Results of the survey on the new collective bargaining agreement for the insurance sector

Via a survey posted on its website from 6 June to 6 July this year, ALEBA sought the views of representatives and employees in the insurance sector regarding the new collective bargaining agreement, negotiations for which are likely to begin at the end of the year. ALEBA wishes to thank all those who took the time to send us their opinions and complaints, but above all for sharing with us their new, constructive ideas for inclusion in the new agreement.

Among the most frequently mentioned points is undoubtedly the desire for the “conjunctural bonus” – commonly known as the June bonus – to be retained and increased. In second place among the requests was a substantial linear increase in salaries and an annual bonus in view of the excellent results posted by companies in the sector. These results come despite an increase in the wage burden in recent years due to the hiring of highly qualified individuals in order to meet the legal requirements of the supervisory authorities (Solvency II, anti-money laundering, etc.).

In third place, we received a large number of requests about the social side and work-life balance, in particular leave days, access to part-time work and protection from stress as well as workplace harassment with a view to mitigating the daily increase in workload.

An increase in the number of days’ leave for children who are sick (“family leave”) was requested in several instances. Given that a draft law with the same objective is under discussion, ALEBA will not be addressing this request in its package of demands but will nevertheless seek to ensure that the draft law meets employees’ expectations.

The survey also shows strong demand for a reduction in working hours towards the end of the career for employees of a certain age. ALEBA intends to reflect on this proposal and how to implement it.

A more flexible adjustment of working hours features more frequently than the demand for an increase in teleworking. ALEBA will examine these two elements in greater detail and will also produce concrete, constructive proposals; these will reflect the fact that greater flexibility in working hours and teleworking can obviously contribute to employees’ well-being and at the same time is an unavoidable social change in the context of work-life balance. Certain constraints will nevertheless need to be taken into account (tax, for example, in the case of teleworking).

Some respondents submitted a very interesting new idea: the option of purchasing days of leave, which would be deducted from the 13th month, for example. Lots to think about, in other words!

In conclusion, the results of the survey show that employees wish to maintain at least their current benefits; the new collective bargaining agreement must be adapted to new working methods and must limit exploitative behaviour by employers in several areas like additional hours and excessive hiring of interns or students.

 

Jean-Marie (Jim) SCHNEIDER

Vice-President and Spokesman of the Insurance sector