Our aim is to create a safe working environment and build organisational resilience to deliver sustainable long-term growth through our brands, markets and people. Behaving responsibly and running our business the right way is not just the right thing to do, it underpins the ongoing growth and development of Imperial Brands.



People who are appropriately trained, developed and rewarded will be better enabled to deliver our commercial strategy. This, in turn, contributes to increased employee engagement, productivity, strong customer service, high employee retention rates and new talent attraction. 

We take pride in what we do and how we do it.  Our safety culture is integral to this and each and every one of us is encouraged to take personal responsibility for safety.  Acting responsibly and with integrity has helped us create and sustain a successful business that can attract and retain talent. 



We are working to ensure that we have the right people with the right skills and behaviours working for the business today and tomorrow. In turn, we seek to provide a safe working environment that inspires employees to achieve the extraordinary.

We have reviewed and updated our People Strategy, to clearly connect our business strategy with the people who need to deliver it. The People Strategy is about unlocking potential, aspiration and enabling our people. It’s also intrinsically linked to delivery and growth, both for our business and for everyone who works in it.




We seek to provide a safe working environment for our employees and those working for us.


Our business success is driven by our talented people.


We’re proud of our diverse and international workforce.


Our vision is to create a working environment where we take care of each other, everywhere, every day. We can only achieve our vision if each and every one of us takes personal responsibility for safety and therefore our health and safety strategy identity is ‘I own safety’.

There are a number of health and safety risks across our business, including risks from working at heights, operating machinery, slips, trips and falls, driving, environmental factors, handling tools and the presence of electricity, amongst others.

We reduce the risk of work-related injuries and ill health through behavioural training, risk assessment, risk management, accident investigation with root-cause analysis, reporting, audit and improvement planning.

We develop our local Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) management processes in line with the international standard OHSAS 18001. We also focus on specific topics such as safety leadership, work at heights and managing road risk. Please see Case Studies for more information.

We have global procedures in place covering hazard identification, risk assessment and incident investigation.  These are applicable to all locations and are audited as part of our internal and external audit programmes. 

We operate a ‘Plan, Do, Check, Act’ occupational health and safety framework throughout our operations which includes formal management review processes. Evaluation of risk control and incident management is an integral part of this review which forms part of our continual improvement process.

We provide occupational healthcare services to meet the needs of our business and for continuous improvement. Some of our larger sites have in-house occupational health professionals whereas other sites use third-party healthcare service providers.

A number of our employees are required to undertake international travel. We have travel security services to give our travellers the best support.

We strive to continually improve our safety culture to ensure workers feel empowered to always remove themselves from perceived danger.  Always acting promptly on near miss reporting and providing feedback to employees is a key part of this process.

Within our supply chain, health and safety forms a key element of our Supplier Code, Sustainable Tobacco Programme (STP) and our non-tobacco material (NTM) supplier qualification programme, where we seek to promote management of good health and safety practices.


We look to support employee well-being through a range of offerings that fall under three main areas of focus: mental, physical and social well-being.

Given cultural differences and that not one-size-fits-all, many of our employee wellbeing offerings are enabled locally with a few Group initiatives, such as Virgin Global Challenge and our Group-wide volunteering initiative.

We have a range of initiatives enabled at the local level that include resilience training, employee assistance programmes, health checks and awareness programmes, flexible working, family-friendly policies and facilities and workplace celebrations and social events.

Under employee wellbeing, we also support volunteering as it is a positive way for employees to engage with local communities, broaden perspectives and support a work-life balance.



Our Group-wide Employment Policy is designed to ensure employees are professionally recruited, effectively rewarded and encouraged to develop both personally and professionally, to better support the objectives of the business. The aim of the policy is to attract, motivate, reward, develop and retain high calibre employees to deliver business success.

Our drive to maintain momentum in tobacco and deliver significant growth in our Next Generation Products, defines the capabilities that we need and the critical areas in which we need them. We work to ensure that we have the right people with the right skills and behaviours working for the business, today and tomorrow. Firstly, we mobilise our significant existing talent so that we can retain home-grown knowledge, skills and experience. Secondly, we attract new talent with capabilities to enhance our performance delivery and evolving business needs.


The continuous development of our employees is encouraged through skills enhancement and training programmes. We use a formal approach to performance management as part of a continuous process of performance planning, assessment, development planning and review. This is further supported by our global HR system ‘Workday’.

We have a number of mechanisms to support development and up-weight capabilities, including our Mentor Match programme and Learning and Development Portal. The portal drives users to relevant content, and it was accessed on average over 3000 times per month in FY18.  The portal includes inspirational learning stories, ‘GetAbstract’ articles, stress and resilience support as well as a comprehensive library of learning and development support courses and material.

Our Mentor Match programme enables mentees and mentors to find support and work together across the business. At present we have around 400 active global users with over 100 matches.


We pay and reward people fairly with reference to external market pay data, ensuring the company remains attractive in the external competitive market. In addition, pay reviews are held annually in consultation with local unions.

We offer both Group-wide and local benefits. Group-wide benefits include items such as annual bonus, pensions and long-term incentive plans. Local benefits include items such as holiday entitlement, sick pay, medical insurance and flexible working.

Our reward structure focuses on three key areas: 1. Ensuring our ability to attract, retain and motivate people with the capabilities we need to deliver the business strategy; 2. Supporting a more flexible and agile organisation, better able to react quickly to seize new opportunities and to address issues; and 3. Further aligning actual rewards with the performance delivery of the business.

This structure provides a simple and consistent global framework within which markets and functions must operate. It also provides greater flexibility to localise or tailor rewards to specific needs or priorities. The framework provides the basis for governance and equitable treatment of our employees globally, as well as supporting our ability to move talent across the organisation. This is in line with delivering our Employee Value Proposition (EVP) of providing attractive rewards that recognise the contribution employees make.


We strongly believe that diversity across our organisation not only makes it a better place to work but also helps us realise our commercial strategy. We are committed to treating employees with respect and support equal opportunities, as outlined in our Fairness at Work Policy. We want a culture that is vibrant and where our people can be themselves at work.

Our approach to diversity is built around three pillars:

  • Inspire: raising awareness of the diversity agenda and showing how it can help us achieve our business aims.
  • Strengthen: looking at the way we recruit, retain and develop people to help us embed diversity and develop a diverse talent pool.
  • Empower: finding new ways to support flexible working and greater collaboration across the business so everyone feels they can fully contribute to our success.

We promote diversity internally with awareness campaigns, career talks, unconscious bias training and diversity celebrations. The importance of diversity, equality and non-discrimination is highlighted in our Code of Conduct and underpinned by our values.


Find out about careers opportunities that set us apart as an employer.


Our case studies showcase our progress against our sustainability strategy.


See the progress we’ve made against our key performance indicators during 2018.