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Position: UK Head of HR

Company: Camellia Plc

Reporting to: Tom Franks (Chief Executive)

Location: Linton Park, Linton, Maidstone, Kent and/or Hobart Place, London



“Profit is our lifeblood but not our soul” Camellia Plc is an AIM-listed international group with a distinctive 130 year heritage and a strong ethos of sustainability. It is a global family of diverse companies employing around 80,000 people worldwide across agriculture; food service; engineering; and investments. Camellia is the largest tea grower in the world and last year generated revenues of c.£300 million. Operating in highly diverse cultural, commercial and regulatory environments, Camellia’s businesses are exposed to a correspondingly wide range of social, environmental and ethical issues. In all of its businesses, Camellia aims to ensure that these issues are well-managed and attaches significant importance to their continuous improvement. From the start, Camellia’s ethos has been based on the highest moral and professional integrity and a commitment to doing the right thing – ethically and commercially, globally and locally. Camellia Plc has the Camellia Foundation as a longstanding and substantial shareholder (52%). The Foundation is based in Bermuda, and has been established to support philanthropic causes, particularly in the communities in which the Group operates.


Camellia is keen to recruit a UK Head of HR, who will report to the Chief Executive. The UK Head of HR will have responsibility for c.500 employees across the UK for the Group office and the four UK subsidiaries: Jing (tea), ACS&T (food services and distribution), Abbey Metal Finishing Ltd. (aerospace supplier) and AJT Engineering (in oil and gas and renewable energy). The role is responsible for the HR Manager and will have dotted line management of the three HR managers in the subsidiary companies. The UK Head of HR will have responsibility across the following areas:

  • Providing ‘hands on’ operational HR at Head Office.
  • Creation and direction of the HR strategy within the UK subsidiaries, while allowing individual company identity.
  • Driving cultural change across the UK group especially in diversity and inclusion, employee voice as well as recruitment, retention, engagement, health and well-being, benefits and learning and development.
  • Providing high-level business partnering with senior business leaders and UK subsidiary business leaders.
  • Attending the two operating UK Executive Committees.
  • Providing end to end project management on nationwide special projects e.g. pensions,benefits and legal changes.
  • Driving employee communications across the UK group and subsidiary companies.
  • Reviewing and implementing employment policies and practices across the UK group including expatriate benefits.
  • Managing key external organisational relationships including accrediting bodies.
  • Convening the HR Forum each Spring and Autumn (comprising the UK HR professionals).
  • Advising the Chief Executive of legal and societal changes in the UK.
  • Coaching and mentoring HR professionals in the UK group and advising on difficult cases.
  • Providing objective point of appeal in key processes in the subsidiaries.
  • Overseeing the talent management and upskilling across the UK.
  • Acting as HR lead on Camellia M&A projects in the UK and Europe.
  • Managing senior management dispute resolution processes, recruitment and exit.
  • Acting as relationship lead with the Living Wage Foundation and managing the UK group’s accreditation.
  • Managing the Group Apprenticeship Levy and the Digital Apprenticeship Scheme.
  • Managing (and chairing as required) the quarterly GDPR Forum.
  • Advising on issues of strategic and operational sensitivity and complexity with people relatedand reputational impact.
  • Working closely with the Group Head of Legal on people related, legal issues.
  • Monitoring changes in relevant legislation, regulatory and governance issues and take actionaccordingly.
  • Ensuring compliance with relevant data protection legislation [with Legal?]
  • Undertaking continuous professional development to keep abreast of changes.
  • Remaining impartial and independent at all times and unprejudiced by any member of Camellia and exercising personal discretion and freedom to act within the role with integrity and responsibility.


  • The successful individual will have a blend of the following work experience:
  • Experience of working in an HR lead role at a senior level and being part of a senior team.
  • Extensive experience in HR generalist roles.
  • Proven experience of hands on engagement in HR issues.
  • Experience of working with a wide variety of workers e.g. engineering, food service, distribution and logistics, professional services, online retail, specialist knowledge professionals.
  • Technically strong in human resources and listed company regulation.
  • Relevant HR experience in an SME would be a significant advantage.
  • A strong track record in providing sound judgement, vision and decisiveness.
  • Demonstrated ability to create people related proactive strategies.
  • A strong ability to influence, motivate and negotiate at all levels and across different stakeholder groups in order to gain buy-in, change thinking and drive collaboration across the organisation.
  • Proven experience of interacting with and influencing executive decision makers, bringing a consultative, business relevant approach.


The role is for three days a week, 60% FTE, (or four if working compressed hours), days to be mutually agreed with the Chief Executive. The package consists of a competitive salary plus benefits.


For further information and to apply, please contact:
Sally Springbett
Direct: 44 (0)20 7292 9978
Mobile: 44 (0)775 138 6223

2019 ESG Report