Sustainability  >  Sustainability performance report

7. Employer responsibility (LA)

  1. DMA-LA Management approach to employer responsibility

    Responsibility for all important aspects of the GRI guidelines with respect to labor practices at the Geberit Group lies with the Head Corporate Human Resources who reports directly to the CEO.

    Geberit's most important ambassadors are its employees. They shape the company's image and represent Geberit in their day-to-day contact with customers and many other stakeholders. This task can only be performed by employees who are aware of what their company stands for and what its objectives are. Geberit's central corporate and brand values are defined in the  Geberit Compass. Geberit aims to act as a role model for ethically unimpeachable, environmentally friendly and socially responsible operations. The  Code of Conduct fills this objective with tangible content and to this end serves as an authoritative source of guidance. The Code applies worldwide and is available on the intranet in 14 languages. Revision of the Code was started in 2013 and will be completed in 2014.

    A fundamental goal is to reinforce the performance culture, increase transparency and promote talent. The standardized global performance assessment, development and compensation process (PDC) started in 2012 was therefore continued. Remuneration policies are based on standardized job assessments and salary levels for the relevant country. A central element of the process is that several supervisors assess the performance, development and salary of an employee together. The process is concluded with a feedback interview between the employee and their direct supervisor. A total of around 1,000 employees or 15% of the entire workforce are involved in this PDC process.

    The priority in terms of internal employee communications is for interactive, real-time communication that is accessible to all. The intranet introduced in 2009 plays a central role here. Special solutions have been developed for production employees in the form of newsletters and/or large screens for joint use. The CEO, Albert M. Baehny, regularly informs the employees of the current state of the business, the economic parameters, the future prospects and general topics of interest in videos that are accessible on the intranet as well as via electronic newsletters. The  “Geberit Integrity Line” that was designed in 2012 and launched on January 1, 2013 enables all employees to anonymously report internal irregularities in their mother tongue (35 languages), thereby making an important contribution towards the upholding of high compliance standards within the Group. There were no significant incidents in 2013. The few registered complaints were all dealt with and issues were cleared up swiftly.

    Geberit has formulated the vision of an “accident-free company”. To meet the Group’s ambitious standards, the objective is to reduce the accident frequency rate (AFR) and accident severity rate (ASR) by 5% per year and thus by 50% between 2010 and 2020. For this purpose, a comprehensive master plan for occupational safety including a package of measures for the period 2013 to 2015 has been developed and adopted. This will be implemented and checked as part of the Geberit Safety System (GSS). The basis for the monitoring is the monthly recording of all accidents from January 1, 2013 onward. Important elements of the Geberit Safety System include: a vision, safety policy and site-specific safety principles as well as the definition of rules in the event of breaches, the development of a suitable organization structure, awareness-raising and training as well as the planning of regular internal and external audits. The Geberit Safety System is to be integrated into the Geberit management system by mid-2014 and all production plants including logistics are to be certified according to OHSAS 18001 in combination with ISO 9001/14001 by mid-2016. The two Chinese production plants have been certified according to OHSAS 18001 since 2009, the sales company in the UK since 2010, the production plant in Givisiez (CH) since 2011 and the plant in Pottenbrunn (AT) since 2013.

    The ability to win and retain the right employees for the company is becoming more and more important for the future. Employer branding is a component of superordinate corporate branding and creates a unique employer identity. Geberit continued the roll-out of its employer branding concept in 2013 and intensified its presence at job fairs in particular. In doing so, Geberit sharpened its profile as a company that offers attractive international development opportunities at the interface between the craft, engineering and sales sectors.

    For objectives and measures concerning employees and occupational safety, see also > Sustainability > Sustainability Strategy.

  2. LA1 Total workforce by employment type, employment contract, and region

    The number of employees rose once again in the reporting year. At the end of 2013, the Geberit Group employed 6,226 people worldwide – 92 persons or 1.5% more than in the previous year. This increase is primarily due to the – to some extent temporary – adjustment of capacities in the production plants, the start of operation at the new plant in India and the development of various emerging markets. A reduction in capacity in the Chinese plants offsets this growth slightly.

    For key figures on the workforce by employment type, employment contract and region, see  Key figures sustainability > Employees and society.

  3. LA2 Employee fluctuation

    The average fluctuation rate (in terms of employees with permanent contracts, without natural departures and long-term leaves of absence) was 4.1% (previous year 5.0%). Including natural departures, it was 5.5% (previous year 6.5%). For key figures on fluctuation by age group, gender and region, see  Key figures sustainability > Employees and society.

  4. LA3 Benefits

    Geberit essentially grants the same benefits to full-time and part-time employees. However, employees with temporary contracts are not always entitled to the same benefits as permanent employees. For example, employees in Switzerland with temporary employment contracts of less than three months are not insured in the pension fund. Geberit bases its employee benefits on country-specific standards.

  5. LA4 Employees covered by collective bargaining agreements

    Approximately 4,050 employees, and thus around two-thirds of the workforce, are currently covered by collective agreements (e.g. collective labor agreements, wage agreements). Above all in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, over 90% of employees are governed by a collective labor or wage agreement. There are no collective agreements with employees in the US and China (14% of all employees).

  6. LA5 Notice periods regarding operational changes

    Apart from country-specific obligations (arising from statutory requirements or collective agreements), there are no formal rules as to when and how often employees are to be informed. In cases of major structural changes, Geberit makes every effort to involve the employees at an early stage. The completely revamped intranet introduced in the autumn of 2009 has become a central channel for all electronic employee communications within the Group.

  7. LA6 Percentage of total workforce represented in health and safety committees

    Each of the 17 production companies and logistics has a safety manager. Wherever possible and sensible, this function is combined with that of the environmental manager or closely linked from an organizational point of view. 96% of the employees at all production sites and 85% of all employees worldwide are represented through an occupational health and safety panel or safety committee at their production site, in which employer and employee representatives can discuss occupational health and safety issues. As a rule, national standards for the country concerned are implemented.

    This information partially covers the requirements of the GRI indicator.

  8. LA7 Accidents, occupational illness and lost time

    The Group-wide absenteeism rate for the reporting year was 4.10% (previous year 3.53%); illness-related absences accounted for 4.00% of this rate (previous year 3.37%) and 0.10% was related to occupational accidents (previous year 0.16%). These figures are based on the hours effectively worked. In 2013, these amounted to 10,661,572 hours (previous year 10,680,389 hours). The statistics show only those occupational accidents that occur during working hours or business travel and lead to lost working time of more than one day. A total of 109 accidents were recorded (previous year 125 accidents), equivalent to 1,325 lost working days due to occupational accidents (previous year 2,164 lost working days). There were no serious or fatal accidents. Employees at Geberit are not exposed to a particularly significant extent with regard to occupational illnesses. This category is therefore not covered.

    Furthermore, the accident frequency rate (AFR) and the accident severity rate (ASR) are recorded in a standardized manner. These rates are calculated as the number of accidents or the number of lost working days per one million hours worked. The AFR was 10.2 (previous year 11.7); the ASR dropped significantly to 124.3 (previous year 203). Geberit is therefore back on track with regard to its long-term objective of reducing the frequency and severity of accidents by 5% per year or by 50% between 2010 and 2020.

    All key figures concerning the absenteeism rate by region can be found under  Key figures sustainability > Employees and society.

    For the goals and measures for the enhancement of occupational safety, see > Sustainability > Sustainability Strategy.

  9. LA8 Assistance regarding serious illnesses

    At Geberit, there are no operational activities involving a particularly high risk of contracting a serious illness or with a high incidence of illness.

    As part of its Group-wide efforts to support employees’ health and well-being, Geberit offers its employees precautionary healthcare opportunities through various offers and activities. These include, for example, sports facilities, anti-smoking training, massage services, dietary and health tips, and presentations on health-related issues. They also include reintegration counseling, which aims to get people back to work as soon as possible in the event of long-term illness. Managers are specifically trained in this respect. Examples of individual support include counseling in Rapperswil-Jona (CH) to assist with problems ranging from on-the-job pressure, partnership and family problems to debt issues, and the telephone helpline created in the US to discuss problems at work in complete confidentiality.

    For further information, see  Business report > Business and financial review > Employees.

  10. LA9 Health and safety topics covered in agreements with trade unions

    Geberit attaches great importance to a high level of health and safety for its employees. To this end, it cooperates with authorities, trade unions and employers’ liability insurance associations on a country-specific basis. Written agreements exist at all production companies and individual sales companies with parties such as trade unions and employee representatives that normally cover topics such as personal protective equipment, complaints procedures, regular inspections, education and further training and the right to refuse unsafe work.

    This information partially covers the requirements of the GRI indicator.

  11. LA10 Employee education and further training

    Education and further training are a central theme at the company. In the reporting year, employees across the Group attended on average around 17 hours of internal and external education and further training events (previous year 17 hours). For training hours as part of the Potentials Management process, see  LA11.

    In 2013, 234 apprentices (previous year 229) were employed. The transfer rate to a permanent employment relationship was 59%. See  Business report > Business and financial review > Employees.

    This information partially covers the requirements of the GRI indicator.

  12. LA11 Programs for skills management and lifelong learning

    For the management team, the watchword is continuous training. The goal of the Potentials Management process is to identify talent within the company and support selected candidates on their way to middle or upper management, or to their first management, project management or specialist functions. These measures are intended to ensure that at least half of the open management positions can be filled by internal candidates. In 2013, it was even possible for 70% of all positions in Group management to be filled internally (previous year 54%).

    The management training program at the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) in Lausanne was continued in 2013 for the some 160 members of Group management and the Geberit Group companies worldwide. The course’s key topics include strategic management, leadership and finance. As of the end of 2013, 130 members of Group management had completed this program. See also  Business report > Business and financial review > Employees.

  13. LA12 Performance and career development of employees

    In everyday working life, the personal and professional development of each individual employee is encouraged in a variety of ways. This covers all areas of work, functions and age groups. Around 93% of all employees received appraisal interviews in 2013, and around 59% had objective-agreement meetings at which development opportunities were also identified and discussed.

  14. LA13 Workforce diversity

    The proportion of female employees at the end of 2013 was 31% (previous year 31%), and for senior management this figure was 6.5% (previous year 6.5%). The Board of Directors consists of six men.

    For key figures on diversity in terms of gender and age structure, see  Key figures sustainability > Employees and society.

    No further data on minority group membership is currently being collected as Geberit and its stakeholders do not consider this to be relevant.

    This information partially covers the requirements of the GRI indicator.

  15. LA14 Gender-based differences in salaries

    Protection of the principles of equality is anchored in the  Geberit Code of Conduct. This includes the prohibition of discrimination against any employee on the basis of gender. According to the annual binding survey of all Geberit Group companies, no differences between the basic salaries of women and men exist anywhere within the Group. Fair and equal pay for women and men is guaranteed as follows:

    • Determination of salaries primarily according to function, evaluated in accordance with the proven Hay method. A score is calculated based on the assessment criteria know-how, problem-solving and accountability. The resulting number of points is the basis for determining the salary. This guarantees fair salary structures irrespective of gender.
    • Binding wage agreements with set pay grades at many Geberit sites.
    • An in-depth investigation carried out at four production companies in 2011 revealed no differences between the salaries of men and women. The investigation covered the pay levels of production employees within an established site in employee-friendly Germany, at a production site of many years’ standing in Slovenia and at the two Chinese sites where employee protection and fair wages are largely the responsibility of the company itself.