Fostering a diverse, equitable and inclusive (DEI) organisation is an essential part of WBA’s business strategy. As a major UK employer, we aim to attract, develop, and retain the best talent, offering equal opportunities and building partnerships to empower young people, whilst proactively supporting the personal health and wellbeing of our team members.
We apply a DEI lens to everything we do – whether that’s the inclusive culture we create for our team members, launching a new product, designing a new marketing initiative, or engaging with customers and patients in our stores. As an inclusive community of valued and representative team members, we champion our customers and patients with a relevant offer and a truly inclusive and accessible shopping experience.
Talented and diverse teams
As a major employer with, we aim to attract, develop, and retain the best talent, offering equal opportunities and building partnerships to empower young people, whilst proactively supporting the personal health and wellbeing of our team members.
Learning, development and careers
We not only encourage people to join us from outside the business and develop great careers with us, but we also invest in developing the talents of all our team members who work for us today.
Boots has a proud history of championing women and today we continue to drive inclusion, champion diversity and promote opportunity for everyone. We publish our Gender Pay Gap report in accordance with the Government’s Gender Pay Gap Regulations here: Boots UK - Gender Pay Gap Report (boots-uk.com)
Supporting young people into work with The Prince’s Trust
Boots UK and The Prince’s Trust are committed to transforming the lives of young people. Our strategic partnership launched in February 2019 with the intention of empowering the next generation at its core. Together, we provide meaningful opportunities for young people to support them to develop the skills, confidence, and self-esteem to live happy and healthy lives, regardless of background.
Through our programmes we support young people from our communities to get into work. These may be young people who need more support to find work, or young people for whom the traditional recruitment process hasn’t worked.
One in four people in the UK are affected by mental health issues every year, and the pandemic increased the pressure on our team members’ mental health. We seek to support our team members by:
- Providing our Employee Assistance Programme Lifeworks, which offers around-the-clock phone support, online resources, expert advice and counselling
- Mental Health First Aiders and mental health awareness training
- Promoting the 5 Ways to Wellbeing - a set of simple actions team members can focus on to maintain good mental health
- In Boots Ireland, we’ve partnered with See Change - The National Mental Health Stigma Reduction Partnership - since 2017, joining an alliance of organisations working to change public attitudes and behaviour towards those suffering from poor mental health
The Boots Benevolent Fund
The Boots Benevolent Fund is a registered charity offering support to eligible current and former Boots colleagues in the UK, as well as their immediate relatives and dependants, experiencing financial hardship. It can provide eligible applicants with grants, interest-free loans and/or supermarket vouchers for:
- Utility, rent and council tax arrears
- Funeral expenses
- Essential medical aids
- Essential white goods and furniture
- Essential living expenses
- Bankruptcy and debt relief order fees
- Rent and deposit if a colleague is homeless or their health and safety is at risk
To request help, current team members can:
- Call LifeWorks, LifeWorks can be reached by calling 0800 0778316 or online by visiting www.lifeworks.com, USER ID boots, Password care.
- Complete an application form and send it to email@example.com along with any supporting documents that are required to support your application.
- Call or email the Fund team to request and application Tel - 0115 9595166, Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Former team members:
To apply for support from the Benevolent Fund, please download and fill out the application form here. Simply send the completed form and the relevant supporting documentation via email to email@example.com. If you need further assistance completing the form, please contact the Fund Administrators on 0115 959 5166.
A culture of allyship
Fostering a diverse, equitable and inclusive organisation is an essential part of our business strategy, making us stronger together to deliver our people and customer ambitions.
Our DEI strategy is led by our executive DEI steering committee and has three core pillars:
- Talented and diverse teams: our teams reflect and understand our customers, patients and the communities we serve
- Continuously learning: leaders and team memberrs are confident and empowered to champion an inclusive environment where everyone can thrive
- Inclusive brands and services: we deliver on our customer promise by providing an inclusive and accessible experience
Business Resource Groups (BRGs)
Our employee-led BRGs, supported by an executive sponsor, are empowered to create and promote an inclusive environment by amplifying the voice of their community through awareness, raising events and contributing to relevant strategic business initiatives.
Allyship and accountability
Recognising we are all accountable for fostering an inclusive working environment and enabled by accessible learning, we aim to create a culture of allyship through better awareness and understanding of both ourselves and the lived experience of others.
All team members have undergone foundational unconscious bias e-learning and our senior leaders have had additional inclusive leadership training. Grounded in empathy, this ‘Inclusion in Action’ training helps them to understand how, through their actions and behaviours, the specific role they play in building an inclusive, fair and equitable environment.
Building on the Inclusion in Action senior leader training, our reverse mentoring programme known as, ‘Inclusion in Action Partnership Programme’, aims to increase awareness and build a culture of empathy, allyship and understanding through pairings between our senior leaders and volunteer mentors from underrepresented or marginalised groups.
Inclusive and accessible products and services
We want customers and patients to be able to shop with us in the confidence that their needs are going to be met and we are committed to creating a truly holistic and inclusive shopping experience.
We have a trained Dementia Friend in most of our stores and our store teams have also received training on the Sunflower lanyard scheme, which allows people with a hidden disability to discreetly indicate that they may need additional support.
Our estates team work hard to make sure our store shopping environments are as accessible as possible, but our inclusive approach isn’t limited to our physical spaces. On Boots.com, the Recite Me toolbar provides users with options to access the site in a way that works best for them.
We’re committed to ensuring our products and services meet the needs of the diverse customers and communities we serve, and to create equitable opportunities for small and diverse suppliers. As such, we have an ambition to work with the broadest range of relevant potential suppliers, including SMEs and diverse businesses, and to ensure all have a fair and equal chance to compete for opportunities.
In safe hands
We know that our colleagues, customers and visitors put their trust in Boots, which is why the safety of everyone who works for us, visits us and shops with us is really important to our organisation.
We constantly challenge ourselves to make continuous performance improvements in this area, putting robust measures in place to ensure that the safety of colleagues and customers is strengthened.
Our Health and Safety policy aims to protect colleagues, customers, and visitors. It sets out commitment from our senior leaders to always drive for continual improvement while leaning into our core values around care and trust. We monitor health and safety business risks and performance monthly through the Boots UK Governance Committee.
Reporting to this committee are four important strategic groups:
- The Retail Leadership Team Governance Group is chaired by a store director who helps develop the right safety strategy for stores
- The Nottingham Site Safety Steering Group is chaired by our VP Property Director for UK & ROI, and ensures that risks at our Nottingham support office site are properly assessed and the right plans are in place to mitigate risks
- The Opticians Governance committee, chaired by the Managing Director of Opticians who helps develop the right safety strategy for Opticians
- The Supply Chain Leadership Team Governance group, who helps develop the right safety strategy for warehousing, our Dispensing Support Pharmacy operating in Preston, and our Pharmacy Delivery Service
The UK Governance Committee reports into the Executive Governance Group on a monthly basis.
Primary Authority Partner
We have two safety related Primary Authority partners: Rushcliffe Borough Council for health and safety and Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue for fire safety. These partnerships cover Retail Shops, our Warehouses and head office site. Our successful relationships are beneficial to the business by:
- Validating and perfecting our Health and Safety and Fire Safety risk management systems in Retail and Warehousing functions
- Control of emerging risks
- Assistance with proactive regulatory compliance
This helps us to further strengthen our continuous improvement approach to the safety of our colleagues, customers and visitors.