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Capita appoints two employee directors

Capita has appointed two employees as non-executive directors, becoming the first FTSE 250 company since the late 1980s to appoint workers to its board.

Lyndsay Browne and Joseph Murphy will join the board as employee directors with effect from 1st July 2019, with an initial appointment period of three and two years, respectively.

Browne is a chartered accountant and has been at Capita since 2003. She is currently a finance manager in insurance services, where she is responsible for four separate contracts and works closely with the operations directors.

Murphy is a chartered civil engineer and joined the company in 2015. He is a project manager in real estate and infrastructure where he carries out technical due diligence and advises on infrastructure projects.

In their new non-executive roles, they will provide an employee’s perspective and expertise, and input into strategic decision-making with the same level of authority as other directors.

Browne and Murphy will both continue in their current day-to-day roles, with time allowances made for them to be able to fulfil their employee director responsibilities.

They will receive the same remuneration as other non-executive directors, and be provided with a full programme of training to equip them for their new roles.

Their appointment follows an extensive recruitment process across Capita’s staff of more than 63,000. All employees with two years’ continuous service were eligible for the roles – and almost 400 people applied.

The Capita board currently comprises eight directors – the chairman, chief executive officer, chief financial officer and five independent non-executive directors.

Sir Ian Powell, chairman of Capita, said, “I am delighted to welcome Lyndsay and Joseph to the board and proud that Capita is the first FTSE 250 company in many years to make such appointments.

“We are determined that the employee’s perspective and increased diversity of thought are represented at board level.

“Lyndsay and Joseph bring very different skills, experience and insights. I have no doubt they will prove strong members of the board.”

Carys Roberts, IPPR chief economist and head of its newly-created Centre for Economic Justice, commented, “It’s good news that a FTSE 250 company has picked up a key call of IPPR’s Commission for Economic Justice by appointing two independent employee directors to its board. Other major UK companies should now follow Capita’s lead so that workers - the people with most at stake in their success – can contribute fully to decisions on how they are run.

“We see this as a good step forward, although our preference would be that they were elected; this would mean they have greater legitimacy, and would be more likely to represent the interests of ordinary workers and hold management to account.

“As the CEJ recommended in its final report, this requires legislation. But Capita’s move is a sign that some companies already see the benefits it will bring.

“Most businesses today are accountable to shareholders and short-term profits. Ensuring that all companies have workers on their boards would lead to better longer-term governance.

“Rewriting the rules in this way is not a panacea for the UK’s economic problems, but it’s a crucial step towards building a more productive economy that works for everyone.”

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