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  • 2019 Corporate Responsibility Report

Flexible working models for a wide range of needs at Deutsche Telekom in Germany

Our contribution to the SDGs

Designing work so that it is flexible and meets individual needs makes it easier for employees to achieve a good work-life balance, and prevent stress and the feeling of being overworked. That is why we encourage flexible working models. Our offer ranges from flexitime and part-time work to lifetime work accounts.

Promoting part-time work 
Deutsche Telekom supports the establishment of part-time jobs and guarantees employees the possibility to return to their original working hours. In Germany, 13 percent of employees under collective agreements and 18.5 percent of civil servants took advantage of part-time models (as at December 31, 2019). In addition, a total of 29 executives throughout Germany were working part-time (as at December 31, 2019). Detailed information about our numerous part-time regulations is available here.

Mobile working
Mobile working is the normal state of affairs for us. The first mobile working collective agreement arranged between Deutsche Telekom and ver.di has been in effect since 2017. Among other things, it includes rules regarding telecommuting and mobile working.

Part-time training for single parents
Deutsche Telekom has been offering single mothers or fathers up to the age of 25 the opportunity to complete a part-time training program or cooperative course of study since 2011 in collaboration with the German Federal Employment Agency.

Parental leave network
The “Stay in contacT” parental leave network enables employees to stay in touch with the company during parental leave and exchange information about job-related topics.

Lifetime work accounts and leave of absence
For the implementation of individual life plans, the majority of employees at Deutsche Telekom can set up a specialsavings account. Gross salary conversions or the conversion of up to 80 overtime hours per year can be saved on these lifetime work accounts. In total, we have set up 12,263 accounts for employees and 724 accounts for civil servants (as of December 31, 2019). The savings can be used for a sabbatical, for an earlier exit from working life or for an increase in part-time salary. For those without savings there is also the option for leave of absence without pay. T-Systems employees can also release long-term time savings that result from (project-related) overtime.

Leave of absence for personal reasons
In case of special reasons, employees have the option of being released from their work at short notice after consultationand approval by their manager. For instance, this is an option when caring for a relative or after the statutory parental leave. In the individually agreed period, employees are exempt from performing their work and payment of the remuneration is suspended. All other aspects of the employment relationship remain unaffected.

Time-off for education
Time-off for education is based on the current offer of leave of absence without pay and makes it possible for employees to take up to four years off for a degree course or a doctorate. The employment contract is put on hold during this time and the employee does not receive any pay. Civil servants employed at the company can also take advantage of this offer in the form of a "leave of absence without pay for reasons of private interest." This time does not apply to their pension and no remuneration is paid.

The 80/20 model
Since 2017, we have been using the 80/20 model to give our employees the opportunity to spend up to 20 percent of their working time on projects outside of their usual remit. This allows them to work with teams from other departments. Use of the model is voluntary and is tied to a specific Group project.

Phased retirement
We offer all Group employees over the age of 54 the option of phased retirement. Separate regulations apply to employees and to civil servants. There are two options for the phased retirement: the block model or the part-time model. During the reporting year, a total of 1,634 phased retirement contracts were concluded with employees both covered and not covered by collective agreements. Among civil servants there were 638 such contracts (as at December 31, 2019). 

Underlying regulations
These are based on the laws and regulations applicable in the individual countries. Working hours at Deutsche Telekom in Germany are governed by collective agreements and works agreements. We document the daily working hours of our employees covered by collective agreements by means of electronic time recording in work time accounts. 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 like Deutsche Telekom, regulations are diverse and cannot be fully specified for all the Group companies.