For a business that is all about helping people look and feel better, it is second nature to make the health and wellbeing of our own employees a very high priority. It is one of the main reasons why so many are proud to work for Alliance Boots and eager to play their part in building a sustainable business. We continue to train and develop our people at all levels so they are equipped to meet the challenges of our industry.

Alliance Boots is a major international employer. At 31 March 2008 the Group, including our associates and joint ventures, employed over 110,000 people in more than 20 countries, of which around 93,000 worked in our owned businesses. (This is the figure used in tables and for data purposes throughout this report.)

We communicate with our people through a wide variety of channels, reflecting the diversity and geographical spread of our businesses. Our aim is to ensure that all our people are informed and engaged about their part of the business locally, augmented with deeper understanding about the Group overall and its future direction.

We have a variety of approaches to fulfil these aims including regular face-to-face team briefings, conference calls, magazines, newsletters and a number of intranet sites. Feedback is sought on the effectiveness of our communications and surveys have been instituted in a number of our businesses to gauge the morale of our people and what is important to them. In the most recent ‘Great Place To Work’ survey covering the Boots branded activities in the UK we are pleased that the overall satisfaction score has risen significantly since Alliance Boots came under private ownership.

Employee retention

at 31 March 2008

Retention Headcount
Working for us for >1 year 73,000
Working for us for >5 years 41,000

The loyalty of our experienced, knowledgeable and well-trained workforce is evidenced by the fact that 44% of our employees have worked for the Group or its predecessor companies for more than five years.

Bar graph showing employee absence rate due to illness for the year ended 31 March 2008 as a percentage of contractual hours for Health & Beauty (3.4%), Pharmaceutical Wholesale (3.2%) and Contract Manufacturing & Corporate (4.4%)

Alliance Healthcare France – driver training

The training department at our French wholesale business, together with the transport department, have set up a number of training sessions for all its drivers on key topics such as security on the road, good behaviour, how to minimise fuel consumption and other key elements of responsible driving. The number of trained drivers has increased over this period, while the number of road accidents has nearly halved over the last five years.

“The health and wellbeing of our own employees is a very high priority”