ITAB has expanded dramatically in recent years through organic growth and corporate acquisitions. This expansion has resulted in the average number of employees increasing from approximately 550 when the company was first listed on the stock exchange in 2004, to 3,600 employees in 2017.
ITAB has most employees in Sweden, the UK, the Czech Republic and China, with around 54% of the Group’s employees working in these countries. Around 22% (24) of the employees in the Group are below the age of 30, while 59% (58) are between the ages of 31 and 50.
Staff turnover during the year has been just over 15% (10). The Group’s staff turnover is higher in countries such as China and the Baltic States. This is due in part to different types of employment compared to other countries. Around 32% (31) of the employees in the Group are women.
ITAB’s aim is to be a responsible employer that attracts and retains employees. ITAB is working to ensure good working conditions within the companies in the Group, at suppliers and at the customer.
ITAB respects human rights and works on the basis of international conventions on human rights in the management of its day-to-day operations. The Group’s companies respect their employees’ right to organise themselves and negotiate collective agreements. The companies must also respect an employee’s right to refrain from joining a trade union. ITAB is open to offering collective agreements to employees in those markets where this is possible. The Group pays fair wages and benefits in accordance with relevant standards in those countries where it has operations. ITAB does not tolerate child labour or work carried out under force or threat of force. There have been no instances of child labour or forced labour during 2017.
ITAB’s companies are working to offer a healthy, safe working environment. As a production company, it is important to reduce the risk of accidents and occupational injuries. Within the ITAB Group, each company is responsible for ensuring a safe workplace that complies with local regulations. Every year, the companies report their results to the Group management, which compiles a report regarding employee statistics. If there are any deviations as regards the number of accidents or sick leave, this will be investigated further.
In all, 124 (135) accidents were reported during 2017, which corresponds to approximately 3.5% of the staff in the Group. Around half of the reported injuries were cuts. During 2018, ITAB will continue its work of reviewing the safety procedures for those companies that report a higher number of accidents.
Efforts are being made at a local level to reduce the proportion of sick leave within the company. During 2017, the proportion of sick leave amounted to 3.3% (5.3). The reduction of 2 percentage points is primarily due to the closure of two production facilities at the end of 2016. Sick leave is monitored, and measures are being implemented in units with higher levels of sickness absence.
For ITAB as a manufacturing company, it is important to ensure that consideration is given to various sustainability aspects throughout the value chain. For this reason, ITAB’s responsibility also extends to ensuring good conditions for the company’s supplier chain. The Group’s companies mainly use suppliers with operations in Europe. ITAB conducts regular dialogue with its most important suppliers about various sustainability aspects.
Each company within ITAB has its own guidelines and policies that regulate the demands placed on suppliers. At the end of 2017, a new Group-wide supplier policy was also implemented. This policy applies to all companies in the Group and establishes fundamental criteria for all of ITAB’s suppliers.
The ITAB Group has around 4,600 suppliers, of which some 400 were new in 2017. During the year, the Group’s subsidiaries have examined approximately 460 of their suppliers based on social and environmental criteria.
Diversity is an important issue for ITAB. At present, approximately 32% (31) of ITAB’s workforce is made up of women and 68% (69) men. The management teams in the Group’s subsidiaries comprise round 140 people from 25 countries. Of these, 22% (15) are women and 78% (85) men. Increasing the total proportion of women within the Group and at management level is important for ITAB, in order to reflect the society in which the Group operates and to ensure that the Group possesses the skills required to continue to develop in future.
ITAB is working to try to create a more even gender distribution. This is being done in part by ensuring that female applicants are included in recruitment processes. More comprehensive work has been launched during 2017 and will continue in 2018 aimed at further systematising the work on diversity and equality.
The Group’s Board of Directors comprises approximately 30% women. The Board applies the diversity policy advocated in the Swedish Code of Corporate Governance.
Developing employees within ITAB’s various companies is an important aspect in enabling the Group to continue to grow. The potential to build a career and receive further training is decisive for attracting and retaining employees.
Within the ITAB Group, appraisals are conducted with employees by their respective managers. During 2017, 47% of the workforce had appraisals with their immediate manager. It is possible to attend both internal and external training courses. Over the next year, appraisal material will be developed for managers in the Group. This material will serve as a guide for them during appraisals.
Several companies in the Group have offered English lessons to their employees during the year, in order for them to be able to study and understand Group information. More than 3,600 hours of training have been conducted within the Group during the year.
ITAB can contribute to Goal 8, which relates to decent working conditions and economic growth. Through its responsibility in the value chain, ITAB is able to contribute to improved working conditions in the markets where the Group has operations and where its rapid growth is creating new job opportunities with a good working environment. For example, this is taking place in the area of Good working conditions, which handles issues such as the working environment, health and safety.
Board member, ITAB
Which sustainability issues are most important for ITAB?
“To ensure an operation that is sustainable in the long term, we need to balance our financial, social and environment responsibilities optimally. We cannot focus on one area and ignore another. In future, we need to continue developing sustainable shop concepts, continue working with resource efficiency and minimise our climate impact.
Finding and retaining skilled, committed employees is an important issue, and we therefore need to invest in diversity and in being an attractive and modern workplace, as young people have entirely different expectations as regards their workplace.”