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 were all reminded of the importance of safety this year, following a tragic incident in which one of our UK employees lost his life. 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.


Some of our employees will always be exposed to high risk working environments on a daily basis. Sadly, in 2016/17 safety was brought into the sharpest focus for all of us, as a National Grid employee died following an incident at one of our substation.

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 2016/17

  • Employee lost time injury frequency rate (IFR) was 0.10 equalling the world-class safety level rate we achieved in 2015/16.
  • There were 61 employee lost time injuries, 8 more than in 2015/16.
  • There was, sadly, one employee fatality
  • 94 high potential incidents were identified, compared with 126 last year. 

Employee IFR (per 100,000 hours worked) 

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Employee lost time injuries 

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Members of the public 

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

In 2016/17, 14 members of the public were injured as a result of our activities, compared with 19 in 2015/16. 

While any injury is one too many it is encouraging to see the work we have been doing to protect the public around our operational sites is making a positive difference. The principal causes of injury continue to be slips, trips and falls around our street works and road traffic collisions with our vehicles.

Members of the public major injuries

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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 2016/17, there were 34 contractor lost time injuries, compared with 48 in 2015/16.

Contractor lost time injuries

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National Grid is committed to support, and where possible, help employees to improve their health and wellbeing. Our focus is on mental wellbeing and stress management, physical wellbeing and diabetes awareness. 

We provide support for employees through training as well as our occupational health services, employee assistance programme and physiotherapy services.

Our people

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 a number of initiatives to help attract new talent into our organisation and industry. More information on these can be found in the Responsibility section of our website.

We negotiate with recognised trade unions. Around 36% of employees are members of a trade union in the UK and 63% of our employees are members in the US. Globally, this equates to around 50% 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.

Employee headcount

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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 2017 survey, which was completed by 90% of our employees, have helped us to identify specific areas where we are performing well and any areas where we need to improve. Our engagement index has risen by 4% this year to 77% favourable. From the survey results, action plans are put in place at company, regional, business unit, function and team levels.

Employee engagement index (%)

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​​​​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 networks safely and reliably. During 2016/17, we provided around 1.2 million hours of training for our employees. This equates to around 45.75 hours per employee. Training hours include UK Gas Distribution employees.

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

Employee training hours (million)

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Average hours training per employee 

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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 of 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 2017, 24.1% of our 22,132 employees were female and 17.3% were from ethnic minority groups. Around 28.9% of our senior management team are female and around 7.1% are from ethnic minority groups.

As at 31 March 2017, 33.3% of our Board members were female; 14.3% were ethnic minorities.

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

All figures exclude UK Gas Distribution employees.

Workforce gender

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Workforce ethnicity 

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2016/17 figure do not include UK Gas Distribution employees 

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 provide our employees with information and advice on ethical issues. It also operates our Business Conduct Help-lines, which allow our UK and US employees to raise any ethical concerns (anonymously if desired) which they may have. 

In 2016/17, there were 73 substantiated breaches of our Standards of Ethical Business Conduct. This equates to 2.8 substantiated breaches of the Standards per 1,000 employees (including UK Gas Distribution employees) compared with 5.4 in 2015/16.

We take all breaches very seriously and disciplinary action can range from a verbal warning to dismissal. In 2016/17, there were 31 terminations of employment (2015/16: 40) resulting from substantiated breaches for offences such as fraud and theft, drugs and alcohol abuse, safety violations and misuse of company assets.

During 2016/17, around 99% of our US and 93% of our UK employees completed training on ethics.

Substantiated breaches of code of conduct (per 1,000 employees)

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Performance - communities

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Performance - environmental sustainability

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