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2017 Corporate Responsibility Report

Employee relations

We are a signatory to the UN Global Compact and support its ten principles in the areas of human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption. Many of our locations have active employee groups. These employee representatives play an important part in the company’s success by contributing valuable perspectives and by helping to identify employment-related challenges.

These bodies are elected by local employees and have clearly defined information and consultation rights. Although there are significant local differences in the applicable legislation, their rights typically concern: working conditions, benefits, reorganisation and restructuring, redundancies, and disciplinary actions and conflict cases.

At our Zurich headquarters, where almost a quarter of our total workforce is employed, we work closely with the Personnel Committee (PECO). Representing the interests of all Zurich employees, PECO aims to create and maintain a positive working environment. It is involved in changes or adaptions to the General Working Conditions or other important policies, such as the Social Plan. The Committee also seeks to ensure the de facto equality of men and women, and places special emphasis on the challenges faced by employees with family obligations.

In the UK, these activities are covered by the Employee Liaison Group (ELG) and at our Munich office we have a works council with clearly defined codetermination rights in several areas. Our smaller branches in Europe (eg in France, Italy, Luxembourg and Denmark) also have works councils or staff delegates, depending on the size of the branch and local regulations.