For the year ended 31 December 2020, under The Companies (Miscellaneous Reporting) Regulations 2019, the Company has applied the Wates Corporate Governance Principles for Large Private Companies (published by the Financial Reporting Council (‘FRC’) in December 2019 and available on the FRC website). The following paragraphs summarise how the Group has applied the principles over the past year:
Principle 1 – Purpose and leadership
At Helping Hands, we like to go above and beyond the typical way of providing home care. Unlike a traditional care agency, our service is managed from start to finish by a team of dedicated care managers local to the customer. The focus of the Board during much of 2020 has been on the Group’s response to the pandemic. The goal of being “trusted” is about ensuring that the Group has a reputation as one of the most trusted businesses anywhere, that it invests in its carers and customers, that it treats them fairly and that it manages its risks and delivers its promises, safely, on time, and at the right quality.
Principle 2 – Board composition
The Board comprises a separate Chairman and Chief Executive to ensure that the balance of responsibilities, accountabilities and decision making across the Group are maintained effectively, as well as a Group Managing Director, Chief Financial Officer, three independent non-executives and two family members (including the Chairman). This size and composition is appropriate to the Group’s large yet focused business. Independent non-executive directors bring experience in addition to perspectives and challenge from outside the sectors in which the Group operates.
Principle 3 – Director responsibilities
The Board has a programme of eleven principal meetings every year. As part of every Group Board meeting, the governance of the Group is included as a standing agenda item. The Board’s key areas of focus in 2020 are noted in the ‘Directors’ statement of compliance with duty to promote the success of the Company (s172 statement)’ on page 3. The Board receives regular and timely information on all key aspects of the business, including health and safety, risks and opportunities, the financial performance of the business, strategy, operational matters, market conditions and sustainability, all supported by Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
Principle 4 – Opportunity and risk
The Board seeks out opportunity whilst mitigating risk. The Company’s key operational risks and mitigations are outlined in the Strategic report (and are denoted as ‘Principal risks’).
Principle 5 – Remuneration
The Board’s primary objective is to set remuneration at a level that will enhance the Company’s resources by securing and retaining quality senior management who can deliver the Group’s strategic ambitions in a manner consistent with both its purpose and the interests of its shareholders.
Principle 6 – Stakeholders
The Board is clear that good governance and effective communication are essential on a day-to-day basis to enable the business to fulfil its purpose and to protect the Company’s brand, reputation and relationships with all its stakeholders including shareholders, customers, employees, suppliers, financial institutions and the communities in which it works.