The performance capability and health of our staff is an essential prerequisite for the sustainable development of our company's business and for safeguarding our high quality standard. As staff working for a service provider, our employees do not engage in any activity that is particularly hazardous. Nevertheless, our company is also not left untouched by the transformation in the world of work, the need to efficiently structure work processes and a constant pressure for change. This can lead to a reduced performance capacity or health problems such as high blood pressure, back, shoulder and neck pain or psychological disorders and hence also to work days lost to sickness.
In our Sustainability Strategy 2018-2020 approved by the Executive Board, we explicitly set ourselves the goal of preserving and restoring the performance capability of our employees because every illness or injury has both direct economic impacts on our company and social implications for the affected individuals, their families, our colleagues and the social security systems.
Aspects of occupational health and safety at our location in Germany are governed by various laws including the Occupational Safety Act (AsiG), the Safety and Health at Work Act (ArbSchG) and the Fire Protection Code. These apply to all employees, service providers and suppliers active in Germany. Our international offices within and outside Europe are subject to local laws which are similarly observed.
An interdisciplinary Health and Safety Committee, which also includes representatives of Human Resources Management, the Employee Council and the company physician, meets regularly to explore the latest risks in the field of occupational health and safety, define necessary measures, coordinate regular activities such as on-site inspections and determine how to respond, e.g. in the case of an accumulation of incidents. Employees receive regular instruction in matters of occupational safety. In addition, the process for occupational reintegration management – which is required by law in Germany – was further optimised. A company agreement was concluded in this regard in 2018, thereby ensuring a harmonised internal process with the participation of all relevant areas of the company.
Seminars and workshops designed to strengthen the resilience and relaxation skills of our staff and managers remain an integral part of our preventive support measures, just as they were in previous years. In addition, we offer staff at our Hannover head office an extensive range of fitness opportunities, including company sports groups dedicated to various types of sport and cooperation arrangements with fitness studios. When it comes to individual workstations, we take care to provide an optimal room layout and ergonomic furnishings, including electronically height-adjustable desks and chairs with a flexible range of adjustment options. We make appropriate facilities available for a mobile massage service that makes regular in-house visits to the Hannover location. When required, we pay the costs of special computer glasses.
Our executives are able to attend workshops tailored specially to their needs, including one entitled "Health-Management Task and Individual Responsibility". We also continued to offer an Employee Assistance Programme. This provides external and anonymous immediate counselling on personal, professional and health concerns for our employees, managers and the family members, including access to a service for families. This support tool once again proved helpful and popular in the financial year just ended.
Altogether 16 accidents occurred while at work or commuting in 2018; the total number of employee days lost to absenteeism was 14,134. The rate of absenteeism was slightly higher in Germany in 2018 than in the previous year at 4.0% (previous year: 3.8%). No work-related fatalities were recorded among the workforce at any Group company. Our business operations do not give rise to any health and safety risks that are covered in formal agreements with trade unions.
|Days lost to absenteeism, accidents and fatalities at the Hannover location|
|Days lost to absenteeism||14,134||12,934||13,222||12,452||11,453|
|Rate of absenteeism||4.0%||3.8%||3.9%||3.8%||3.6%|
|Work- or commute-related accidents||16||4||9||24||6|