The corporate welfare system operates within an integrated model that includes - in addition to supplementary welfare benefits and integrated health services - the People Care services, Mobility Management and the new cultural, recreation and sports association for Intesa Sanpaolo Group employees, operational since January 2014.
Starting from constant and structured listening to employee needs, it proposes to act on the main elements of better balancing home life and working life of employees and their families, also with a view to diversity management, with the aim of promoting sustainable solutions and projects consistent with their expectations.
The application of a welfare policy therefore represents a component of value, strategically important in the adoption of this model of conduct. The corporate welfare action was further integrated with a regulatory system envisaged in collective and Group labour agreements, which on the one hand offers all employees flexible solutions and practices, such as permits, leave, flexible working hours both in the morning and afternoon, part-time options, etc., and on the other hand subsidies and economic contributions, such as benefits for families with disabled children, out of the workplace accident policies, loans, mortgages, meal vouchers and, last but not least, the company social Bonus.
Moreover, thanks to a modern system of industrial relations and agreements reached with the Trade Unions, it was possible to operate in accordance with the pillars identified by the Business Plan. The fundamental bases to achieve the Group's strategic objectives were therefore identified as enhancement and motivation of individuals and strengthening of their sense of belonging. Dialogue between parties was developed through new comparison methods, seeking solutions for consolidation and development of corporate welfare, support for employment, identification of new solutions, including economic ones, involvement in the company project and experimentation of innovative working conditions, motivated to construct an environment based on trust and mutual responsibility.
The Labour/Management Relations Protocol was renewed along these lines, envisaging the establishment of a mixed company-trade union entity, the Welfare, Safety and Sustainable Development Committee, with the objective of drawing up solutions to reconcile the requirements connected to families, welfare, assistance and a better time balance.
EMPLOYEE SHARE OWNERSHIP PLAN
With the agreement dated 6 May 2014, the Company and Trade Unions shared an important initiative for the free allocation of Intesa Sanpaolo shares to employees, with the option for them to participate in investment plans (LECOIP) that provide, at the end of the Plan, higher capital than the initial investment amount, regardless of any negative performance by the stock, and the possibility for additional earnings in the event of positive performance. The initiative aims to compensate for the greater organisational and productive commitment requested in advance, offering everyone the opportunity to participate in the expected growth in value through an individual and voluntary decision that recognises teamwork and the pursuit of sustainable growth.
As the difficult overall economic and social scenario and performance in 2013 prevented the disbursement of the company bonus, application of the bonus formula that allowed employees to make use of this remuneration in the form of reimbursement of children's school fees, integrated health services and/or supplementary welfare benefits, also in favour of family members, was confirmed for 2014 as well. The decision to limit this solely to employees with an annual remuneration of under 65,000 euro had a specific social significance, as this solution reconciled sustainability of costs and company welfare, without prejudice to the possibility for recipients to receive the disbursement even in the traditional form, namely in their salary.
In accordance with the Business Plan, the processes for corporate simplification and organisation and cost rationalisation continued in 2014 as well. In all cases, trade union agreements were able to handle cases of excess resources, with sustainable measures that limited the social impact.
The company's strong commitment to rationalising the pre-existing welfare plans continued, with agreements in place for the merging of 11 defined benefit pension funds and 3 defined contribution pension funds, aimed at reducing risk (operational, financial and actuarial) and ensuring greater investment opportunities to those enrolled. In terms of Pension Funds, the Group's history has a deep-rooted sensibility to the issue of supplementary pensions: the first funds date back to the 1800s, at the dawn of welfare intended as a social need. The activity regards approximately 100,000 people in Italy with a portfolio of over 9.8 billion euro and an annual flow of contributions of about 500 million euro/year. For currently employed staff, supplementary pensions also offer the advantage of the contribution by the company, the possibility to obtain advances and the deductible nature of contributions, with savings on the marginal tax rate.
Group health services
An agreement was signed in 2013 to strengthen the medium-term sustainability of the Group Health Fund, particularly with regard to management of retired members, with regard to which significant deficits had been recorded in previous years. The solidarity contribution transferred from the management of working members to pensioners was therefore increased from 4 to 6%, sharply offsetting the deficit in management of retired members in 2014. In the wake of such positive performance, and exercising the right envisaged by the Articles of Association, the Fund's Board of Directors allocated a capital reserve of 2 million euro for an initiative to protect against cardiovascular risk, to be implemented in 2015. The initiative is intended for members and their families who are beneficiaries of the Fund's benefits, within the age range of 40-69 (over 100,000 people), and will start from May 2015. The prevention campaign envisages an initial enquiry phase with regard to the presence of cardiovascular risk among members, by filling out an online questionnaire, focusing on the risk factors identified by the National Institute of Health as part of its Heart Project. The Fund provides a diagnostic package consisting of blood tests, electrocardiogram stress test and heart exam. From the campaign launch date up until 31 March 2016, members who, according to the online questionnaire, are at high cardiovascular risk may benefit from this diagnostic package, entirely free of charge through the approved network or with reimbursement of costs at facilities of the National Health Service. The initiative will be supported by a communications campaign on the proper lifestyle for all Intesa Sanpaolo Group personnel and all members of the Health Fund. It is estimated that in 2014, some 135 million euro were paid in benefits, a figure to be verified in the financial statements.
ALI - ASSOCIAZIONE LAVORATORI INTESA SANPAOLO (INTESA SANPAOLO EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION)
As part of the integrated company welfare system, the ALI, the new cultural, recreational and sports association for Intesa Sanpaolo Group employees established through a trade union agreement in February 2013, has been operative since January 2014.
The Group's only association, bringing together the pre-existing ones, optimised the operating synergies and expanded its operations to the offer of socially useful services for individuals. The Association represents a new form of corporate welfare which aims to meet the different needs of employees, retired personnel and their families, with the aim of encouraging aggregation among employees, proposing affordable tourism options, supporting the dissemination of cultural initiatives, promoting sports events - also as a way to involve younger employees - and, through the Local Area Councils, guaranteeing the value of personal relationships with its members and their voluntary participation in activities.
In 2014, more than 100,000 members were registered, of which 61,604 ordinary members (in service and retired) and 17,998 households, with over 600 initiatives promoted at the national and regional level and 100% territorial coverage of the offerings promoted.
The various innovative balancing initiatives currently assigned to and managed directly by the ALI includes:
- the Welcare Family project implemented in April 2012 by the Bank, in collaboration with the Christian Associations of Italian Workers (ACLI). This multi-channel service can also be accessed from home and provides information and domestic care and treatment services, and management of bureaucratic and administrative, welfare and tax paperwork at preferential rates or free of charge;
- the “Educare i bimbi alla felicità” (Teaching children happiness) initiatives, implemented in collaboration with the Palo Alto school, are aimed at parents in order to promote the importance of positive education and disseminate a learning model based on the existing synergy between positive emotions and learning.
After the past years' success in Turin, Milan, Florence, Rome and Naples, the “Baby Security” meetings continued in 2014, held by the ALI in Venice and Bologna, and in early 2015 in Padua as well. The goal is to disseminate a culture of prevention and correct information on accidents in which children might choke from swallowing food or foreign bodies.
The workshops were held by a doctor having expertise in basic resuscitation techniques, with theoretical and practical demonstrations on paediatric block-removal manoeuvres. Various Instructors participated in this activity, also providing information on advanced courses, thereby disseminating their experience and information. All participants received a Baby Security poster to disclose the proper information through images on airway opening techniques in children.
In October, the Insurance Division's insurance companies launched an “Orto Urbano” (Urban Garden) plan on the terrace of the Viale Stelvio office in Milan. This project, created as a result of employees’ request, consists of the establishment of a didactic garden, involving people in a process of training and awareness on the issues of local fruit and vegetable production, environmental sustainability and responsible consumption. Launched in partnership with the Slow Food Association and in line with the goals outlined by Expo 2015, the initiative has become widely popular and involves:
- the creation and maintenance of an agri-ecological garden in containers, inspired by the values of “good clean and fair” that guide the Slow Food philosophy;
- a series of learning sessions for the group of employees who will share the space and activities in the garden.
In fact, a “slow” garden aims to be respectfully productive, visually pleasing and functional, malleable and able to adapt within city and metropolitan contexts and, finally, to be an opportunity for meeting, education and social inclusion. Design of the garden area has already seen direct involvement by employees in the analysis of areas and crops, in accordance with the aforementioned principles. The “Gusti Giusti” (Right Tastes) project, launched in 2008 in collaboration with the Slow Food Association and currently active in all ten of the Group's canteens, is an important initiative aimed at improving the well-being of employees, fostering awareness of healthy and tasty nutrition and launching a process of qualification of the service in company canteens, with regard to environmental sustainability and enhancement of the territory's products. At its seventh year of activity, the Bank has launched an initial assessment phase to proceed with re-launching of the “Gusti Giusti” project as an important welfare initiative aimed at promoting the well-being of employees and in view of the inauguration of EXPO.
Intesa Sanpaolo confirmed its commitment to the issue of sustainable mobility in 2014 as well, seeking and proposing solutions for people’s mobility needs. Commitment continues with regard to implementation of the Home-Work Commuting Plans, which, apart from the regulatory requirements, represent a significant opportunity for organisational improvement and management of the personnel mobility. For details on this activity, see the chapter “Natural capital - Mobility” @.