Performance – people

We want to see equal opportunities for all and people to succeed to their best of their abilities, regardless of background, personal challenges or circumstances.

Safety and wellbeing

Safety is a core value held by every one of us at National Grid and underpins everything we do. Any incident is one too many and we continually strive to improve safety for our employees, contractors and the public. 

We take safety very seriously at National Grid – it remains a fundamental priority – and we will do everything we can to learn from incidents, so we can continually improve our performance.

Both our UK and US businesses remain committed to achieving the highest possible standards for safe working.

Our workforce

Some of our employees will always be exposed to high-risk working environments on a daily. 

We are committed to raising the standards of visible safety leadership across the business and supporting a culture of instinctive safety in our people. We continue to foster the belief across our businesses that all accidents can be avoided.

Operating major hazard sites and pipelines means managing process safety risks is always a prime consideration in the way we run our business. We continue to aspire to be an industry leader in this area. 

For the year 2018/19;

  • Employee lost time injury frequency rate (IFR) was 0.10, equalling the safety level rate we achieved in 2017/18.
  • There were 55 employee lost time injuries, 3 less than in 2017/18.
  • 117 high-potential incidents were identified, compared with 69 last year. 
Employee injury frequency rate
(per 100,000 hours hours worked)


Employee lost time injuries 
Members of the public 

The safety of the public in the communities we serve is of prime importance to us.

In 2018/19, 1 member of the public was injured as a result of our activities, compared with 4 in 2017/18.  The member of the public, a cyclist fell off his bike when he cycled over a water hose which was running to one of our substation sites. 

Number of public major injuries
Number of public fatalities
Those who work for us 

We believe everyone who works for us is entitled to high levels of safety, whether they are a direct employee or employed by one of our contract partners.

During 2018/19 there were 30 contractor lost time injuries, compared with 31 in 2017/18.

Contractor lost time injuries 



National Grid is committed to support and, where possible, help employees improve their health and wellbeing. Our wellbeing programme focusses on musculoskeletal injury prevention and mitigation, chronic disease prevention, support and mental wellbeing. 

We provide an occupational health service, employee assistance programme and physiotherapy services as well as training to employees to develop the knowledge and confidence to notice and respond to mental health issues.  We also work to reduce the stigma and to create a culture in which employees feel able to talk openly about mental health.


To achieve our strategic objectives, we need to make sure our employees have the right skills and capabilities. Equally, having the optimum workforce for our business means our growth is more likely to be long term.

We are involved in several initiatives to help attract new talent into our organisation and industry. More information on these can be found in the Responsibility and Sustainability section of our website.

We negotiate with recognised trade unions. Around 27%* of employees are members of a trade union in the UK and 61% of our employees are members in the US. Globally this equates to around 44% of our employees who are members of a recognised trade union. Those not covered by a Collective Bargaining Agreement are management grade employees in the UK and non-trade union members in the US. 

There have been no material disruptions to our operations from labour disputes during the past five years.

* This figure represents those employees who pay through payroll for union membership and will not include any private payments for employees who pay for membership via direct debit.

Employee headcount

Find out more about employment at National Grid, including benefits and how to apply for a job, in our UK Careers and US Careers areas of this site.

Employee engagement 

We measure how engaged our people are through our employee engagement index, calculated from certain questions in our annual employee engagement survey.

The results of our 2018/19 survey, which was completed by 76% of our employees, have helped us identify specific areas where we are performing well and any areas where we need to improve. Our engagement index dropped by four points from our 2017/18 results to 73% favourable.  We have a range of actions plans underway to support addressing the change in our scoring during 2019/20.

Employee engagement index %
​​​​Talent and skills

To achieve our strategic objectives, we need to make sure our employees have the right skills and capabilities. Equally, having the optimum workforce for our business means our growth is more likely to be long term.

We remain committed to investing in our people, providing the training and other support necessary for them to build, maintain and operate our as crucial in helping us improve our performance and meet customer expectations.

During 2018/19, the total number of training days delivered per employee across the whole of National Grid was 5.3 days compared to 6.5 days in 2017/18. The 1.2 days' reduction in training received by employees was primarily driven by the US workforce contingency plan for seven labour disputes and the introduction of innovative training design and scheduling processes.

Our training programmes focus on technical safety, leadership and personal effectiveness training across our workforce. We see these capabilities as crucial in helping us improve our performance and meeting customer expectations.

Inclusion and diversity

We aim to develop and operate our business with an inclusive and diverse culture; with equal opportunity in recruitment, career development, training and reward. This applies to all our employees, regardless of race, gender identity, nationality, age, disability, sexual orientation, religion and background. Our policies support the attraction and retention of the best people, improve effectiveness, deliver superior performance and enhance our success.

As at 31 March 2019, 24.3% of our 5,492 employees were female and 18.1% were from ethnic minority groups. Around 32.1% of our senior management team are female and around 10.6% are from ethnic minority groups.

As at 31 March 2019, 33.3% of our Board members were female.

We continue to support Stonewall, the Business Disability Forum and Inclusive Employers. 

Workforce gender
Workforce ethnicity


Code of Ethical Business Conduct

Our Code of Ethical Business Conduct provides a common set of practical guidelines to help make sure our behaviours are lawful and comply with our policies and licences. It applies to all employees, from the Board down, and defines the values that underpin our everyday decisions. 

Our Ethics and Compliance Office provides our employees with information and advice on ethical issues. It also operates our Business Conduct Helplines, which allow our UK and US employees to raise any ethical concerns (anonymously if desired) they may have. 

In 2018/19, there were 105 substantiated breaches of our Standards of Ethical Business Conduct. This equates to 4.6 substantiated breaches of the Standards per 1,000 employees compared with a total of 148 (6.4 per 1,000 employees) in 2017/18.

We take all breaches very seriously and disciplinary action can range from a verbal warning to dismissal. In 2018/19, there were 46 terminations of employment (2017/18: 32) resulting from substantiated breaches for offences such as fraud and theft, discrimination, harassment and bullying, drugs and alcohol abuse, safety violations and misuse of company assets.

During 2018/19, we released a new training package to support our Code of Ethical Business Conduct, we continually track the completion rates against our training, the latest results indicate that around 96% of our US and 81% of our UK employees have completed the ethics training.

Substantiated breaches of code of conduct
per 1000 employees (%)


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Performance – communities

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Performance – environmental sustainability

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