The Stuttgart-based Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG is looking to improve competitiveness and attractiveness as an employer even further. The Executive Board and General Works Council have agreed on appropriate measures for increased flexibility and productivity, as well as a better balance between family and career. This enables the sports car manufacturer to cover its rising demand for skilled workers. The highly successful Porsche “Strategy 2018” necessitates workforce growth every year: the number of employees worldwide has increased by around 30 percent to more than 17,000 staff since 2011.
It is proving ever-more difficult to find well-educated people on the labour market. The demographic development is exacerbating this problem significantly. This is a major challenge not just for Porsche, but the entire German automotive industry. The attractiveness of the employer plays a central role when competing for the best employees. Against this backdrop, Executive Board and General Works Council are jointly taking steps in the form of a programme of concrete measures to prepare Porsche for the labour market of the future.
“Overall, higher flexibility and productivity will strengthen our competitiveness considerably,” as Matthias Müller, President and CEO of Porsche AG said. Thomas Edig, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board and Member of the Executive Board Human Resources, added: “Our solutions are intended to increase the attractiveness of Porsche as a modern employer, and we want to give our employees options regarding their lifestyle by allowing for individual working times.” As the Chairman of the Porsche AG General Works Council and Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Uwe Hück, explains: “Fact of the matter is that it is becoming increasingly difficult to find skilled workers due to demographic change. We also need flexible working times that do justice to the different life stages of our colleagues, as well as permitting the reconciliation of family and career.”
Hück further pointed out that “the ever-increasing productivity in manufacturing causes considerable pressure on our colleagues. We need productivity to get new vehicles, so we need a balancing act between shorter work time with full pay compensation for our colleagues.” Management and employee representatives have agreed that additional workload for employees in manufacturing that were caused by increases in productivity are to be compensated through a gradual reduction of working time to 34 hours a week with a full compensation by mid-2013.
An important measure is the agreement on modern, life-stage-oriented working time models, which bring greater flexibility and freedom of choice to account for employees’ different lifestyles. For this purpose, the individual working time may vary within a frame of 20 to 35 hours per week on a temporary basis, for example, for training, education and care time, or used for a sabbatical. “Increasingly, both parents are working. As an employer, we must respond to this development, and support it strongly,” as Thomas Edig said; he reiterated: “That’s exactly what we are doing now.” Childcare places are currently being set up in Zuffenhausen and Weissach. The Member of the Executive Board Human Resources also refers to a cooperation Porsche has concluded for the family services: “We offer our employees access to professional help with childcare issues for the entire family, but also in case of emergency and for nursing care.”
In addition, a wider group of employees can work 40 hours per week on a regular basis now. This was also agreed by the Board and Works Council. Previously, the general collective agreement specified a proportion of 18 percent of employees, which no longer meets the current and future requirements at Porsche. In future, significantly more workers may be part of this group in certain areas. For instance, the proportion of 40-hour contracts for engineers working in development in Weissach can now be increased in accordance with operational needs. Furthermore, the number and maximum lifetime of temporary workers on the basis of the collective agreement for temporary employment is regulated separately for the various business areas. This guarantees Porsche the necessary flexibility for the future. Also, Executive Board and General Works Council have expressly agreed on “equal work, equal pay”. Temporary workers receive the same monthly pay as their permanently employed colleagues. With the right qualifications, they will be given preference over equally suitable external candidates for future recruitment. Overall, Executive Board and General Works Council are convinced that the agreed programme “Porsche is getting ready for the labour market of the future” is an excellent preparation for times to come. On the one hand, the competitiveness of the Porsche sites, as well as the internal and external flexibility are improved. On the other hand, Porsche is establishing modern, attractive and market-compatible framework and employment conditions that take into account the interests of workers and employer, as well as ensuring an improved work and family life balance for all employees thanks to life-stage-oriented working time models.