We see three factors here: First, discontinuation of the FFP2 mask requirement made employees more susceptible to viral infections than during the pandemic. Second, we are seeing more people returning from remote to office working, which also means more contact among employees. And third, people are now undergoing surgical procedures that had been postponed.

Other companies we are in contact with confirm similar increases in absenteeism.

Our activities to promote employee wellbeing include flexible working models in terms of location and hours, ergonomic office workplaces and equipment, and prevention programs. We already accommodate individual team needs as established practice.

The leading employee review platform for our company is Kununu, which has 225 reviews for WashTec with a Kununu score of 4.1 (as of January 2024). That contrasts significantly with the number of reviews on Glassdoor – currently 10 – and we see candidates and employees making little use of Glassdoor compared to Kununu. We monitor the feedback on Kununu very closely and take the matters raised there very seriously.

The Diversity Charter is a voluntary commitment to diversity management. The basicpremise of diversity management is that embracing employee diversity contributes toorganizational success. We expressly foster employee diversity as part of our HR strategyand organizational development. The Diversity Charter is a fundamental commitment tothe economic and social benefits of diversity and to tolerance, fairness and respect in theworkplace and in the community. By signing, companies and institutions commit torespecting all employees equally, regardless of age, ethnic origin, nationality, gender,gender identity, physical and mental abilities, religion, ideology, sexual orientation andsocial background.

More information about the Diversity Charter’s focus, signatories and adoption in German business can be found at https://www.charta-der-vielfalt.de/en/ueber-uns/

Equal pay at WashTec is based on the terms established by the parties to the collective bargaining agreements with the metal and electrical industry unions (vbm and IG Metall). We apply these agreements in our organization and have also entered into more detailed workplace agreements with the WashTec Works Council.

Reporting on the accident rate covers all WashTec sites and all subsidiaries.

In Germany, in addition to statutory occupational accident insurance funds, occupationalaccident insurance is provided by employers’ liability insurance associations(Berufsgenossenschaften). These insure employees against the consequences ofoccupational accidents and occupational illnesses, and are responsible for the preventionof occupational accidents, illnesses and health risks. All work-related accidents inGermany have to be reported to them. The Berufsgenossenschaften classify companiesinto activity groups, so companies with similar activities are in the same group. The losttime injury frequency rates in a given group are used to derive a sectoral figure. This is the benchmark.

Feedback from employees – including on matters relating to the ESG strategy and its implementation – are a central element of the feedback talks and rounds with our internal stakeholders, which are also held confidentially. The findings are evaluated on an ongoing basis by top management and the Management Board as part of monitoring processes. There is currently no provision for external publication or third-party validation.