Corporate social responsibility and our guiding principles
Our guiding principles
We believe that as a business we have a corporate and social responsibility to achieve good environmental practice and provide meaningful support to our community. We further aspire to be considerate of all our employees and customers alike, and continuously operate in a sustainable manner within each area of our business.
As a part of our guiding principles it is our priority to encourage our employees, customers, suppliers and all business associates to act in an equally corporate and socially responsible manner.
By following our guiding principles we aim to deliver on our duty of care towards future generations.
Our policy is set out to comply with and aim to exceed the current requirements of environmental legislation and codes of practice in relation to the company’s corporate and social responsibility.
In response to internal and external policy and legislation we will measure our performance and continuously look to improve our efforts in the following six main areas:
- Our impact on the environment and our continuous improvements to enable a high standard of environmentally friendly business practice
- Our business ethics and integrity in all areas of our business
- Our role and positive influence in the community
- Our provision of access to legal services to marginalised and vulnerable members of the community
- Our realisation of internal equality across gender, age, race, religion, disability and sexual orientation by promoting diversity and by creating an inclusive culture for all
- Our creation of a workplace that motivates individuals to grow and develop their skills and strengths to further grow in their career
We aim to minimise the impact that our operations have upon the environment wherever possible.
Policies that reduce the wastage of energy and ensure that recyclable materials are disposed of appropriately within our offices have been implemented and all members of staff are encouraged to adhere to them.
We make the additional effort to ensure that our buildings and vehicles are as energy efficient as possible, minimising consumption where we can. An example of this practice are the timers fitted to all our office lights and our use of energy efficient bulbs throughout our buildings helping us to lower consumption.
Our environment policy is effectively communicated throughout the business. The AWH leadership team ensures that all staff are aware of our environmentally friendly policies and training modules that we have made available to them. These training modules are set out to help management communicate to staff the importance of our environment policies.
2. Business ethics
We work hard to ensure that all products purchased for use within the business are provided by ethical suppliers. This means that we only select, and work with suppliers that do not jeopardise human rights, safety measures or the environment.
We expect our suppliers to:
- Adhere to business principles consistent with our own
- Ensure that their products and services are produced and delivered to comply with all legislation relevant to their business
- Seek to maintain continuous improvement in their supply chain relationship with us
- Ensure they adopt and implement acceptable safety, environmental, product quality, product stewardship, labour, human rights, social and legal standards in line with our own code
We will seek to work with our key suppliers to:
- Develop long-term meaningful relations to the benefit of both parties
- Improve the quality, environmental performance and sustainability of goods and services where this can be achieved to the benefit of both parties
Furthermore, AWH Solicitors will provide ethically sound advice and guidance to our customers by always aiming to provide a service that is both honest and reliable.
We actively seek to address any complaints raised about our business and promptly ensure they are resolved in a manner that is satisfactory to all the parties concerned.
3. The community
By actively supporting community investment initiatives, supporting charities, local organisations and a sports team, we are able to give back to the community of which we are a part.
Our relationships with the communities that we serve are very important to us. When developing the services offered by the business, we aim to focus on improvements to the community as a whole, rather than just for individual customers.
In line with our core values, our strategy within the community involves us having high levels of engagement with local charities and organisations.
Our employees are encouraged to get involved in supporting their community, whether it is on an individual basis or as part of a larger team.
Some of the projects undertaken by our employees include working with schools and local employers in the Manchester area to help develop the employability skills of school leavers. Our employees have also previously led workshops for homeless people, teaching literacy and computer skills and assisting them in applying for jobs.
We often provide work experience opportunities for university students, support mentoring schemes and give career advice to students considering the law as a profession.
In the past we have participated in fundraising and sponsorship events for charities such as:
- Finding Rainbows, Ashton-under-Lyne
- Ramsbottom United Junior Football Club
- Barnabus Manchester, collecting goods such as clothes and food
- PRO AM Kits for Parrswood Celtics
- Dragon Boat Racing with the local Chinese community
- Rochdale Harriers, sponsorship of local running group
- Joint Council for the welfare of immigrants, donations and support
- Movember Foundation, fundraising
- Poynton Sports Club, sponsorship for new floodlights
- Muslim Aid, charitable donations
- Islamic Relief, charitable donations
- AL Gilani Centre, charitable donations
- Be Inspired, charitable donations
- Breast Cancer, fundraising events
- Noor Ul Islam, charitable donations
- Manchester Woman’s Aid, fundraising events
- Cancer Research UK
4. Access to quality legal services
We believe that everyone should have access to quality legal guidance when they find themselves in a situation where they require legal help.
Across our legal departments we therefore aim to provide advice and representation at a fair price. Where we can this means that our clients don’t have to pay a penny unless they win their claim. Furthermore, in those cases we won’t take any percentage of the compensation that was awarded to the client.
Offering transparency is one of our key promises to our clients.
We want to make sure that no one is stopped from taking on legal representation due to a fear of hidden costs or high bills at the end of a legal process. For that reason each of our clients will be fully aware of any fees they will need to pay to us, and any fees they may need to pay to third parties, before we start their case.
5. Equality and diversity
AWH Solicitors is committed to promoting the principles of equality and diversity.
As a business showing great diversity amongst its employees we benefit from wide ranging skillsets, knowledge, language abilities and cultural awareness.
Offering equal opportunities means maximising employees’ potential by ensuring that all employees and job applicants receive equal access in relation to employment, terms and conditions, training, promotion and other benefits.
Diversity is about recognising, respecting and valuing the differences between individuals. It means treating people as individuals and accounting for inequalities and disadvantages.
Our equality and diversity policies
Our equality and diversity policies are set out by our HR experts to help prevent any discrimination that could occur against employees, clients or other stakeholders.
As part of our equality policy we offer everyone a platform to speak of, and report, issues regarding discrimination.
We strongly encourage any member of staff to raise any issue of discrimination directly to the management team, no matter if they experienced discrimination, witnessed discrimination or suspect discrimination.
Any issues raised will be taken seriously and will be investigated appropriately to find a fitting solution.
6. Development and leadership
We are committed to play a leading role in the development of our employees.
We eagerly promote policies that can help improve the quality of life of our staff and create equal opportunities to all people in and outside of our organisation by:
- Committing to create and maintain a safe and healthy working environment for all our employees and visitors
- Striving to create a workplace in which there is mutual trust and respect and where every person feels responsible for the performance and reputation of themselves and the company as a whole
- Respecting the individual’s rights, customs and traditions. This includes the right to freedom of association and the right to decide whether or not to join a trade union and we will negotiate in good faith with the properly elected representatives of its employees if this is desired
- Work towards achieving a diverse workforce, recruiting, employing and promoting employees only on the basis of objective criteria and the qualifications needed for the vacancy
- Assist employees in realising their potential