Future-oriented employment conditions
We are continuing to develop employment conditions on the basis of current and future social developments as well as the expectations of employees and applicants for a modern employer, consistently within the meaning of the Strong Rail strategy. Topics such as participation and individualization are becoming increasingly important.
Flexible design of working hours
We will meet the societal changes and the wishes of our employees in the organization of working hours to facilitate a better balance of work and private life and family through more individualization and the participation of employees. The intensification of DB Group’s activities in active design of working hours and the development of attractive working hour models is strategic in terms of increasing employer attractiveness and therefore has a high significance for employee retention and recruitment.
For example, in this context, since 2018, we have been offering the collective bargaining agreement for working hours, under which employees can decide individually whether to reduce their weekly hours by one hour, take six days of additional vacation a year or choose an increased salary, all on an arithmetical basis. This collective bargaining agreement applies to all employees and was expanded in the 2018 pay scale round for the selection from 2020 (valid from 2021).
Our employees have several options in the use of overtime. In addition to the classic options of administrative leave or payment, collective bargaining employees can contribute time credit from overtime, as well as vacation days and remuneration into an individual long-term account and have them paid out at a later date – for example in the form of a sabbatical, childcare, caring for relatives or early retirement. So far, more than 50,000 employees have activated a value credit account.
Since July 2019, employees subject to collective bargaining agreements have also been able to convert time credits from overtime or additional leave for rotating shift work, shift work and night work into the company pension plan (CPPs) in full or in part, thereby also saving for life after work. Both models (long-term time account and contribution to the CPP) are further supported by DB Group.
At the operational level, we are strengthening the commitment and participation of employees in designing working hours and the individualization within working hours design as part of the framework of what are called operational working hours projects. In these projects, employers, the works council and employees work together to find suitable, feasible and sustainable solutions in service and operational planning – directly on site, in order to be able to offer the best solution for the needs of actual operation.
The flex@work concept deals with work that is flexible in terms of time and location in conjunction with innovative space designs in order to take account of the changing requirements of our employees regarding modern working environments. Employees can choose a height-adjustable desk every day, search for inspiration or focus on their work in retreat rooms, and chat in the café.
Mobility services and supported living space
We are actively seeking solutions to the challenges of increasing mobility and affordable housing for our employees. In addition to the traditional travel discounts, we aim to expand the mobility portfolio for employees with attractive products. For example, employees can already make use of offers at favorable conditions for DB company bikes, for Call a Bike or Flinkster.
In many metropolitan areas, a tense housing and job market is causing recruitment efforts to become more difficult. In Greater Munich, this is particularly striking, which is why we have expanded the living space offer for employees in the region in the year under review. The offer of temporary rentable furnished apartments was increased there by 70 units to a total of 188. In addition, we have acquired 74 occupancy rights with the Real Estate Management and Valuation Company (Grundstücks-Verwaltungs- und Verwertungsgesellschaft; GVG). Employees will be able to access long-term living space in the form of a working rental agreement from February 2020.
Modern health management
The contribution of health management to the design of modern employment conditions is demonstrated firstly by a comprehensive modernization of the medical and psychological determination of suitability for applicants and employees working in activities subject to safety requirements. As a result, only the necessary tests are carried out, thereby reducing barriers to recruitment. We are also developing new, innovative ways of relaying health competencies, for example by offering mobile check-ups. Through the new DB Medibus, more than 1,000 tests were carried out at over 30 locations. A special focus of our health management continues to be on the promotion of mental health, most recently through the introduction of a special peer guidance system on depression, which was recognized by the Anti-Stigma Prize of the German psychiatry professional body DGPPN (German Association for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics).
Collective bargaining negotiations concluded successfully
Collective bargaining negotiations with the Railway and Transport Workers Union (Eisenbahn- und Verkehrsgewerkschaft; EVG) was successfully concluded on December 14, 2018, and with the German Train Drivers’ Union (Gewerkschaft deutscher Lokomotivführer; GDL) on January 4, 2019. The agreements have succeeded in agreeing consistent provisions. The collective wage agreements are valid for 29 months – with retroactive effect from October 1, 2018 – until February 28, 2021. In addition to an overall pay increase of 6.1% in two parts, continuation and extension of the option to choose between pay increase, shortened working hours or additional vacation, and improvements to the company retirement benefit were amongst the agreements reached.