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Diversity and equal opportunities

Equal opportunities and enhancing the value of diversity
The new Group Code of Ethics, approved by the Hera S.p.A. Board of Directors on 26 January 2011, led to the formalisation, also within this fundamental Group guidance document, of the commitment to equal opportunities, development of a work-life balance and enhancement of the value of diversity.
In October 2009, Hera signed the Charter for equal opportunities and equality in the workplace promoted by, amongst others, the Sodalitas Foundation, Impronta Etica and the National Office of the Equality Councillor, with the participation of the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Equal Opportunity. The Charter contains 10 commitments contributing to the fight against all forms of discrimination in the workplace and the championing of diversity within organizations.

The Hera Group's Diversity Manager

The Hera Group Diversity Manager was appointed in March 2011, in line with the commitments taken when the Charter for equal opportunities and equality in the workplace was signed in October 2009. This Charter requires that corporate functions be identified and that clear responsibilities on the topic of equal opportunities be assigned to them. The purpose of this appointment is:

  • to favour the implementation of a corporate policy on equal opportunities and enhance the value of diversity;
  • to promote the development of specific projects and training with a view to raising awareness amongst employees on the value of diversity;
  • to define specific indicators to monitor the status of equal opportunities within Hera, and assess the efficiency of projects implemented.

The Diversity Manager works with the team comprising the Corporate Social Responsibility Department, the Central External Relations Department, the Central Quality, Safety and Environment Department and the Central Personnel and Organisation Department.

The main initiatives carried out in the last two years include:

  • publication of the Mamma&Papà al lavoro ("Mummy & Daddy at work") booklet, being updated and reprinted in 2012, to better inform employees of their rights and the company's human resource management policies on maternity and parental leave;
  • opening of new company and intercompany crèches: after Cesena, Imola and Ravenna, the Bologna crèche opened in 2011;
  • awareness raising and training aimed at optimising differences and diversity;
  • preparation of the "Positive return policies" project, in order to apply for the loan set forth in art. 9 of Law no. 3/2000 "Measures to achieve a work-life balance", presented by the Department for family policies, the results of which will be announced in the first half of 2012.

The goal of the "Positive return policies" project is to develop actions to achieve a work-life balance and supporting mechanisms for those who take maternity and parental leave, or leave under Law no. 104/1992. These actions and instruments include specific training initiatives, an intranet which can be used by workers on leave to facilitate their re-entry, agreements with private crèches in the local community and awareness raising and training actions aimed at changing the company's culture with respect to work-life balance.
The project was defined by controlling the effective needs of employees, by:

  • holding two focus groups, one for mothers and fathers and another for beneficiaries of Law 104;
  • issuing questionnaires to all employees of the Group's main office areas which do not have company crèches: 30 employees are interested in the service.

The needs survey led to the identification of 74 potential beneficiaries of the project.

Female staff (breakdown by position)
Middle managers28.9%29.8%28.9%
Total managers and middle managers24.8%25.7%25.5%
Management employees30.6%33.1%33.7%
Total managers, middle managers and management employees30.0%30.5%31.0%
Non-management employees42.4%41.2%42.1%
Total employees 38.8%39.1%39.6%

Female staff levels among open-ended contract workers reached 24.3% in 2011, a continuous increase on the last few years. Female personnel levels among managerial and executive positions come to 25.5%. Considering all contractual qualifications that provide for a managerial role (managers, middle managers and management employees), women comprise 31.0% (a slight increase compared to prior years).

Personnel by age group
Under 302.4%2.1%2.1%
From 30 to 5067.5%64.1%65.7%
Over 5030.1%33.8%32.2%

There are over 2,000 open-ended contract employees over 50 years of age (a decrease of 4.7% compared to 2010).

Part-time contracts

Part-time arrangements, as regulated by current labour agreements, are considered a valid instrument in providing a response to labour flexibility needs both in terms of organisational and employee needs.
It is characterised by the voluntariness, reversibility and compatibility with technical, organisational and productive needs of the company and with the needs of worker.
Family and health needs, the need to help others with disabilities, and cases of serious illness (duly certified as such) are our priority considerations in assessing applications. The persons to whom staff members report must consider how practicable the contracts the applicants seek are in terms of corporate needs: if it is concluded that the contract is viable, the changes will be made.
In 2011, out of 14 requests for part-time arrangements from female employees following maternity leave, 13 were accepted.

Maternity, paternity and parental leave
Maternity leave taken (no.)8598
Paternity leave taken (no.)158206
Duration of parental leave taken, per capita (days)4150

The data refer to the following companies: Hera S.p.A., Marche Multiservizi, Famula on Line, Uniflotte, Hera Comm, Hera Trading, Herambiente, FEA, Acantho, Hera Luce, Akron, Nuova Geovis, Sinergia.

In 2011, 98 employees took maternity leave; all employees returned to work following maternity leave (no employees resigned within 3 months of returning to work from maternity leave). Out of all parental leave (the period of voluntary leave which both parents may take, subsequent to obligatory leave, when the child is between 0 and 8 years old), 73% is taken by female employees; the average duration of leave taken in 2011 was 50 days (57 days for leave taken by women and 31 days for leave taken by men).
Considering the fact that there were 55 births amongst the Group's female workers in 2010, after the corresponding maternity leave, parental leave was used 47 times in the last 2 years, in addition to parental leave taken 15 times by fathers during the same period of time. There is a legal limit of 6 months for each parent, while the average duration of parental leave within the Group over the last two years comes out to 3 months in relation to the births which occurred in 2010, and specifically 3 and a half months for women.

The Hera crèches: a work-life balance experience

One of the most significant actions to favour a work-life balance within Hera is the experience of company and intercompany crèches, which have been open since 2007: to date, four are active, and there are 54 places available for the children of employees.
"Tirithera", which opened in 2007, was the Group's first company crèche, established at the Cesena office. In 2009, the Imola intercompany crèche, "Il nido di Cornelia", opened as a result of the efforts of the Hera Group, Legacoop and Cna Imola, with the contribution of the Municipality of Bologna, the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Imola and the support of the Municipality of Imola. In October 2010, the "L'Hera dei Bimbi" intercompany crèche opened in Ravenna, which involves cooperation between Hera (lead management company), the municipality and local associations and cooperatives. Finally, as a result of collaboration between the Emilia-Romagna region and the municipality of Bologna, and three companies with offices near the trade fair area (Hera, Unipol and Legacoop Bologna), the intercompany crèche, Filonido, was opened in Bologna in September 2011. During the 2011/2012 school year, 22 children of employees attended the Group's company and intercompany crèches.

Persons belonging to quotas set forth by Law no. 68/1999
Persons belonging to quotas set forth by Law no. 68/1999346347340

The data refer to the following companies: Hera S.p.A., Marche Multiservizi, Famula on Line, Uniflotte, Hera Comm, Hera Trading, Hera Luce, Herambiente, Akron, FEA, Medea, Nuova Geovis, Sinergia, Acantho, Satcom (in 2009).

In all provinces in which it operates, Hera complies with the obligations of Law no. 68/1999, which requires that personnel belonging to protected recruitment categories be hired in the proportion set forth in that law. Fulfilling those obligations involves the use of the regional compensations and agreements, the objective of which is to gradually fulfil employment obligations.
This law promotes the recruitment and integration within the sphere of work of certain classes of persons (the differently-abled, orphans etc.), and also provides that the worker's recruitment process is carried out by way of solutions agreed between the company, the Regional Employment Office and the worker.
At the end of 2011, there were 340 persons belonging to the categories set forth in Law no. 68/99 working in Group companies: 293 were classified within article 1 of the law (disabled). Overall, excluding Marche Multiservizi and Acantho, there are: 119 workers, 182 employees and 3 managers/middle managers.
In 2011, a total of 12 resources were hired or already employed and recognised as classified within Law no. 68/99.

Developing resources: 2011 action plan implemented

To employ the competences and potential of differently-abled persons working in the company, analyse their satisfaction, improve their work and, if necessary, implement work requalification, increasing productivity: this is why "Developing Resources" was developed starting in 2008 with the support of the ASPHI Foundation which promotes the integration of differently-abled persons in schools, the workplace and society.
Four actions were carried out in 2011:

  • monitoring of the recruitment and the first year of work of differently-abled workers was launched with the new procedures defined in 2010;
  • ten individual projects were initiated (specific training, job changes, IT implementation and innovation of support instruments), and were monitored with the procedures described above;
  • in September 2011, a training initiative was carried out on the management of disabilities and diversity for twenty employees involved in the "focal point" pilot project, in order to develop the capacity to support co-workers in learning Office;
  • the corporate intranet section dedicated to disabilities and to the project, which has been online since February 2011, was regularly updated.