Partner SHW

Most of the work activity that carries a high safety risk is carried out by our partners on our behalf. Historically, these risks have accounted for the majority of serious incidents and fatalities that have occurred in Vodafone and in our supply chain. Traffic-related incidents remain the greatest threat of harm daily, particularly in emerging markets.

Any new partner to Vodafone will undergo our partner qualification process to review their capability and performance on safety. Our group policy requires that any tender that involves partners carrying out high risk work on our behalf must contain a minimum of 10% weighting that feeds the overall award decision-making criteria and total scoring of that tender. In addition, our safety teams can exclude any partner that fails to meet our minimum standards for safety during the tendering process meaning they cannot be shortlisted or awarded work.

In addition to our policies and Absolute Rules, we operate a formal consequence management process with our partners to address compliance issues. Where a partner is willing to improve, we work under the structure of a joint Partner Improvement Plan collaboratively to improve safety performance. Although we prefer to help non-compliant partners improve their performance rather than terminate their contracts, if a partner persistently fails to meet our safety standards, we will stop working with them and prohibit them from bidding for future work with Vodafone for a defined period of time.

Effective risk management starts at the top of any organisation, so we are clear about our safety expectations to the chief executives and senior leadership teams of our partner businesses. We expect them to focus on the operational challenges our safety experts identify.

Engagement and collaboration with our partners is essential to achieve our common goal of protecting workers in our supply chain as well as the communities they operate in. In addition to partner safety forums held by our operating companies, we have held quarterly forums with our global partners since 2014 to develop common ways of working and share best practice.