British American Tobacco plc

Officially a Very Good
Company to Work For

Officially a Very Good
Company to Work For

Officially an Outstanding
Company to Work For

Officially an Outstanding
Company to Work For

Officially a World Class
Company to Work For

Officially a World Class
Company to Work For

Officially a Good
Company to Work For

Officially a Good
Company to Work For

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Best Company to work for in the UK
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Best Company
to work for

Just as tobacco unites the huddle of smokers outside their non-smoking office, the issue pulls together employees at British American Tobacco (BAT). Excellent pay, prospects and conditions, together with the sense of injustice they feel when their industry is criticised, have created a strong, loyal family. British American Tobacco, a multinational company based in Britain and formed in 1902, owns leading brands everywhere from Uzbekistan to Brazil. It is a company that has gone from being a symbol of sociable encounters to one of carcinogens and controversy. Public awareness of the dangers of smoking, a rise in teenage girls taking up the habit, and successful court cases against cigarette companies in America have made working for a tobacco company a far less socially acceptable thing to do. Despite this clouded environment, pay, benefits and opportunities have attracted bright and friendly workers to BATs custom-fitted headquarters in London. The company's internationalism is a major motivator for staff. Josh Goldberg, 23, has just started as a management trainee, having come over from Texas; he was delighted by this opportunity to work in a challenging industry, and by the intelligence, openness and helpfulness of everyone from management to receptionists. Hilary Barton, Bat's head of strategic management for 10 years, enjoys the opportunity to travel — “South Africa, Malaysia, Bangladesh and Poland in the past few months, and meeting great teams of our people everywhere”, she said. There is a management development centre in Horsley, Surrey and a training suite with teach-yourself language plans and computer programs. “Freedom through responsibility” is the catchphrase. Financial trainees receive awards of up to £2,000 when they complete their professional training. The spectacular offices in central London have a view of the Thames (see page 3) from the London Eye in the west to Tower Bridge in the east. On every floor there are flowers and art collections, from historic cigarette posters to 28 Rodin statues, part of a Rothmans collection on permanent loan. With an upgraded air conditioning system, the offices are cool and fresh and although everyone is entitled to either 200 or 400 free cigarettes each month, nobody seems to chain smoke. Lunch is free with everything from curries to sizzling salads — and there is a make-your-own sandwich bar. The company fosters a sense of community with events such as horse-riding weekends, a subsidised annual dinner-dance, a whisky and cigar club and discounts at Formula 1 events. There are three production sites around the country in Southampton, Aylesbury and Darlington. The workers feel BAT is unfairly criticised for promoting tobacco, but there is ambivalence in whether they will admit they work for the firm or hide it. Roy Beadle, corporate communications manager, said it was “a recruitment issue”. “I was slightly concerned about it, but I am happy with BATs position that smoking is a personal choice for responsible adults,” he said. “It can lead to some interesting dinner-table discussions, though.”

Featured Workplace Factors

My Company

80% of staff agreed

I have confidence in the leadership skills of the senior management team

There are numerous opportunities for individuals to make cross functional moves through the company to aid their personal development. Annual development discussions are held with line managers to review career aspirations and any personal development goals with the aim of helping people reach their targets.

My Team

83% of staff agreed

The experience I gain from this job is valuable for my future

A Battlefield Bonus can be paid to those individuals who provide an outstanding contribution to the business that is significantly over and above what is required to fulfil their day to day position. The bonus can amount to anything up to three months salary.

Personal Growth

85% of staff agreed

My work is an important part of my life

Salary reviews are linked directly to performance in an effort to reward those who genuinely deserve increases. Employees can also take part in the company share scheme so they can enjoy the fruits of their efforts via the share price.

Benefits

Holidays

Companies offering a minimum of 26 days annual leave to all employees.

Long Service

Companies where at least 40% of the staff have worked there for more than five years.

Maternity

Companies offering at least 10 weeks’ full pay or generous alternative.

Pensions

Companies offering a final salary scheme to all employees, or one in which the employer's contribution is at least 5%.

Private Healthcare

Companies offering private health insurance to all employees.

List Positions

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