The employee-employer relationship at Swiss Life is characterised by close contact between employee representatives and the Group Executive Board.

Since 1996, Swiss Life has had a European Works Council (pursuant to EU Directives 94/45/EC and 2009/38/EC). The ten-person “Europa Forum”, a committee comprising delegates from four countries, meets regularly with representatives of the Group Executive Board at ordinary and extraordinary meetings. It deals with transnational information and consultation on topics which affect all Swiss Life employees. The focal points for 2022 were the Swiss Life 2024 Group-wide programme, “New Work” (modern and flexible forms of work and work organisation, such as teleworking) and economic developments in crisis situations.

Rights of association and the right to collective bargaining are guaranteed by local legislation (EU Charter Art. 12, Swiss Federal Constitution Art. 23); they form the basis for internal guidelines. Collective bargaining agreements exist in France, Germany and Luxembourg (GRI 102-41).  

Swiss Life in Switzerland

Agreements signed

  • The agreement concerning simplified recording of working hours, which entered into force on 1 April 2016, was formally confirmed at the annual review and will be continued.
  • The staff committee was involved in all the topics listed in the regulations. An intensive dialogue took place between employee and employer representatives, particularly with regard to the working environment / office design.
  • As part of the 2023 salary review, the staff committee will make a formal application to the Executive Board for a payroll increase.
  • In 2022, the staff committee answered around 300 enquiries from employees.
  • The staff committee is expanding its discount offering for employees. Employees in Switzerland can benefit from an expanded range of discounted products and services via the benefitsatwork.ch platform

Number of works council members, dispensation for committee work and area of responsibility

Nine members; the chairwoman enjoys up to 20% work dispensation for work on the staff committee, the vice chairwoman up to 15% and the members up to 10%.

Swiss Life in France

 

Agreements signed


Elections to the staff council were held electronically in January 2019. A new business and social committee was established. It has four sub-committees: “Occupational health and safety”, “Business and strategy”, “Social affairs” and “Workplace learning”. Elections are held every four years.

 

  • A specific training programme is available to enable the employee representatives to develop their skills.
  • Three annual wage negotiations took place since 2019 involving wage agreements
  • An extension of the home-working agreement
  • An agreement on the mandate of administrative employees
  • A one-year extension of participation and interest agreements relating to health
  • An agreement on teleworking

No further agreements were concluded in 2022.

Number of works council members, dispensation for committee work and area of responsibility

  • 22 full members of the Economic and Social Committee, each with 30 hours per month, including a secretary with 25 hours per month and an assistant secretary with 15 hours per month
  • A cashier with 15 hours per month and a cashier's assistant with five hours per month
  • Four central delegates, each with 26 hours per month
  • Three mediators responsible for harassment or sexist statements

Collective bargaining agreements

98% of employees are subject to a collective bargaining agreement. 

 
Swiss Life Asset Managers in France

Works council elections were held in April 2022. The new works council consists of eleven full members and nine deputies. Special training was provided for the newly elected employee representatives to help them carry out their mandate. The works council set up various subcommittees on the topics of “Occupational safety and health protection”, “Social and cultural activities” and “Continuing training”. Two works council representatives were elected by the works council members to the company’s Supervisory Board. A total of 13 meetings were held. Elections are held every four years.

Four agreements have been concluded::

  • Mobile working.
  • Composition of the works council and the organisation of voting.
  • Organsation of electonic voting.
  • Equal opportunities for men and women at work.

Wage negotiations for 2023 started in November and will be concluded at the beginning of December.

Number of works council members, dispensation for committee work and area of responsibility

Every ordinary works council member is entitled to a maximum of 22 hours per month. The number of hours of delegation for employee representation on the works council depends on the size of the company's workforce. The use of these delegation hours is at the discretion of the elected representatives. The trade union representative's time allowance is 18 hours per month.

The works council appointed a sexual harassment advisor, who is responsible in particular for advising, informing and supporting employees in combating sexual harassment and sexist behaviour. The company has also appointed a representative.

Collective bargaining agreements

100% of employees are subject to a collective bargaining agreement.

Swiss Life in Germany

Swiss Life Germany: Swiss Life branch for Germany, Swiss Life Partner Service- und Finanzvermittlungs- GmbH and SLPM Schweizer Leben PensionsManagement GmbH

Agreements signed

  • The works council performs its duties in accordance with the local Works Constitution Act.
  • The mobile working agreements already concluded in previous years have been amended again and currently include a percentage of (voluntary) mobile working of 40% per month. In order to meet the challenges of the new working worlds, a further adaptation to accommodate more flexible mobile work is currently underway.
  • Due to the higher proportion of mobile working, the issue of desk sharing as part of “flexible working environments” was also decided. A works agreement was concluded for this purpose.
  • The regulatory agreement concluded last year for the new, iterative introduction of agile working methods according to SaFe (the “Scaled Agile Framework” is used to implement agile practices throughout the company) has been translated into a works agreement taking into account the experiences from the test phase. This was done after consultation with and to avoid disadvantages for all concerned.
  • In the healthcare team, the special topic of resilience was once again in the focus of occupational health management, with extensive campaigns undertaken. A new digital live event format “BR on air” was launched in autumn, which regularly deals with issues relating to psychological stress in the workplace.
  • An agreement on an increase in base salaries in 2022 and 2023 for non-pay-scale employees was reached with the Executive Board.

 

Number of works council members, dispensation for committee work and area of responsibility

  • The central works council, the highest body representing all locations, has five members (two representatives of Internal Services works council, two representatives of Sales Force works council, one representative of employees with disabilities).
  • The chairwoman of the central works council is also the chair of the Internal Services works council as well as being a member of the Business Committee and spokesperson/chair of the Europa Forum. 
  • Regular works council elections were held in March 2022. The Internal Services works council (responsible for the German branch in Garching as well as Swiss Life Partner Service- und

Finanzvermittlungs GmbH and SLPM Schweizer Leben PensionsManagement GmbH) is composed as follows:

  • 13 members, of whom the works council chair has a 100% work dispensation for works council activities.
  • The Sales Force works council  is responsible for intermediary distribution at the branch office and comprises five people, none of whom has dispensation.

Collective bargaining agreements & works agreement

47% of employees are subject to a tariff collective bargainging agreement.
100% of employees are   subject to the works agreements. Only executive employees are excluded.

 
Swiss Life Asset Managers GmbH in Germany
Works council elections were held at Swiss Life Asset Managers Germany on 13 January 2022. A new works council was elected. Swiss Life Asset Management GmbH currently consists of eleven members of the works council; the part-time chairperson has dispensation for her work. Due to the efforts to harmonise all issues relevant to co-determination, the Group works
council is almost exclusively responsible for negotiating within the Group

Works council of the KVG (capital management company)

The KVG works council was first constituted in spring 2022 and consists of three members, with no (not even partial) dispensation. The works council only started its work a few months ago, but as a first step it has already adapted the Group works agreement on GPS, including the associated agreement on transitioning to the new GPS bonus system. 

Group Works council

The Group works council consists of four members drawn from the above-mentioned works councils (two from the KVG, two from Swiss Life Asset Managers). The chairperson of the
Group works council is also the chairperson of the works council of Swiss Life Asset Managers GmbH. The objective of the Group works council is to regulate all cross-company issues (e.g. mobile working, collective compensation issues, etc.). The Group works agreements are relevant for all employees of Swiss Life Asset Managers in Germany in accordance with the
particular agreement’s scope of application. The works agreements apply to 98% of employees.

Collective bargainging agreement & work agreement

The collective bargaining agreement was terminated on 31 December 2021. All employees who joined the organisation in 2022 are not subject to any collective bargaining agreement regulations. The retroactive effect of the tariff contract in accordance with § 4, cl. 5 of the Collective Agreements Act applied to a small group of employees. The employees affected by this will be transferred to employment contracts with Swiss Life Asset Managers GmbH with effect from 1 January 2023, thus officially ending the retroactive effect. 

 

Swiss Life in Luxembourg

Agreements signed

The tariff contract signed by the employer representatives of the insurance sector and all major trade unions in Luxembourg remains in force until 31 December 2023. Various measures were implemented in 2022, such as the “collaborate for performance” initiative: employees are provided with tools and skills to address difficult work situations proactively and collaboratively and avoid psychosocial risks. A new policy on teleworking was launched to improve the reconciliation of family and working life. The introduction of a “time savings account” for more professional flexibility is currently under discussion.

Number of works council members, dispensation for committee work and area of responsibility
The number of employee representatives and the time required for their work held in directly proportional to the number of employees. In the Global Solutions area in Luxembourg the employee representation consists of five ordinary representatives and five deputies. The employee representatives are entitled to devote 16 hours a week to exercising their mandate.

The Swiss Life Products team (Luxembourg) S.A. has reached the threshold of 15 employees and thus selected its own employee representation in 2019.

Collective bargainging agreement
55% of employees are subject to a collective bargaining agreement.

 
Swiss Life Asset Managers in Luxembourg
Agreements signed

The staff committee of Swiss Life Asset Managers Luxembourg was newly elected in March 2019. Quarterly meetings are held with the Executive Board. No formal agreements were reached between the staff committee and the Executive Board in 2020.


Number of works council members, dispensation for committee work and area of responsibility

The staff committee of Swiss Life Asset   Managers Luxembourg consists of two active delegates, one deputy delegate and one security delegate.

All delegates work without dispensation.

elipsLife Netherlands

Agreements signed

An industry collective bargaining agreement applies to all employees within elipsLife Netherlands. The current agreement is valid from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2023. The works council meets with the employer at least twice a year. In 2022, both a new home working agreement and a new regulation regarding working time flexibility were signed, enabling employees to better reconcile their work and free time.

 

Number of works council members, dispensation for works council activities and area of responsibility

The size of the works council depends on the number of employees. It currently consists of five members.