Future-oriented employment conditions 5 100,000 employees To the Strong Rail strategy
We are continuing to develop employment conditions on the basis of current and future social developments, as well as employees’ and applicants’ expectations of a modern employer, consistently within the meaning of the Strong Rail strategy. Topics such as participation and individualization are becoming increasingly important.
Collective bargaining package Alliance for Our Railway
In May, DB Group together with the Federal Transport Minister, the EVG, the Group Works Council and the AGVMOVE employer association signed the Alliance for Our Railway. Against this backdrop, we reached an agreement with the EVG on a comprehensive collective bargaining package in September 2020. In addition to regulations for moderate wage increases in 2022 and a period up to February 2023, the overall package includes numerous agreements on relevant topics for the future. With this package, together with the EVG, we make an important contribution to overcoming the Covid-19 crisiswithin DB Group. The collective bargaining agreement enabled successful continuous investment in personnel, qualifications and recruitment even in difficult times.
In order to reach a timely agreement with the GDL, in terms of the economic stability of DB Group and social security for all employees, we initiated an arbitration proceeding with the GDL in October 2020. The arbitration proceeding was terminated in November 2020 with a recommendation for agreement, which also contributed to overcoming Covid-19 damage. While we agreed to the proposed agreement, the GDL rejected it. Corresponding collective bargaining agreements between DB Group and the GDL will be required as a result of the expiration of the collective bargaining agreements at the end of February 2021, following the termination of the collective wage agreements in spring 2021.
Flexible design of working hours
DB Group will meet the societal changes and do justice to the wishes of our employees in terms of working hours to facilitate a better balance of career and private life through more individualization and with 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. Therefore, it is of 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. In 2020, for example, about 59 % of the about 159,800 employees covered by the collective bargaining agreement within the scope of the provision, opted for the six days of additional vacation.
Our employees have several options for their use of overtime. In addition to the classic options of administrative leave or payment, collective bargaining employees can add time credit from overtime, as well as vacation days and remuneration, to 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. To date, about 55,000 employees have this kind of 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. This conversion option was extended in 2020 to include the vacation as defined in collective bargaining agreements, which extends beyond statutory leave. Both models (contribution to a long-term time account and conversion to the CPP) are additionally supported by DB Group.
In the companies with shift and rotating shift work, we are strengthening the participation of employees in designing working hours and the individualization within working hours design as part of the framework of operational working hours projects. As part of a standardized project approach and a project template agreed with the collective bargaining parties and business units, employees are actively involved in the search for suitable, feasible, customer-oriented and sustainable solutions – always in line with employees’ wishes and operational and economic requirements. A guideline for participation in the working hours design, which was newly developed in 2020, provides an overview of existing model approaches within DB Group and provides orientation for the implementation of employees’ own working-hours models or projects.
Mobility services and supported living space
In many metropolitan areas, a tense housing and job market is making recruitment efforts more difficult. With a new digital housing exchange, we are making it easier for our employees to access affordable housing. At the same time, we have intensified and updated our cooperation with other housing companies from a contract perspective. To this end, we concluded cooperation agreements with three large housing companies in 2020, which provide our employees with zero-deposit options and uncomplicated access to a pool of about 420,000 apartments. We are also analyzing the needs of our employees in other regions, such as Hamburg and Baden-Württemberg, in order to be able to plan and implement concrete housing projects in the future.
In future, we aim to offer our employees a varied, green, and at the same time flexible and uncomplicated mobility portfolio consisting primarily of our own and digitally manageable services. The DB company bike or free journeys, especially in long-distance rail passenger transport, are the foundations we have laid for employees in this regard. Employees not subject to collective wage agreements and executive employees can also use our bike-sharing service Call a Bike and our Flinkster car-sharing service, with special conditions, and choose BahnCard 100 instead of a company car. We also want to give more employees access to favorable offers for the monthly traffic association job ticket for their route to work. To this end, we plan to gradually conclude favorable cooperation agreements with transport associations. The first landmark contract has already been concluded with the Berlin-Brandenburg Transport Association (Verkehrsverbund Berlin-Brandenburg; VBB).
Modern health management
We were able to guarantee important mobility services throughout the Covid-19 crisis. Our crisis management unit in the area of occupational health management in particular is an important part of this. With its activities and protective measures, our occupational health management follows the German National Pandemic Plan, the occupational health and safety regulations of the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Soziales; BMAS), and the precautionary recommendations of the Robert Koch Institute. The objectives of the 24/7 crisis unit include minimizing the risk of infection at the workplace, maintaining operational processes, maintaining operational infrastructure and continuing basic services. The health management team is in constant communication with the health authorities of the Federal Government and the Federal states, the Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs, Construction and Home Affairs (Bundesministerium des Innern, für Bau und Heimat; BMI) and the BMVI.Health management offers employees and executives assistance, information and support services to enable everyone to cope well with the crisis together. In this context, the digitalization of health services, especially those that deal with mental stress during the crisis and on ergonomic advice, make a contribution to the design of more modern employment conditions. Each was with the help of the social partnerships with the BSW & EWH Foundation Family), the Association of German Railway Sports Associations (Verband Deutscher Eisenbahner-Sportvereine ; VDES) and BAHN-BKK (company health insurance).