At Xtep, it is our top priority to provide fair employment and safe working environment to our employees. We believe that our employees are the foundation of our success and seek to attract and retain the best talents for the continuous growth of our business. It is our goal to provide our employees with a comprehensive welfare package and diverse career development opportunities within the Group.
It is our goal to attract and retain the best talents for the long-term development of the Group. To retain and motivate talent, the group offers competitive remuneration which is reviewed and adjusted regularly. Employees are entitled to all paid holidays or leaves under local laws, such as statutory holidays, leave, maternity leave, paternity leave and sick leave. Wages provided to our factory workers are significantly higher than the minimum wages required by the local laws. As of 31 December 2018, the Group has approximately 8,500 employees.
We provide a full package of living necessities to our workers, for example, dining facilities, dormitories, sports centres and other leisure areas to improve their living standards. During the Year, we spent over RMB3.3 million to upgrade the living quarters of our employees by changing the dormitories into university-style apartments, started to provide free Wi-Fi at our dormitories, and changed our employee canteen's cuisines to buffet-style. In the same Year, we have also introduced the "Staff Home" at our Quanzhou headquarter and breast-feeding rooms for working mothers of the Group.
To provide leisure activities and strengthen bonding among our employees, we have established 30 staff groups with 1,899 members at our main factory. We also organize and subsidized various events during the Year, such as football and other sports competitions for our staff. As a leading sports products brand, we also encourage our staff to develop a healthy living style. Activities and events are organized to boost their awareness in maintaining a healthy work life balance and to exercise regularly. The Group has set the 21th day of each month as "Xtep running day". All workers are encouraged to run as a way to promote healthy lifestyle.
The Group respect our employees' opinions. Open communication is encouraged to foster mutual trust and respect between the management and employees. Employees may confer local issue with the management through different channels or discuss with their immediate supervisor or senior management team if necessary.
Equal opportunities, diversity and anti-discrimination
We support diversity and is committed to promoting equal opportunities of all employees in relation to personnel matters including recruitment, training, promotion opportunities, benefits, transfer and dismissal, etc. We ensure that employees are not discriminated or harassed against on their race, age, sex, marital status, religion or belief.
Child labor and forced labor
The Group respects each individual's basic human rights and strictly prohibits the employment of forced labor and child labor.
Complying with international labor standards and the PRC government's "Provision on the Prohibition of Using Child Labor", we do not employ workers under the age of 16. We also protect the labour rights of our workers and prohibit any form of forced labour within our Group. Employees are entitled to work in an environment with dignity, with the freedom to express their opinions and rest and leave days provided in accordance with relevant government laws and regulations. To allow our employees to have a proper work-life balance and to minimize the potential health and safety risks, we expect only day shifts from our employees and will not arrange night shifts even during peak production season.
During the Year, we were not aware of any material non-compliance with laws and regulations regarding employment and labour practices.
Health and Safety Management
It is one of the Group's top priorities to provide a safe and healthy working environment for employees. Since 2010, all of our production sites have been certified by OHSAS 18001 occupational health and safety standards. During the Year, we have updated the internal safety management policies to better suit the current working environment of the Group. The policies cover the reporting, investigation, tracking, evaluation and prevention of accidents at the workplace.
Prior to work commencement, all new employees have to pass the safety assessment at company, workshop and team level. For specific work types that requires special qualification(s), workers must obtain the relevant certificates before performing such work. As a routine reminder, all manufacturing workers would receive a safety briefing before the start of each shift, followed by a summary session after the shift to sum up their experience and lessons learnt regarding safety issues. To identify potential safety risks, a safety officer is present at each shift to check for and remind workers about potential risk factors.
During the Year, we also conducted various safety trainings for all employees to help them understand the safety procedures of their position and enhance their awareness. Throughout the Year, we provided fire safety knowledge training to all of our manufacturing staff at the main factories. Through the training, employees learnt about fire safety theories and the ways to operate fire safety equipment. Furthermore, we also provided body checks, safety trainings to the children of our employees, and different emergency drills to further improve our employees' lives, health and safety.
During the Year, we were not aware of any material non-compliance with laws and regulations relating occupational health and safety.
Training and Career Development
The Group considers its employees as its most valuable assets and is committed to providing benefits for them. With regard to human resources trainings, a series of on-the-job training programmes are in place to promote the career development of employees. Meanwhile, a system for career advancement has been established to provide employees with clear direction on their career path and upward mobility. Every employee of the Group has an annual performance review and promotion opportunity.
As part of our training effort, we provide orientation programmes and on-the-job trainings to promote personal growth of employees. Training topics covered industry knowledge, technology and product knowledge, industry quality standards and work safety standards. "Xtep University", our corporate training department, has provided various trainings to our staff on top of their routine training. For example, a series of courses were delivered to our middle management to sharpen their leadership skills, and we have also provided corporate culture trainings to our staff. Besides internal trainings, we also provide support to our colleagues for external trainings related to their profession.
Through both internal and external trainings, the Group seeks to equip our employees with the skills required in their own positions, and help them learn about different parts of the Group's operations to facilitate their career development.
The Group is committed to achieving and maintaining the highest possible standards of openness, integrity and accountability. To prevent as far as possible violations and ensure compliance and operation by the highest ethical standards, the Group has designated and implemented an anti-corruption investigation system, which is subject to annual review and updates, to facilitate our enforcement and control on anti-corruption related issues.
We have high expectations in our employees' conducts and communicates to them our zero tolerance towards any bribery, extortion, fraud or money laundering whether in dealing with public officials or individuals in the private sector. The conduct of our employees are guided by our "Anti-fraud complaints reporting management system" and the "Code of Integrity", which details our anti-corruption requirements with reference to relevant national policies, namely the "Basic Norms for Internal Control" and "Guidelines for Application of Enterprise Internal Controls" released by the PRC government.
A specific whistle-blowing policy is in place to allow employees, business partners and other relevant stakeholders to report illegal or non-compliant activities involving the Group to the risk management and internal audit department and the Audit Committee confidentially. The identity of the whistle-blower and the relevant records of the whistle-blowing are treated with the strictest confidential to prevent possible retaliation.
During the Year, we were not aware of any material non-compliance with laws and regulations relating to anti-corruption.