People and Community
We recognise and embrace our ability to support those Australians impacted by natural disasters. In 2019, we partnered with drought Angels and St Vincent de Paul (Vinnies) to provide much needed relief to communities across the country. Our retailer network and customers responded to help farming families, and through gold coin donations and the purchasing of $2 Gift tokens we were delighted to donate in excess of $860,000 to Vinnies and Drought Angels, an organisation that assists farming families across Australia affected by natural disasters.
Our strong presence in regional Australia meant the severe bushfires in 2019/20 impacted many of our retailers and the communities in which they operate. Our initial response focused on ensuring our retailers were safe and able to continue to operate and provide essential food and other products to their local communities. This included working closely with government and emergency services to ensure deliveries were able to get through to the impacted stores. Metcash and its independent retailers raised an initial $280,000 which was donated to Vinnies to provide emergency support to communities in Victoria and New South Wales that were most impacted by the bushfires.
Other assistance included:
- Financial support to impacted retailers and communities across New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.
- Provision of water and other essential food and cleaning products.
- Logistics support to Foodbank in the distribution of food to those in need.
- Establishment of a Bushfire Appeal in IGA stores.
- Donation of fencing supplies.
- Establishment of ‘Tool Libraries’ where trade-quality tools could be accessed at no cost.
In total, more than $1.3m of cash and product was provided to support those communities impacted by the bushfires.
Stories of extraordinary efforts by our retailers supporting their community are available here.
Community and charities
The IGA Community Chest Program (CCP) supports a wide range of grassroot community groups, including sporting clubs and schools. In FY20, donations totalling $3.1m were provided by the CCP to ~1,700 community groups across Australia. This brings total donations since inception of the CCP to ~$90m.
We also continue to support our national charities, the McGrath Foundation, Vinnies and Special Olympics Australia. In 2020, we celebrated 11 years of partnership with the McGrath Foundation and we are proud to have raised over $2m to support this very important cause.
Through our partnership with Vinnies we have helped assist people experiencing poverty and inequality in local communities across Australia. Every year we sell $2 Christmas Baubles in stores with 100% of profits donated to Vinnies. Our staff also participate in the annual Vinnies CEO Sleepout which is held at venues across Australia.
We continued to support Special Olympics Australia, a charity close to our heart, and one which we have supported for almost 30 years. This year we raised ~$175,000 to empower people with intellectual disabilities to participate in sport, helping them to form lifelong friendships and develop important skills.
Healthier choices and communities
To support healthy eating choices we range nutritious, tasty and affordable products, and provide education material for families looking to live healthier lifestyles.
Our range of healthier choice options under our Community Co label was expanded in the year. This included adding more snacking options as well as salads and conveniently packaged fresh vegetables.
We proudly support local communities through the sale of Community Co product with a portion of each sale being donated to
the IGA Community Chest program.
Through our IGA Family Program, shoppers are provided with free access to a range of educational resources on how to live a healthier lifestyle. This includes providing information on health and nutrition as well as recipes and fact sheets. There are currently ~40,000 families registered to the program which is operating in ~600 IGA stores across the IGA network.
Our people are our most valued asset, with belonging and inclusion fundamental to our culture and core values. We recognise that each person has unique strengths and that high performance is underpinned by embracing those strengths.
Key developments in the year included:
- Introduction of flexible working arrangements including start and finish times, shift options, job sharing, and work from home.
- Establishment of a Women’s Strategy to create an integrated and accountable culture that champions women in the workplace in a fair, respectful and inclusive manner.
- Introduction of a Diversity and Inclusion survey to better understand the diverse nature of our people and determine practices, programs and initiatives for further improvement.
Progress against gender targets is regularly reported to the Board and includes a focus on improving female representation in leadership and in roles traditionally occupied by males. At the end of FY20, our workforce was 32% female and 68% male supported by our equal opportunity hiring policies. The gender mix of the Metcash Board was 33% female and 67% male.
Group CEO, Jeff Adams, is a Gender Pay Equity Ambassador of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA). Through this organisation, Metcash has pledged to drive gender pay equality. Further progress was made in the year with the gap narrowed to less than 1%.
Initiatives to drive gender equality included:
- Promoting an increase in paid parental leave for primary carers from 10 to 12 weeks and secondary carers from one to two weeks.
- Establishment of a Domestic and Family Violence policy that provides eligible employees access to paid and/or unpaid leave and support through our Employee Assistance program.
- Promotion of an additional week of annual leave for employees that meet eligibility criteria that is designed to encourage our people to balance work and home commitments.
- School holiday support for working parents through our Camp Metcash program.
For the second consecutive year, Metcash received an ‘Employer of Choice’ citation from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency.
Health, safety and wellbeing
We are committed to the prevention of work-related injury and illness to employees, visitors, contractors and members of the public in all areas in which we operate. This is embedded in our safety aim of ‘Zero Harm’. This year included another significant improvement in our safety performance with TRIFR reducing 16.6% to 26.80 in FY20.
Our ‘Making Safety Simple’ program continued to be a key driver of this improvement. This included advancement in safe work systems and safety documentation, as well as in employee communication, consultation and engagement. Our ’Safer Me, Safer Metcash’ program, focused on encouraging the identification and adoption of safe habits, was also a contributor to the improvement.
The safety, health and wellbeing of our employees is at the top of our priorities at Metcash. The Company provides a range of benefits to support employee health and wellbeing including flu vaccinations, wellbeing leave days, flexible working arrangements, counselling services, paid parental leave and allowing eligible employees to access an additional week of paid leave. The Company launched its ‘HealthMet’ program during the year to further support the health and wellbeing of employees. Under this program employees have access to a range of physical and mental health resources such as onsite gyms, mental health and resilience training and 24-hour mental health support.