We offer a wide range of optional working models tailored to the needs of specific target groups. These are based on the laws and regulations applicable in the individual countries. Working hours at the Group companies in Germany are governed by collective agreements and works agreements. Daily working hours are electronically recorded for employees who are covered by collective agreements. This guarantees compliance with legal and company regulations; for example, it makes sure that the weekly working hours for a specific flexitime balancing period are complied with. At a large corporation such as ours, regulations are diverse and cannot be fully specified for all the Group companies.
Our flexible and innovative working time models were honored with an award in 2017: the Time-to-Change project received the Pillar World Award. The project consists of three individual measures: tandem, right of return from part-time work and additional days off. Deutsche Telekom Services GmbH received Gold in the "Employer of the Year" category and silver in the "Best Products & Services of the Year" category.
Promoting part-time work
Working based on various part-time models is a concept that is established throughout the Group. We have offered our employees a return to work guarantee since 2014, with employees being able to return to their original weekly working hours at any time. To promote part-time work for executives as well, we adopted a policy to this end in 2010. A total of 27 executives throughout Germany were working part-time as of December 31, 2017. Deutsche Telekom also made a similar voluntary commitment regarding employees covered by collective agreements and civil servants. What's more, 14 percent of employees covered by collective agreements and 20 percent of civil servants were working based on part-time models as of December 31, 2017. In 2017 we developed another part-time model for our employees in Germany, which we refer to as "additional days off" and which is scheduled to go into effect in 2018. This model enables part-time employees to accumulate additional days off. We also offer a number of additional part-time options for reducing working hours such as job sharing, in which two or more employees share a position. This option can be employed using a job splitting model where each employee is responsible for different tasks or via job pairing, where employees share responsibility for one area.
Mobile working is the normal state of affairs at Deutsche Telekom. We laid the foundations for this back in 2016. Deutsche Telekom and ver.di agreed on the first collective agreement on mobile working concluded by an employer association, which includes rules regarding telecommuting and mobile working, among others. Thanks to increased geographic flexibility, our employees have more freedom to plan their work, thereby gaining more job satisfaction and increasing productivity - and allowing them to achieve a better work-life balance.
Lifetime work accounts
Since 2016 we have offered about 80,000 employees in Germany so-called lifetime work accounts. About 20,000 civil servants in Germany have had this option available to them since 2017, which allows them to finance a future leave of absence lasting more than one month. The account may be used for early retirement, a sabbatical or to support a period of part-time work. Our employees can finance their lifetime work account either from their gross salary or with time credits converted into monetary amounts. Until 2018 we will also support employees who are below a certain income limit with an annual contribution. We had already set up 8,629 accounts for employees and 575 accounts for civil servants by the end of 2017.
We offer all Group employees over the age of 54 the option of phased retirement. Separate regulations apply for employees and for civil servants. Phased retirement can be taken either based on the block or the part-time model. Unlike regular part-time regulations, we make a substantial top-up payment to the employees' part-time pay with our phased retirement offer. This means that reducing their weekly hours does not equate to a proportionately high reduction in net pay for employees. During the reporting year, a total of 1,747 phased retirement contracts were concluded with employees both covered and not covered by collective agreements. Among civil servants there were 580 such contracts.
Part-time training for single parents
We have been offering single parents up to the age of 25 the opportunity to complete a training program or cooperative course of study part-time at Deutsche Telekom in Germany since 2011 in collaboration with the German Federal Employment Agency 22 young people began their part-time training with this program in 2017.
Re-entry into the workforce after parental leave
We offer all Group employees the option of re-entering the workforce with part-time work after parental leave.