Acea applies the Single Contract for the electricity sector and the Single Contract for the gas-water sector. All the workers are therefore covered by national collective bargaining agreements.
In 2021, unionisation was around 68%. There are 273 employees who hold management or trade union representation positions; of these, 19 hold positions of Workers’ Safety Representatives (RLS), designated following an agreement.
The Labour-Management Relations Unit of the Parent Compa- ny (Human Resources Function) oversees the company’s policies regarding trade union relations, ensuring consistency with the Group’s objectives. The discussions on the specific corporate re- quirements are conducted within the framework of national collec- tive bargaining (CCNL) at the sector level, and between companies and internal employee representatives.
The Labour-Management Relations Model applied in Acea defines a system of high-profile trade union relations based on bilateral agreements and participation, combining business objectives and social demands.
The Labour-Management Relations Protocol structures the sys- tem of union participation and dialogue on three levels – Group, industrial segment and corporate – and provides for several areas of comparison: economic and financial performance, employment policies, selection, promotion, development and training of staff, occupational safety, corporate welfare, promotion of diversity & in- clusion; industrial policy and investment plans; performance bonus, organisation of working hours, technical and specialized training and professional development.
Acea also has a consultation procedure for workers, that can be applied directly or through their representatives. It covers issues such as occupational safety, respect for the environment and sustainable development of production activities and, in order to favour the involvement of employees in trade union relations activities, it has set up a dedicated e-mail address.
There are also Bilateral Commissions, composed of company rep- resentatives and employees, who express their opinions on key issues, such as training, smart working, corporate welfare and occupational health and safety.
The company promotes the models for participation in Trade Un- ions, such as Unitary Trade Union Representations (RSU) and Workers for Safety and the Environment (RLSA).
In 2021 Acea signed several agreements with the trade unions (OO. SS.), concerning the organisation of work and the management of health emergencies, funded training and the performance bonus. In particular, with the Agreement of 26 March 2021, front-end workers at Acea Energia were able to carry out their work activities remotely, through the activation of a digital work tool, thus guar- anteeing the provision of services to customers, even in an emer- gency.
Agreements on measures to contain and combat Covid-19 were confirmed and renewed in line with the provisions of the National Protocols, the regulation concerning remote working in emergen- cies, flexible working time and remote learning which are designed to allow work to continue safely and with organisational flexibility. In line with the provisions of the Agreement regulating what is known as the “Isopension” [early retirement] signed last year, in 2021 the agreement regulating the Plan implementation criteria for employees who become eligible for early retirement as of 1 Au- gust 2022 was signed, in part to manage generational turnover.
In July, Acea signed a protocol on diversity & inclusion with the trade union, which emphasises the centrality of the principles of gender equality, social inclusion, combating all forms of discrimi- nation and valuing diversity (see also paragraph Diversity, inclusion and welfare).
Moreover, in implementation of the provisions of the Agreement of 23 December 2020 concerning the New Skills Fund during the year, a training project was implemented to broaden and re- configure staff skills, due to the introduction of organisational and technological innovations and the related need for retraining the introduction of organisational and technological innovations and the related need for professional retraining. Also, a funded training agreement was concluded aimed at strengthening the Company's know how while increasing the level of satisfaction and motivation of workers, enriching their professional skills (see also the section on Development and human resources communication).
Finally, the Group Agreement on the Performance Bonus for the three-year period 2021 to 2023 is particularly noteworthy. It allows employees to convert the amount of the bonus into "welfare credit".
As regards the information notice to the employees regarding possible organisational changes or corporate reorganisations that effect employment relations, Acea takes different positions depending on the situations explained below:
1. Organisational changes: in the event of establishment of new Units or changes in assignments or responsibilities, the Human Resources Department issues an Organisational Provision and sends a communication to the competent functions, which post it on the bulletin board and the company intranet. In the event of organisational changes that affect the staff, the trade union representatives are informed. If they concern a single employee (change in workplace, schedules, etc.), they are notified by the Human Resources Unit of the person’s Company; are regulated by the CCNL applied in the Group and by the La- bour-Management Relations Protocols;
2. Corporate reorganisations: in the event of reorganisation, as a result of significant organisational and production changes, with effects on working conditions and employment, the methods of informing the employees and the Trade Union Representatives,
3. Corporate transformations (such as alienations, mergers, acqui- sitions, transfers of company branches): in cases of corporate transformation, the notices to the employees are regulated by the legislation in force106, which anticipates information obliga- tions towards employees that allows them to verify the business reasons for the transactions, the correct methods of the process and the consequences on the employment relationship.
DISPUTES WITH EMPLOYEES AND TRADE UNIONS
The labour disputes in Acea mainly concern dismissals, classification changes, differences in remuneration, indemnities not received, demotions, harassment and employment relationships. In 2021, there were 23 new labour disputes (46 in 2020), most of which were initiated by employees of the Companies. A total of 76 labour disputes were pending as at 31 December 2021 - including those initiated in previous years.
106Article 2112 of the Italian Civil Code and Article 47 of Law 428/90 as subsequently amended and supplemented.