax
Achieve together with our people

We are nothing without our people and we take our commitment to provide a safe and healthy workplace extremely seriously. Our One Drax people strategy focuses on developing skills and talent, valuing our people and driving business performance.

Our people

Our employees are at the heart of our success, and are key enablers of our business strategy.

Our employees benefit from a range of policies to support them in the workplace. These include policies designed to enable different work and lifestyle preferences, to encourage employees to raise any grievances or concerns about safety, and to support a diverse and inclusive workplace.

Drax Group maintains high standards in its employment practices and we strive to give employees long-term employment security. As at 31 December 2017, Drax Group employed a total number of 2,558 people and almost all our employees were on permanent contracts.

Employment contracts

Employment gender

Employees per country

Employees per business unit

Developing skills and talent

We introduced a new career development framework to support our people strategy, and respond to employee feedback. It provides a consistent structure to compare every job at every level in Drax Group. The aim is to support employees with better understanding of what is required at each point in their career, to identify career development opportunities across the business and to understand how every job contributes to the overall success of the business.

The career development framework helps employees and their managers navigate their career progression and identify skills they need in order to progress. Enabling our employees to take greater ownership of their own career is a key aspect of our people strategy.

We run a number of apprenticeship and graduate programmes across the Group, from apprenticeships for administrative and customer service roles at Opus Energy to our maintenance apprenticeship scheme at Drax Power.

Rewarding our people

We know that performance management and rewarding and remunerating our people fairly are key to our business success. Performance and development reviews are held annually for every employee, and managers provide support and guidance throughout the year. We encourage our UK employees to take ownership of the business in which they work through a range of shared plans.

We are developing a Group-wide approach to performance management, which will be rolled out fully in 2018. This has enabled us to implement a single Group bonus plan to drive Drax Group performance, ensuring we value the contribution each and every one of our employees makes in a fair and equitable way.

Building on previous practice, we are introducing an exciting internal recognition programme: One Drax Awards. Each year, talented individuals who have consistently performed well beyond what is expected of them, demonstrated exemplary behaviours and have the potential to contribute to the future of the Group, will receive an award.

Employee engagement

We communicate with employees on a formal and informal basis, including through posters and leaflets, our internal intranet, quarterly newsletter and open forum meetings. Our Group CEO shares a weekly update note with all employees across the Group.

We held interactive workshops with over 20% of our employees across the Group in 2017. These workshops helped us understand what our employees liked and disliked about our current performance review processes and what behaviours they felt were critical to ensure that we deliver our purpose and live our values. This feedback helped to inform the changes to our new Group approach to performance management and to create our behavioural framework.


Employee turnover rate in 2017


Employee representation

Overall, 22% of the workforce across the Group is covered by collective bargaining. Business-led employee forums, along with employee-led feedback groups, are in place for consulting with employees on individual contracts.

Diversity and inclusion

Drax Group will not countenance unlawful or unfair discrimination; we value the differences that a diverse workforce brings to the organisation. Our goal is to maintain a working environment that is supportive of all our people, where every employee has the opportunity to realise his or her potential. We believe that a commitment to diversity is critical to achieving our strategic goals. We are determined to be a place where employees, customers and suppliers alike feel respected, comfortable and supported in all their diversity.

Of the Group’s 2,558 employees 1,714 were male and 844 were female.

Employment gender

There were eight Board directors (one female) and three members of the Executive Committee who were not directors (one female).

Board gender diversity

As at 31 December 2017

Board composition

As at 31 December 2017

Board age profile in years

As at 31 December 2017

Board tenure in years

As at 31 December 2017

In line with the gender pay gap reporting requirements, details for the individual subsidiary companies in the UK were submitted by the required deadline.

Health, safety and wellbeing

The health, safety and wellbeing of all our employees and contractors remains the highest priority across the Group.

Workplace health and safety

The Drax Group approach is outlined in our health and safety policy. Each business unit and corporate team has local arrangements in place, appropriate to the operating environment and hazards inherent in the workplace, to ensure that high standards are set and maintained.

We have a well-established Safety Management System (SMS) in place to ensure safe workplaces for all our people. At Drax Power, the SMS is certified to OHSAS 18001 and subject to regular compliance reviews, the last of which took place in 2017. At Drax Biomass, the SMS meets the requirements of OHSAS 18001 and the United States certification ANSI Z10.

Safety performance is reported and reviewed regularly by local management teams, the Executive Committee and the Board. Each incident is comprehensively analysed and reviewed, lessons learnt are shared with employees and actions are taken to mitigate the risk of future failures. At Drax Power, a weekly safety update is uploaded to our intranet and, at Drax Biomass, information is made available to employees through a health and safety online portal.

The Board receives monthly reports which include Lost Time Injury Rates (LTIR), Total Recordable Injury Rates (TRIR) and numbers of Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDORs) for the Group. TRIR is included in the Group scorecard.

The results for 2017 were in line with targets, but the number of incidents increased from previous years, partly reflecting the increased headcount of the Group.

Health & safety performance

 2017 Actual2017 Target20162015
Lost Time Injury Rates
Total Recordable Injury Rates
Reporting of Injuries,
Diseases and Dangerous
Occurrences Regulations
(1) LTIR is the total fatalities and lost time injuries per 100,000 hours worked
(2) TRIR is the total fatalities, lost time in juries and medical treatment injuries per 100,000 hours worked

While the Group’s TRIR remained on target in 2017, there was a fire at our biomass rail unloading facilities in December. It highlighted once again that the risks of generating using biomass must be mitigated through robust safety procedures and a risk-based plant investment and maintenance programme.

Health and wellbeing

Our businesses have local health and wellbeing programmes and during 2018 we will work on aligning these and sharing best practice across the Group.

Haven Power provides employees with a comprehensive package of wellbeing initiatives. In 2017, Haven Power employees were offered free on-site occupational and NHS health checks, as well as access to an online wellbeing platform, LifeWorks. Haven Power also runs monthly themed wellbeing initiatives that encourage employees to adopt healthier lifestyle habits, such as being more active or quitting smoking. Opus Energy offers free private health insurance to all employees, including regular health checks and incentives for living a healthy lifestyle. They also provide a free Employee Assistance Programme, with optional counselling sessions, offering confidential support for any aspect of an employee’s life, professional or personal.

Opus Energy ran a mental health awareness week. A group of colleagues from the business received Mental Health First Aider training and held drop-in sessions designed to support colleagues and get their thoughts and ideas on how Opus Energy can improve its mental health provision at work.

Respect for labour and human rights

Our commitment to safeguarding human rights includes not tolerating the use of underage workers or forced labour. This is captured in our handbook Doing the Right Thing, in our corporate crime policy and in our corporate social responsibility (CSR) statement.

Our CSR statement outlines the standard of ethical business conduct we expect from suppliers. Businesses in our supply chain should offer a safe workplace for their employees that is free from harm, intimidation, harassment and fear. We have incorporated further provisions into our statement template to manage and reduce these risks within our procurement contracts.

To strengthen our commitment to human rights, Drax became a participant in the UN Global Compact (UNGC) on 31 January 2018. This is a voluntary corporate sustainability initiative that encourages businesses worldwide to adopt sustainable and socially responsible practices. In line with participation requirements, we will produce an annual Communication on Progress from 2019, detailing how we have demonstrated our commitment to the ten UNGC principles in areas such as human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption.

We encourage suppliers and contractors working on our behalf to challenge unethical behaviour and promote a “speak up” culture. For more information on our compliance and whistleblowing procedures, see Ethics & integrity.

In 2017 no cases regarding concerns related to human rights were raised through our reporting processes.

Modern slavery

In 2017 we published our first statement as required by the UK Modern Slavery Act. This describes the steps we are taking to reduce the risk of modern slavery in our supply chain. We have added modern slavery awareness to our programme of regular training for contract managers, provided classroom-based training for teams that are exposed to higher risk and reviewed our counterparty due diligence processes. Our statement is available here. Before commencement with a supplier in a new jurisdiction, a country assessment is required as a first step and then due diligence checks are carried out on the counterparty organisation and its associated persons.

Our modern slavery compliance programme has initially focused on our direct suppliers in higher-risk geographies and industries. In 2017 we requested these suppliers to complete additional due diligence, following up on questions and concerns as necessary. We have also instigated a programme to promote modern slavery awareness as part of our biomass supplier site visits.

Going forward, we plan to build on our modern slavery compliance programme. This will include a compliance video as part of our induction process for new employees and annual compliance refresher training across the Group to further promote internal awareness of the Modern Slavery Act.


The number of modern slavery training sessions held in 2017


Looking ahead
  • Implement an objective, consistent approach to talent identification to better inform succession and promotion decisions
  • Launch a learning portal to enable employees to drive their own development
  • Review and modernise our broader benefits offering
  • Strengthen our Group-wide approach to health, safety and wellbeing
  • Strengthen our Group-wide approach to human rights
  • Review our approach to diversity and inclusion