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Group Head of Health, Safety and Wellbeing

Bristol, England, United Kingdom

Group Head of Health, Safety and Wellbeing

  • NE02823
  • Bristol, England, United Kingdom

About us

We're a truly international company, fourth largest in our industry and operating across 120 markets. An inclusive, innovative global FMCG business supported by over 27,500 employees. As we embrace a new era of growth, we are transforming. Our ways of working and culture are driven by a challenger mindset, constantly questioning the status quo. Our agility and entrepreneurial spirit, alongside award winning development programmes, enable innovation and success while creating exciting and rewarding career choices.

As we move forward, our customers will be at the heart of what we do, evolving to needs and expectations and committing to a more meaningful contribution to harm reduction by building a successful NGP business. Integral to our long-term success is our sustainability strategy, behaving responsibly and supporting our ambitions, all underpinned by high governance.

Encouraging inclusion at local levels and supporting a developing and robust diversity agenda globally, we’re fully committed to creating and maintaining an environment that celebrates and respects difference.

The Role

You will lead the Group Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) function. This is a key, global, position reporting to the Global ESG Director.

The Head of Group Occupational Health & Safety will lead the OHS “2nd line of defence” with responsibility for the design of processes, guidance and related measures aligned to the “averse” risk appetite for OHS agreed by the Board.

You will be required to lead the development and implementation of a global OHS strategy, Policy and Framework.  Establishing a robust governance, risk control and reporting structure are integral to the role. As the senior OHS professional within Imperial Brands, the role holder will be required to represent Imperial Brands on corporate OHS matters externally including the investment community, regulators and other stakeholders. Internally, the role holder will be required to engage and motivate senior leaders, as well as the global OHS community, to drive the OHS agenda. They will be a decision maker for OHS related investments. Another key aspect of the role will be guiding the business on OHS risk management, ensuring all locations are aligned and are applying consistent standards in order to meet the “world class” aspirations set out in the Group OHS policy. The role holder will be responsible for coordinating the health and wellbeing agenda, working with internal and external professionals to coordinate activity and monitor performance.

The role is pivotal to ensuring the global business is aligned on all OHS related issues; is in compliance with legal, regulatory and social responsibilities and is delivering against the wider ESG expectations of the Board and Executive Leadership Team.

Please note this role can be based in Bristol or London with a hybrid working model.

Key Accountabilities

  • Chair the Group Health and Safety at Work Committee
  • Lead for ESG Risk Topic of Health, Safety & Wellbeing
  • Lead the development and implementation of a global OHS strategy, Policy and Framework.
  • Liaise with, influence and enable leaders across the global business (up to Board and ELT level) to ensure the effective implementation of Group OHS strategy, Policy and Framework.
  • Align the global OHS position with our wider ESG commitments and priorities
  • Report to, and as required attend, Board and ELT meetings to provide updates on strategy and performance.
  • Working with Internal Audit implement a robust global OHS auditing strategy.
  • Ensure the Group OHS function is aligned with the requirements of the “2nd line of defence” model designing processes, guidance and related measures aligned to the “averse” risk appetite for OHS agreed by the Board.
  • Be conversant with emerging global trends associated with OHS and as required adapt the Imperial Brands position to ensure best practice.
  • Motivate and lead the global OHS community to ensure consistent application of our demanding OHS standards.
  • As the senior “competent” person for OHS within Imperial Brands, be the final decision maker for all OHS related technical questions.
  • Manage global OHS reporting systems, infrastructure and ways of working to ensure timely and accurate collection and cascade of OHS data.
  • Report on Group performance using a range of leading and lagging indicators to internal and external stakeholders e.g.
    • Board and ELT
    • OHS section of annual report and accounts
    • External surveys, benchmarks and reports
  • Develop, implement and lead global OHS improvement programmes and initiatives with Sales and GSC.
  • Represent Imperial Brands on OHS matters with external stakeholders such as regulators, investors, analysts, auditors and peer group business forums.
  • Manage the development and implementation of OHS standards, guidance and technical positions for adoption across the global business in order to meet our “world class” aspirations.
  • Oversee Group level investigation, response and corrective actions following significant incidents such as major accidents and incidents and be the point of contact for communication to Board and ELT.
  • Coordinate activity associated with health and wellbeing and ensure the consistent application of standards through metrics such as leading indicators.
  • Where internal resource is not available, ensure appropriate use of outsourced professionals and consultants.
  • Manage the global Group OHS budget

Skills & Experience


  • Occupational Health & Safety professional qualification: NEBOSH Diploma (minimum).
  • Professional membership of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH): Graduate-level minimum.
  • You must have FMCG, safety leadership experience in a global environment
  • Global Leadership experience
  • Experience of managing global behavioural safety cultural change programmes.
  • Understanding of matrix operating models
  • Aware of the importance of culture when delivering global programs
  • Operational experience of managing OHS in a large international FMCG company at Regional / Group level.
  • Experience of leading, motivating, appraising and developing global OHS networks.
  • Ability to and experience of operationally understanding, interpreting, comparing and advising on global Health & Safety legal requirements and international standards.
  • Strong stakeholder management and influencing skills.
  • Proven project and programme management / leadership / organisational abilities and skills e.g. to lead complex, global projects with senior leadership involvement / sponsorship.
  • Ability to concisely summarise and present both in writing and orally the key points of complex issues in a clear, straightforward and transparent manner.
  • Proactive, self-motivated, self-managing; genuinely committed to continual improvement and change.
  • Strong analytical skills with experience of extracting, analysing and interpreting OHS data to inform effective and insightful decision making
  • Strong written and oral presentation, communication & negotiation skills.
  • Strong intercultural and cross-functional awareness; empathetic. Ability to understand and take account of others views, priorities and situations and how they influence understanding, engagement with and implementation of OHS programs and issues.
  • Agile and flexible in approach; consensus seeking; able to deliver constructive criticism positively such that it is well-received.
  • Ability to undertake and experience of global business travel (c. 2 weeks max. trip length).
  • Leadership capability and commercially aware.
  • Experience of managing third party suppliers.



What we offer

Imperial Brands offer a competitive package of salary, bonus scheme, pension and 25 days holiday (with an additional 4 days on top to cover the Christmas period and bank holidays) and hybrid work.

Next steps

Interested applicants should apply with their CV highlighting their suitability for the role. 

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