Health & safety.

  • Telekom health rate at 94.2 percent (Dec. 31, 2012)
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  • 2012 health campaign launched to promote employee health awareness.
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Requirements on our employees and managers are increasing in many areas of the company. As a responsible employer, we want to actively prevent possible physical and mental stress. The high standard of health protection at our company is a recognized fact, and we offer our employees many target group-oriented measures above and beyond our general company health management program. We see the legal occupational safety and health provisions as minimum requirements. Numerous awards have recognized our outstanding dedication. We rely on high standards when it comes to industrial safety, fire safety and environmental protection as well.

Employee survey on health.

We conduct an anonymous health survey as part of our Group-wide employee survey, which is conducted every two years. We evaluate the survey down to team level for all teams where at least five employees participate. The survey helps us identify general health risks and patterns of mental illness in plenty of time and then use this information to develop measures at the corporate, departmental and team levels as well as personal offers. One focal point of the health survey is mental stress at the workplace, which makes Deutsche Telekom a pioneer in this area in Europe. A comparison of employee surveys at European companies conducted by Technische Universität (TU) Dresden and the Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung Trustmark (GfK) consulting firm in 2012 showed that Deutsche Telekom poses the most questions on the topic.

We are planning to conduct additional follow-up measures in 2013 based on the recommendations derived from the survey results and on more in-depth analyses conducted by TU Dresden.

Supporting long-term performance capability.

We are committed to implementing health-promoting measures throughout all areas of the Group. Awareness-raising, prevention and individual responsibility are our top priorities, so we devise Group-wide campaigns to promote health awareness and health competency in the workforce. Our measures are carefully tailored to the specific requirements of the different employee groups. The portfolio of health and safety measures also includes a wide range of voluntary measures to promote health within the company. In particular, these include

  • Stress prevention seminars
  • Flu jabs
  • Colon cancer screening
  • Information on diet, exercise and relaxation, as well as
  • A comprehensive annual health check with the company physician, which is available to all employees.

The success of our measures is reflected in our impressive health rate of 94.2 percent (as at December 31, 2012).

Health and safety accommodates demographic changes.

Our clear goal is to keep our employees healthy and fit to work throughout their entire career with Deutsche Telekom. That is why we are analyzing age-related health risks and risks associated with particular activities on an ongoing basis and develop preventative offers based on the results. In particular, these schemes are tailored to health problems that tend to be more common in certain working environments and selected job profiles.

For example, preventing cardio-vascular and musculo-skeletal disorders is a paramount concern. These types of illnesses are likely to become more prevalent within our own workforce against the backdrop of an aging society. For example, our Step by Step scheme is aimed at preventing muscle and bone injuries from trips and falls. In this training program, we not only teach people how to identify risks and avoid falls but also how to fall "properly" in case it happens. Training programs are held for specific target groups at the offices of Deutsche Telekom Technik and Deutsche Telekom Technischer Service. Working closely with the Post and Telekom Accident Insurance Fund and the Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (IFA) at Deutsche Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung (German Social Accident Insurance, DGUV), we take care to incorporate the latest scientific findings when developing such measures.

Mental health.

The prevention of mental illness is particularly crucial. By acting quickly, it is often possible to avert the chronic suffering associated with a rapid drop-off in performance, long before the sufferer becomes unable to work. All employees have access to an extensive range of seminars on mental health and stress prevention, plus healthy living advice. Our innovative seminars on how to boost mental resilience are a popular option. Individual psychosocial counseling on stress, addiction, conflict, change, leadership and health is also available, both face-to-face and via our service line. In order to raise our managers' awareness for this important topic, we provide a Web-based training course on mental health and what they can do to help. The program trains them to detect mental pressures, both in their team and in themselves, early on, act swiftly and, where necessary, arrange for professional support.

Raising awareness via health communication and training.

We ensure that employees have access to comprehensive information about the range of company health offerings available, particularly with a view to enhancing their mental health. This was the thinking behind our year-long health campaign in 2012. We use a range of in-house media to keep employees informed: our staff magazine "you and me", the intranet, social media, as well as posters and brochures. Employees can take advantage of a wide range of services relating to exercise, nutrition, stress prevention and stress management. Response to our offers is very high. A total of 2,250 participants attended the five one-day events on stress prevention during the reporting period, for example. The health special, which was launched within the scope of the campaign, was one of the most clicked-on specials on the Group's intranet. More than 580 employees applied as testimonials for nutritional coaching, which was conducted within the scope of the campaign, and 200 teams attended relaxation seminars. In addition to the communication campaign, employees have access to an international information forum on occupational health and safety on the Telekom intranet. Campaigns such as the dialog forums on stress proved so popular, they will be repeated in 2013.

Our managers play a key role in prevention: In direct contact with their team members, they perform a duty of care, are ambassadors for healthy living, and provide guidance. We support our managers with a comprehensive range of materials, including guidelines and brochures, e.g., outlining the training courses available on health-related and occupational safety issues.

Health and safety standards and management system.

Providing the best possible protection for our employees is our pivotal concern. We support the Group-wide approach of our occupational health and safety team with a uniform international health, safety and environmental management system. 30 international subsidiaries had been integrated into the system by late 2012 and nine more will be linked in during 2013. This has paved the way for uniform Group-wide standards in occupational health and safety. The system is based on the following international standards: OHSAS 18001 , ISO 14001  and ISO 9001  on health, safety, environmental protection, and quality. We have also defined uniform indicators, e.g., for measuring the number of days lost. Minimum standards and related indicators create greater transparency and facilitate comparability at international level. The health, safety and environmental management system also helps us to maintain our global telecommunications infrastructure in the event of a crisis.

A team of experts from different fields pursues an holistic, systematic approach to occupational health & safety and fire protection. Controlled by our Health & Safety organization, in Germany alone we have around 130 company physicians and 120 occupational health and safety specialists looking after our employees. Additionally, employees can take advantage of a free, confidential, nationwide advisory service on psychosocial issues, staffed by more than 50 experts.

Back in 2012, we collaborated with selected subsidiaries—T-Systems Mexico, T-Systems South Africa, T-Systems Malaysia, T-Systems UK, PTC, Slovak Telekom—on the definition of common health standards. These standards will become mandatory across our Group companies by 2014. On-site reviews will be carried out to assess whether companies are implementing these standards, carrying out health and safety improvements, and complying with statutory workplace requirements. Our international subsidiaries are also certified to the international health and safety standard OHSAS 18001 , which provides independent verification. In 2013, we will be further extending our certification activities, and 20 companies with a combined workforce of around 31,000 will have their legal and standard conformity certified by an independent agency.