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 symptoms of overwork. That is why we encourage flexible working models. Our offer in Germany ranges from flexitime and part time to lifetime work accounts. This paid off especially in 2020: Our employees were able to structure their working hours flexibly and adapt to the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.
Promoting part-time work
We support the establishment of part-time jobs and guarantee employees in Germany the possibility to return to their original working hours. 13.5 percent of employees covered by collective agreements and 18.6 percent of civil servants took advantage of part-time models (as at December 31, 2020). In addition, a total of 39 executives were working part-time (as at December 31, 2020). Detailed information about our numerous part-time regulations in Germany is available here.
Mobile working is established at Deutsche Telekom. Since 2016, mobile working has also been part of our general collective agreement on mobile working with ver.di. Among other things, it includes rules regarding working from home and mobile working. Mobile working is also possible in many of our national companies.
Part-time training for single parents
Since 2011, we have been working with the German Federal Employment Agency to address single mothers or fathers: We offer them the opportunity to complete a part-time vocational training program or a dual study program.
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
The majority of employees in Germany can set up a long-term work-time account. This account can be used to accumulate work-time credit by means of deferred compensation or by saving up to 80 overtime hours per year, thus enabling the account holder to implement individual life plans. These work-time accounts are referred to as lifetime work accounts. In total, we have set up 13,190 accounts for employees and 652 accounts for civil servants (as of December 31, 2020). The credit can be used for a sabbatical, earlier retirement, or a higher part-time salary. For those without credit there is also the option to take unpaid leave. T-Systems employees can also use long-term work-time credit resulting from (project-related) overtime.
Leave of absence for personal reasons
Employees have the option of requesting leave of absence at short notice for special reasons after consultation and approval by their manager. For instance, this is an option when caring for a relative or for the time 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 unpaid leave and makes it possible for employees in Germany 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 “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 parts 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.
We offer employees over the age of 54 the option of phased retirement. This offer is not just for Germany but can be used across the Group by our employees. Separate regulations apply to employees and to civil servants. There are two options for phased retirement: the block model or the part-time model. During the reporting year, a total of 1,536 phased retirement contracts were concluded with employees both covered and not covered by collective agreements. Among civil servants there were 677 such contracts (as at December 31, 2020).
These working time models 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 MyPortal or via the employee app. 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.