On 29 April 2020, ENGIE Group launched a programme for the social protection of its employees worldwide and signed a declaration to this effect with IndustriALL Global Union, Public Services International (PSI) and Building and Wood Worker's International (BWI).
ENGIE Group is one of the world's leading energy providers, 25% owned by the French government.
The social protection programme appears in the re-negotiation of a global framework agreement that will include the commitment “to guarantee 177,000 employees a common social protection based in terms of parenthood, health, disability and death, throughout the world, which will be operationalized via the ENGIE CARE programme”. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought ENGIE Group to anticipate the implementation of two of the pillars of the ENGIE CARE programme by guaranteeing all its employees:
- Coverage of a minimum 75% of their hospitalization costs, and whatever their pathology and full coverage of their hospitalization costs related to Covid-19;
- Death cover providing for the payment of a minimum capital equivalent to 12 months’ gross salary, also for the for employees who are temporarily without social protection due to the suspension of their activity and also for any death and hospitalisation that may have occurred since the beginning of the pandemic.
These measures will be implemented until the end of 2020.
Additionally, ENGIE Group mobilised EUR 250 million to ensure payment of its suppliers, SMEs and micro enterprises: it benefited companies with less than 250 employees and whose turnover is lower than EUR 50 millions (around 75.000 companies in France and Belgium).
The third initiative undertaken in response to the Covid-19 crisis is the 15% pay cut for a period of two months, decided and implemented by the 13 members of the Executive Committee and the Chairman of the Board of Directors. The Group’s top management worldwide was invited to adopt the same pay cut. The savings will feed towards solidarity actions for people and communities affected by the health and economic crisis.
Claire Waysand, Acting Director General commented the three actions: “The Covid-19 crisis requires the establishment of new forms of solidarity. At the group level, ENGIE has decided to extend minimum social protection to all its employees, to provide coverage for those whose employment would be suspended due to the crisis until the end of the year, and to mobilize EUR 250 million to accelerate the payment of its small suppliers. The Group is thus faithful to its raison d'être, responsible and united”.
The Global Unions welcomed and supported the programme launched by ENGIE Group. “ENGIE’s commitment to ensure a common social protection base to its workers worldwide is a commendable contribution to complement the state provision, where existing, and to provide support where workers have no protection. But it also highlights the need for governments to invest in public social protection systems to alleviate the socio-economic impact of the Covid-19 crisis and to ease the recovery of the economy” commented by PSI Secretary General, Rosa Pavanelli.