Activities and focus
We increase the employability of our staff. This means that the skills of every Baloise employee are supported and they are given the freedom to develop these through their own initiative. In line with the motto: anything goes, nothing has to.
The opportunity to build up an extensive network between employees brings new professional opportunities within Baloise as well as a valuable exchange of experience. Our aim is to establish the best match between the modern skills of our employees and the requirements of Baloise as a company.
We stand out in the market through our value culture, work environment and development focus, which are based on fair remuneration.
Participation and exchange
Employee representatives from the national subsidiaries have been meeting with representatives of the CEC once a year since 2004 at the European Panel. In the spirit of the Baloise value culture, this forum involves a promotion of cross-border dialogue, exchanges, mutual information and the ability to walk in each other’s shoes to obtain a better mutual understanding of the respective concerns.
A harmonious development of economic activities is thus ensured taking into account all interests in the Group. The following employee representatives are responsible for national issues.
The European Panel deals with the following topics among others:
- The business condition, i.e. the economic and financial situation including developments and prospects
- Fundamental structural and strategic changes
- The current employment conditions and development of the employment situation
- Questions about personnel policy, training and education, as well as equal opportunities
The employee representatives are delegated from the national works councils and employee commissions. The representatives of the CEC are usually the Head of Corporate Division and the Head of Group Human Resources.
A different country association hosts the European Panel every year in alternating cycles. This gives delegates the opportunity to familiarise themselves with other locations as well.
Decisions by the employee representatives at the European Panel are made by the participants present through a majority vote, with each participant having one vote.
Outside the annual meeting, the Europa forum is represented by the managing committee. In addition to the speaker and their deputy, another elected employee representative is part of the committee. It must be observed that at least two countries must be represented.
The committee also represents the interests of those countries that are not represented by their own delegates in the European Panel due to a workforce of fewer than 50 employees. The managing committee remains in regular contact with representatives of the CEC through regular calls and meetings throughout the year. This ensures constant dialogue, rapid orientation and updates on current topics and new developments.
The employee commission has represented the interests of internal and external workers including apprentices of Bâloise Group companies since 19 December 1975.
- Right to information (e.g. information on provisions relating to commissions for officebased staff, commission cuts for field sales staff, early retirement in individual cases, business performance, business policy and objectives or terminations by Baloise)
- Right to participation (e.g. participation in the design of workplaces, meals, working hours, holiday entitlements, wage policy and fringe benefits, adjustments of the employment contract for field sales staff, the goal agreement and YearEnd Review system, employee pensions, social plan in case of large-scale redundancies as well as education and training)
- Right to codecision(e.g. codecision in the collective employment agreement [CEA] and the corporate health management committee)
- Right to selfadministration (e.g. selfadministration in agreements on purchasing discounts at third-party companies, leisure activities, insofar as they are supported by the company and the elections in the employee commission)
Baloise Insurance bases its employees’ jobs on the core labour standards set out by the International Labour Organization (ILO) as well as on national labour and social standards that significantly exceed these standards. This also applies to the Czech and Slovak branches of Baloise Insurance.
The German sections of the company are largely committed to a collective agreement through the Employers’ Association of Insurance Companies in Germany (Arbeitgeberverband der Versicherungsunternehmen in Deutschland e.V. – agv), and these collective agreements apply for all employees. In addition, there are elected works councillors in the predominantly German sections of the company.
Employee interests are represented supraregionally by the General Works Council in accordance with the Works Constitution Act (Betriebsverfassungsgesetz – BetrVG). Regionally, elected works councillors are active within the companies, and there are also youth and training representatives. Extensive company regulations (company agreements) have been agreed with the above, primarily covering employee (data) protection, flexible working hours and company benefits.
Baloise Insurance welcomes constructive and open dialogue with the representatives committees, even over and above its statutory obligations.
Since 2017, executives at Baloise Insurance have been assessing feedback from their employees on a regular basis as part of an anonymous management feedback initiative. Employees are also regularly given the opportunity to evaluate the company.
The interests of our employees in Belgium are represented by the union representatives in the form of a union delegation and the works council. The union delegation has authority in the following areas:
- Employment relationships
- Collective bargaining
- The application of social legislation, collective contracts, labour law and individual contracts
- The right to be heard by the ExCo or their representatives following collective disputes
- The right to assist an employee in submitting a single complaint to the line manager
- The right to be heard in a single dispute which cannot be resolved through an appeal
- The right to prior notice of changes in contractual and customary work and wage conditions.
The works council consists of an employer and an employees’ representative. The latter consists of a representation of employees, workers, managers and young employees (under the age of 25), depending on the distribution of the different categories within the company.
The works council has decision-making authority in various areas. These are in particular:
- Establishment and change of working regulations
- Determining the dates of annual leave and replacement days for holidays
- Perception of social tasks
- Booking a reporting period
In addition, it receives information about the social data of the company (workplaces, working conditions, etc.), as well as about all other elements in this context which can influence this data such as economic and financial information with regard to the structure and business of the company, the economic and social prospects, etc.
This information can give rise to an exchange of ideas and conversation. They can also be useful for consultation at other levels, including negotiating with the union delegation.
There is also a committee for risk prevention and workplace protection (CPBW / Comité PB). The CBPW consists of an employer and an employees’ representative. The CPBW has authority in a range of decision-making, consultation, negotiation and information areas regarding the well-being of workers in the workplace: safety and health, design of workplaces, etc.
The employees’ representatives within the works council and the CPBW are elected by employees in social elections which take place every four years.
Impact on employees
Through the opportunity for continuous further development and interdisciplinary knowledge transfer, we create the best match between employees with modern skills and the needs of Baloise as a company.
Our employees are financially secure and have access to a wide range of health programmes and counselling. The loyalty of our employees is high and the network between colleagues is extensive. This gives employees the opportunity to take on various roles during their period of employment at Baloise, which is longer than the average.
One manifestation of our corporate culture is our ambition to be among the top ten per cent of employers in the industry by 2021. Development is measured by a performance indicator that indicates how often Baloise is recommended as an employer. In addition, our culture and the cultural evolution brought through our Simply Safe strategy is not only supported and determined by management, but also considerably by our employees. In order to follow our strategy in terms of deeds, 200 highly committed and networked employees developed the Baloise CODE, which promotes cultural change across all hierarchies and makes it tangible. The Baloise CODE is consistent with the Baloise behavioural values: “Put yourself in other’s shoes”, “Act authentically and earn trust”, “Develop and engage – yourself and others”.
A sustainability network has been active since 2019, which consists of all Baloise departments that influence and are influenced by this topic within Baloise. This working group is equipped with the necessary professional expertise to develop the content for the topic of sustainability and to update it regularly; for example, the value creation model. The Group Strategy Board (GSB), which comprises the Corporate Executive Committee (CEC) and the CEOs of the national subsidiaries, decides on the implementation and application of the content. The Board of Directors is responsible for developing the sustainability approach, embedding it in the overall strategy and overseeing it. The described governance model was approved by the GSB and the Board of Directors in late 2019.