Providing a safe, high-quality working environment
For many years, Thales has been committed to providing a safe and healthy working environment for all its employees, where everyone has the trust and support of management and the tools and resources they need to do their jobs while enjoying a healthy work life balance.
Because employee well-being is a key factor in optimising long term performance and attracting and retaining talent, Thales continues to make every effort to improve the quality of the working environment.
Best possible working conditions.
Working time arrangements that enable a healthy work-life balance
Each of Thales’s countries of operation adapts its working time arrangements to applicable local laws and agreements.
At the end of 2020, 94% of employees were employed full time. (Part time contracts are generally a reflection of an employee’s personal choice.)
Thales continues to support parents, and help them manage their work life balance. In France, the Group also offers an emergency childcare solution if usual childcare arrangements are unavailable.
444 children of employees in France attend nurseries financed and created by Thales together with other companies.
Thales also promotes the appropriate use of digital tools and the right to disconnect, which is an important factor in the quality of life at work for employees, their work-life balance, and their personal lives.
For example, Thales LAS France brought in the cognitive science consulting and research firm Cog’x to raise employee awareness about switching off, via an approach that takes into account how the brain functions.
Actions taken to improve the quality of the working environment
The various Group entities in France continue to implement actions relating to teleworking and well-being at work initiated in 2018 under applicable collective agreements. Examples of initiatives implemented at all Group entities in France include “Quality of life at work” weeks, employee opinion meetings, training sessions, and awareness-enhancement campaigns about the right to disconnect.
The smart working initiative
Improving employee well-being through a better work-life balance.
The Smart Working initiative has been implemented in several of Thales’s countries of operation in recent years. In 2020, the initiative was extended to the entire Group. It is designed to boost collective performance and improve employee well-being by enabling a better work life balance, and by providing a working environment and tools that allow employees to do their jobs under optimum conditions.
The Smart Working initiative aims to allow teams to adapt their organisation to their own situation.
To do this, they have to assess management methods, team interactions, the work environment, and the tools they need. Following this collective reflection, teams draw up a charter and equip themselves with the resources required to implement the new organisation.
I have worked for Thales for over 12 years and feel that I have been given opportunities to develop and grown my career within the organisation.
I know that Thales is looking to change the status quo, and to aid this, has introduced Smart Working. I am working with my line manager in order to progress my career; with an aspiration to become a female role model within the team.Tanya Roberts
Cyber Security Consultant
Dynamic and constructive dialogue.
In all areas of common interest, Thales promotes cooperation with its employees and their representatives, and provides them with high-quality information, in particular by supporting and encouraging dialogue.
This cooperation has helped to develop a high-quality working environment for all Group employees.
Specific forums for social dialogue
Thales has long promoted cooperation with social partners on subjects of shared interest.
In 2020, social dialogue was aimed in particular at addressing the impact of the health crisis on employees and work organisations.
- The European Works Council, comprising 39 members from 13 European countries, met three times (two plenary meetings and one Executive Committee meeting) to discuss the Group’s economic and financial outlook, news from the Global Business Units, the impact of the health crisis and Brexit, and the integration into the Group of recent acquisition Gemalto.
The European Works Council agreement also provides for information meetings to be held at Global Business Unit level, to allow committee members who belong to each GBU to discuss their transnational strategic and social outlook. The output from these meetings was presented at the plenary meeting.
Dynamic social dialogue, teleworking and Covid-19
In June 2020, following the first lockdown in France, a new Group agreement was signed, setting out the terms and conditions for a broader resumption of activity, and support for employees dealing with specific situations.
As a result of the health situation and the “Smart Working” initiative, the social partners also renegotiated the contractual provisions in place within the Group regarding teleworking (“working from home”).
Teleworking has gradually expanded within the Group since it was first trialled in 2013. It was formally adopted in 2015, and the arrangements were renewed in 2018. Based on this experience, and the lessons learned from the widespread use of teleworking during the health crisis, Thales Group Management and representative trade unions signed a new agreement on 17 December 2020, with the aim of:
- Simplifying and extending the routine use of teleworking for all activities which can be performed partly or fully remotely, and for all employees with no managerial responsibilities.
- Anticipating newly emerging extraordinary circumstances more effectively in future.
- Improving the resources provided to teleworkers.
The dynamic social dialogue in France notably resulted in the signing of the following Group collective agreements in 2020:
- Group Agreement in favour of Persons with disabilities, signed on 17 November 2020.
- Agreement relating to the specific furlough scheme, signed on 13 November 2020.
Additionally, 30 company and site collective agreements were signed in the Group’s various French entities in 2020. At the end of 2020, 77% of Group employees worldwide were covered by collective agreements.
Managers attended a “Managers: key players in the quality of life at work”
course delivered by Talent & Culture International Learning
of employees in full time posts
children of employees in France attend nurseries financed and created by Thales together with other companies
of Group employees worldwide were covered by collective agreements
at the end of 2020
In line with its stated purpose of building a confident future, its corporate social responsibility policy, and its commitment to the United Nations Global Compact, Thales reaffirms its commitment to the health and safety of its employees and to the performance of its activities in an environmentally sensitive manner, as part of an ambitious proactive policy based on continuous improvement.
Three main objectives
- Providing a working environment that ensures the safety, health and well-being of its own employees and staff working at its facilities and on external worksites under its responsibility.
- Protecting the environment by limiting the impact of its activities, particularly in terms of energy use, mobility, natural resources, climate and biodiversity, while preventing risks of pollution and improving resilience to climate change.
- Designing, purchasing, manufacturing and supplying eco-designed solutions, products and services that meet health, safety and environmental protection standards.
In practical terms, Thales strives to:
- Communicate continuously in order to promote a culture of health, safety and environmental protection, while regularly taking steps to raise awareness of these issues among its employees and other stakeholders.
- Identify and anticipate current and future issues.
- Characterise, prevent and control health, safety and environmental risks and impacts, while adjusting its practices to each type of activity.
- Cultivate a spirit of responsible innovation, driven by the commitment of its employees, its technologies, and its engineering expertise, to protect the environment, and combat and adapt to climate change.
- Participate in national and international programmes to improve environmental protection and understanding.
- Apply its policy to its supply chain.
- Assess, monitor and improve performance through processes and audits.
Frequency rate of accidents at work worldwide in 2020
Severity rate of accidents at work worldwide in 2020 (0.058 with subcontractors)
For employees eligible for variable (performance-related) compensation, 10% of compensation is related to CSR targets corresponding to the Group’s commitments, of which safety performance accounts for 2.5%.
Communication and awareness-enhancement programmes: ensuring a high level of ownership and awareness of risks.
Communication and awareness-enhancement programmes, defined and implemented locally, allow the level of ownership and awareness of risks to be maintained among all employees. The Group publishes a quarterly HSE newsletter, and organises a Group awareness-enhancement campaign every year.
The last four campaigns focused on:
- Best practices related to tripping risks (2015)
- Material handling risks (2016)
- Road risks (2017)
- Good managerial approaches for incorporating health, safety and the environment into everyday practices (2019).
“HSE 4 US” global campaign
In October 2020, the Group launched a global campaign on the four basic rules of health, safety and the environment.
Implementing and maintaining training courses on workplace health and safety
Knowledge of operational risks and the associated mitigation measures and behaviours is crucial in enabling managers and employees to maintain the right level of vigilance.
Thales’s Human Resources and HSE departments implement and maintain training courses on workplace health and safety across the Group.
Programmes defined at Group level are supplemented on the basis of specific needs identified at individual premises and worksites. To maintain knowledge and skills relating to health and safety, dedicated training modules are delivered throughout the Group by in house trainers, HSE managers, and specialist external bodies.
Online training modules
Online training modules are available to all through the Thales Learning Hub. These training courses involve:
- General workplace safety training
- Specific training courses on risks
- Training courses on tools
- Training courses on management and safety best practices
Specific training programme
To improve support for managers and employees on HSE issues, the Group defined a specific training programme for HSE coordinators in 2019, aimed at developing their operational leadership skills in this area, with a particular focus on support for local managers. Additionally, training sessions in “HSE culture”, which provide a definition of the leadership model, were developed for site/country/Global Business Unit management committees. They were rolled out in some units in France, Australia, and Germany. Based on these experiences, an “HSE Masterclass” was developed with an expert HSE consultant.
Risk management and operational control
Thales has integrated the management of risks related to occupational safety into its Group management system, which can be accessed by all employees, at all entities worldwide.
The HSE process requires a safety management system to be implemented at all sites to ensure that operational risks are avoided, managed and limited, while complying with the general principles of prevention.
An integral part of the processes that govern the Group’s activities, the HSE process sets out best practices and methodological guides, and specifies the rules that must be followed at all levels of the organisation. It also defines risk management and alert procedures to be applied in the event of an accident.
Thales produces risk analyses at all its sites, and updates them on a regular basis, in accordance with its business activities, scientific and technical developments, and emerging issues. These analyses enable the operational departments, with the support of HSE experts, to:
- Verify the compliance of facilities, business activities, and products used or placed on the market.
- Ensure that employees are not exposed to specific risks, and reduce and manage such risks if they are.
- Ensure that personal and group protective equipment is available for residual risks that cannot be avoided.
- Monitor business activities to make sure they are not likely to affect people and/or the environment as a result of technological accidents.
- Analyse and anticipate the impact of new regulations.
- Make sure that employees and external partners adhere to instructions and procedures, including via the organisation of emergency scenario drills.
- Integrate hygiene, health and safety into on-the-ground management.
Risk assessments and analyses of legal requirements and compliance obligations are based on active regulatory monitoring. They are formally documented at all Group facilities, as well as at external sites.
In addition, the implementation of lean culture incorporates HSE aspects into operational practices, such as team coordination, site inspections and improvement actions. At the same time, the Group’s HSE experts provide support for the application of HSE standards on premises and worksites, and also support employees to ensure consistency and monitoring on the ground, by drawing on the ISO 45001 management standard.
of employees work on an ISO 14001 (environmental management) certified site
of employees work on an ISO 45001 (workplace health and safety management) certified site.
Coordinated efforts for employees' health
In France, Thales has committed to providing its employees with a safe and healthy workplace by taking steps to improve well-being at work and developing a rigorous occupational risk prevention policy. As part of this prevention policy, Health Departments report directly to the Human Resources Department.
A single Country Occupational Health Department was created in 2017, led by the HR Director for France, and employing 25 doctors and 67 nurses.
Health Departments work closely with the HSE department, the Human Resources Department and site managers to implement a consistent risk prevention policy. They offer the following capabilities:
- Occupational health risk assessment
- Training, information and awareness-enhancement on occupational health risks
- Investigation of occupational accidents and illnesses
- Knowledge of substance toxicity and associated risk management measures
What does the Occupational Health Department do?
Its job is to prevent any deterioration in Thales employees' health caused by their working conditions.
How does it achieve this?
- It leads occupational health efforts in order to protect the physical and mental health of employees during their careers.
- It advises employers, employees and their representatives on the precautions and steps they must take to prevent or reduce occupational risks, avoid alcohol and drug use in the workplace, prevent harassment, prevent or reduce difficult working conditions and professional exclusion, and help keep employees at work.
- It monitors employees' state of health in terms of occupational health and their working conditions.
- It helps to monitor and trace cases of occupational exposure, and monitors health risks.
Risk management and operational control
Thales activated its crisis management system in January 2020. The Group supported its offices in Asia in their management of the health crisis by developing initial health and safety measures and new work organisation systems (shift work and teleworking), and providing personal protective equipment (masks, gowns, etc.) as well as travel guidelines.
The Central Crisis Unit (CCU) was activated on 26 February 2020. This central crisis unit connected with all of the Group’s entity and country crisis units to coordinate actions and define health and safety policy.
Support from the Human Resources Office and Occupational Health Offices
From the start of the crisis, the Group activated crisis units to enable it to deal with the evolving health situation more effectively, protect employees’ health, and organise business continuity.
These crisis units helped develop health standards and prepare communications for employees.
A set of health protection measures common to all the Group’s entities worldwide was defined, encompassing health and safety rules, personal and group protective equipment, protective behaviours, ventilation of work spaces, management of company restaurants, travel policy, guides for managers, support for returning to work after lockdown, good teleworking practices, etc. These measures are applied in addition to national regulations or in countries where health regulations are less restrictive.
Covid-19: communication during the health crisis
During the health crisis, the Group established a series of workshops under the heading “Listen”, to raise managers’ awareness of the need to actively listen to their employees, and adapt their management methods accordingly.
Regular communications relating to the successes achieved and challenges encountered during the crisis were distributed to employees to allow them to continue to feel involved in their work communities even during periods of teleworking.
Adaptation of work organisations
Within the framework of the collective agreements signed in France, and more broadly across all Group countries, local entities quickly adapted their organisations to deal with the health crisis and the restrictions imposed in different countries.
Thales has been involved in national vaccination campaigns via its first aid teams
- Vaccination centres were set up in Paris-Ile de France and other French regions, with 1 or 2 medical teams at each centre, organised on-site by Thales.
- Wherever possible, Thales provides support for teams in accordance with the rules put in place by countries’ health authorities.