Benefits & facilities

Creating a good standard of living and a strong sense of community on the estates is critical to attracting and retaining employees, particularly given the remote location in which we operate. REA encourages employees to bring their families to live on the estates as this improves morale and creates a more balanced community. REA is conscious that living in a remote location can be challenging and encourages all staff to leave the estates on a regular basis by taking long weekends in addition to their annual leave allowance.

Housing

Good quality housing and community facilities for employees are a priority, and employees are encouraged to support the group’s ongoing programme of renovation and maintenance with regular awards for best kept homes and village emplacements. The group continues to build houses using “batako” bricks, which are produced in-house by mixing boiler ash from the mills with cement. This material has significantly reduced both the cost and environmental footprint of new houses over the years. Methods of, and materials for, repairs and maintenance must conform to best practices and the group’s sustainability commitments.

The village emplacements are provided with medical clinics, crèches, mosques, churches, sports facilities and markets. In line with recent government regulatory requirements, the group is renovating several buildings and upgrading the equipment in its medical facilities.

Employee cooperative shops (REA Mart), established with the support of the group’s community development department, serve the group’s two northern and one southern estate areas, supplying everyday groceries and household items for the benefit of employees living in estate housing. The shops are able to bulk purchase and thereby source products competitively.

Schools

REA has established an educational foundation to provide a network of schools across the estates, authorised in accordance with government regulations. The educational foundation operates 27 schools, comprising 13 pre-schools, 13 primary schools and one secondary school. At the end of 2023, there were 2,732 students (580 pre-school, 1,913 primary school and 239 secondary school children) enrolled in the group’s school system.

The quality of education facilities is critical for attracting and retaining employees. In 2023, several school buildings and school buses were upgraded and construction of a new central junior high school building was completed. The new building has permitted the delivery of more efficient and effective schooling and boosted the overall quality of teaching provision. The teaching faculty has also been refreshed, with a number of new appointments and upskilling of existing staff. To provide support to employees with young children, REA provides crèches on each estate, five of which were refurbished in 2023 to offer a more stimulating environment for toddlers and pre-school children.

Healthcare

Healthcare provision is usually extremely limited in the remote rural areas in Indonesia, such as in the locations of the group’s operations. The group has therefore established a network of 19 clinics to provide healthcare to employees, their family members and members of the local communities living in proximity to the group’s operations. There is a full time team of three doctors, 20 paramedics, 12 midwives, two pharmacists, a laboratory assistant, a nutritionist, and an environmental health officer on site.

As part of the group’s programme of investment in upgrading its medical services provision and treatment facilities, construction of a new central medical centre was completed and inaugurated in 2023. In line with the latest government regulatory requirements, there are improved facilities for employees and their families, and for patients from the local communities who are registered with the Indonesian national insurance scheme (BPJS). The centre has doubled previous estate patient capacity and provides both outpatient and inpatient care, with facilities for 24 hour emergency, childbirth and dental services. The centre also houses a laboratory, pharmacy and mortuary.

The new medical centre has been awarded the highest available level of accreditation by the Indonesian department of health with certification valid for five years. The centre also participated in national and regional assessments in 2023 and has been recognised for its contribution to community welfare and family health.

All employees receive training in basic life support skills and staff at certain levels receive training in first aid. Employees are also provided with information on, and training to prevent, the ten most prevalent infectious diseases, such as dengue, haemorrhagic fever and typhoid fever, and female employees receive training in the early detection and prevention of cervical cancer. Monthly immunisation programmes are promoted and provided for all employees’ families living on the group’s estates. These include vaccinations against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) as well as polio in collaboration with external medical professionals as part of an Indonesian government programme.

General and specific work related medical check-ups are also performed for employees, with a range of annual or semi-annual tests that include blood cholinesterase and spirometry or lung saturation tests for potential chemical and dust exposure, audiometry for noise exposure particularly in the mills and fabrication department, and workload endurance, fitness and ergometry for certain field workers, conducted in conjunction with the local Department of Employment. Employees who exhibit unsuitability for the requirements of their role are rotated into other, more suitable, roles. Random drug testing is conducted throughout the year across the group to discourage drug usage and addiction amongst employees and families resident on the group’s estates.