Torrents of praise gush from staff at Severn Trent Water. The company's 5,000-plus workforce serves more than 8m people across the heart of Britain, providing water and environmental services. The importance of its employees' wellbeing is not lost on the firm, which likes to show understanding, especially to parents.
More than 100 staff organise events for WaterAid, which provides clean water to the world's poor. Events include the strength- sapping Severn Trent Mountain Challenge in the Peak District. The equivalent to almost £2.8m in time, money and gifts was given in 2003-04 to community interests. Almost 70% believe the firm makes a positive difference to the world, the second-highest score for this among the 10 best big companies
Protecting the environment is at the forefront of its business; 75% of staff think so, the highest score in our survey.
Staff enjoy zany alternative therapies, such as Hopi ear candles and reflexology, and their families and friends are welcome, free, at company wildlife-and-water visitor centres.
Job share, annualised hours and flexitime working are typical — a reasonable 61% are happy with their work-home life balance. Pay and benefits are good and annual leave starts at 25 days, rising to 31.
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