Labour relations

The Group's relations with Trade Unions are based on the principles of fairness and respect of roles, in compliance with regulations, in order to set up new agreements to increase growth, competitiveness and sustainable employment.

The exchange of opinions and the search for shared solutions together with Trade Unions - aimed at safeguarding the personnel involved under the occupational, professional and economic-regulatory profile - have constantly guided our Group’s operational and corporate reorganisation processes.

The welfare system

The Group has been characterised since its inception by a complex welfare system that was developed also through discussion with Trade Unions; the agreements at Group level - which find their synthesis in the Second Level Collective Agreement, renewed on 8 December 2021 - are integrated with those regulated by national collective bargaining, offering all employees:

  • a complex system of guarantees - supplementary pension funds and supplementary health care 
  • flexible solutions aimed at work-life balance - through permits, leave, flexible working hours, part-time options, etc.
  • subsidies and economic contributions, such as benefits for families with disabled children, out of the workplace accident policies, loans, mortgages, meal vouchers and scholarships.

During the years, the “Welfare, Safety and Sustainable Development Committee”, composed by company and trade union representatives, has promoted a series of measures and interventions that have subsequently found their concrete realization in specific trade union agreements, such as the agreement for the introduction of the Flexible Work, the agreement on the conciliation of life-work balance, with instrument such as the "Time Bank" (time reserve made available to colleagues in difficulty) and the inclusion agreement which aims to promote a condition of well-being for all the people of the Group in respect of diversity, developing specific projects, for example in the context of Disability Management through an Interfunctional Working Group. This operates with the aim of promoting attention to people with disabilities ascertained upon entry and who are already employees, seeking suitable solutions for a positive organization of work, to guarantee training, for the possible adaptation of work spaces and tools, to contribute the management of diversity and uniqueness, identifying areas for improvement and positive actions to be implemented to increase the organizational and personal well-being of colleagues.

Overtime work. Intesa Sanpaolo has specific internal rules in place (in compliance with local rules). The actual daily working time remains fixed, as a rule, at 7 hours and 30 minutes, and, overtime is admitted only in specific and justified cases, approved by the Head of each office. In addition, with the new renewal of the National Contract the working week will be reduced to 37 hours on a weekly basis starting from July 2024. 


The 2023 agreements

The relations with the Trade Unions are also regulated by the Labour/Management Relations Protocol, which has made it possible to implement a specific union relations model within the Group. Dialogue with the Trade Unions regarding company projects is ongoing, prompt and aimed at identifying shared solutions to the various requirements that come to the attention of the Parties. This also takes place in accordance with trade union representation in Italy (76.13% of current employees), in line with national representation in the sector. In 2023, 41 agreements were signed, the most innovative of which covered work organisation, with the introduction of the so-called short week (4x9), and renewed Flexible Working methods, with the establishment of an annual ceiling of 120 days of work from home, which can be increased in specific cases.

Attention continued to be paid to the integrated welfare system, with particular regard to Supplementary Pension Schemes and Health Care, as well as to the institutional renewal of the corporate body responsible for cultural and sports recreational activities of the Group’s employees.

The Group's welfare has recently been enriched with the establishment of a new Third Sector body, the Mutual Aid Society, which promotes mutualistic values ​​and social solidarity. Among the first objectives of the organization are support for members who find themselves in disadvantaged or difficult conditions, Long Term Care insurance coverage in favor of family members not covered by the Supplementary Health Fund and support for non-self-sufficient disabled children of Group's people.

The agreements reached make it possible to further enhance and expand the welfare tools for the benefit of the Intesa Sanpaolo employees and their families, to improve the effectiveness of the company’s organisation and to define sustainable and differentiated labour policies even in different working life phases, such as to create cohesion and solidarity among the different generations in the Group. The Welfare, Safety and Sustainable Development Committee set up following the Labour/Management Relations Protocol continued to play a key role in 2023. This bilateral body, which adequately represents both the company and the Trade Unions, is supplemented each time by technical experts that are able to offer specific expertise on the issues in question.

Flexible work and short week

Since 2015, Flexible Work has been the smart working model of the Intesa Sanpaolo Group. From the experimental phase to the consolidation as an ordinary way of performing the work activity, Flexible Work gradually involved a growing number of structures and people, proving to be a successful experience in the organization of work and a effective intervention tool to guarantee operational continuity as occurred in the emergency context relating to COVID-19.

In line with the 2022-2025 Business Plan, following the union agreement of 26 May 2023, the highly innovative measures of the new model of work organization were integrated and expanded, for all Group's people, in terms of greater flexibility in daily working hours, in terms of the so-called short week on voluntary basis (with a daily working time of 9 hours for 4 days a week between Monday and Friday) with equal pay and broad access to Flexible Work.

Flexible Work is a way of working which allows, on a voluntary basis, to work in a place different than that of assignment, i.e.

  • from home (up to a maximum of 120 days per year with the recognition of a meal voucher worth €4.50)
  • from a company location other than the assigned one ("company hubs")
  • from our customer's premises.
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People are the core of this project: we would like to promote a profound cultural change, strengthening the relationship of trust and mutual responsibility between the manager and the collaborator, between the company and the worker, further favoring the reconciliation of private needs with corporate ones.

In specific situations, exceeding the maximum limit of 120 days of flexible working from home may be assessed, for example for personnel suffering from serious pathologies or with certified disabilities.

Within the scope of the International Subsidiary Banks Division, the Banks are continuing with the analyses to verify the applicability of the Next Way of Working project and flexible working models, in line with the provisions laid down by local laws and the Group guidelines. More specifically, in 2023, VÚB Banka started the analysis of the Next way of Working framework and is proceeding with the testing of the 4x9 on the Digital Branch. BIB is currently reviewing the use of company spaces, while PBZ also extended the “Smart working and Optimization of Workspace” project to the other HUB banks (Slovenia and Bosnia). The common threads of these initiatives are the identification of a target number of days to work from home, the redesign of the layout of company offices on the basis of the new needs, as well as the extension of flexible working to a greater number of people.

Work-life balance

The Second Level Collective Agreement of the Intesa Sanpaolo Group contains a series of measures aimed at facilitating work-life balance, including the Banca del tempo (Time Bank), that is an annual pool of paid leave hours in favour of employees who need more leave hours than those they are already entitled to, in order to deal with personal and / or family serious and ascertained situations.

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The Time Bank is a reserve of time made available by the company and Group’s people so they can provide greater support for employees in difficulty, even for brief periods, and give them more time

The Time Bank is made up of a reservoir fed:

• annually by the bank for 65,000 hours
• donations of holidays or leave from colleagues (starting from 15 minutes)
• company allocation of the same number of hours donated by colleagues, up to a maximum of 100,000 total hours.

This option was extended as part of the renewal of the second-level bargaining agreement in 2021, providing for the possibility of it being used also for assistance to the elderly (over 75 years of age) or dependent persons (family members and relatives within the first degree), and introducing, by way of an experiment, for the 2022-2023 two-year period, a total number of hours to assist spouses, family members and relatives up to the second degree during surgical procedures. In relation to the severe flood events that hit the Emilia Romagna, Marche and Tuscany Regions in May and November 2023, Intesa Sanpaolo and the Trade Unions signed two agreements, aimed at promoting donations to the Time Bank initiative to grant paid leave for the Group employees who had to deal with personal and family emergencies due to the flood and to allow participation in voluntary initiatives aimed at supporting the people affected. The Group provided a total of 4,000 additional hours in relation to these events and doubled the donations received in the reference campaigns. As part of the Time Bank initiative, corporate volunteering activities were launched in 2023, which led over 300 people to carry out volunteer work, on working days for external associations and bodies chosen by the Group. A total of around 135,000 authorised hours of leave were granted. In 2023, around 34,500 hours were donated by the Group’s employees, in addition to the hours made available by the company (and exceptionally, following an agreement, around 11,000 hours of paid holiday not taken by personnel that left pursuant to the company agreements in place for voluntary exits), for a total of around 145,000 hours.

Interventions to support maternity and paternity

The set of rules dedicated to parenting provides:

  • paid leave to settle children in the nursery or kindergarten, to take them to the emergency room and additional unpaid days aimed at assisting minor children in favor of separated or divorced parents, the exclusive guardians of children, as well as in the cases of widowhood and single-parent families.
  • permits for the assistance of children with specific learning disorders (SLD) 

During 2022, the process of extending second-level bargaining measures by the Group continued with the signing of two trade union agreements that strengthen inclusion and equal opportunities, extending the provisions for the protection of parenthood to civil unions, de facto unions and in favor of the spouse's children. In this context the following have been introduced: 

  • a specific paid extraordinary leave for employees who do not fall within the protections provided by the Law on the occasion of the birth of the child of the spouse, civil partner or de facto partner. 10 fully paid working days to be taken within 5 months of the birth; 
  • an optional extraordinary leave for the care needs of the children of the spouse, the civil partner or the cohabitant, which can be used by the age of twelve with equivalent economic treatment similar to that provided for parental leave for fathers, at the sole expense of the Group.

In 2023, through a trade union agreement, these measures were further adapted to the new provisions on parental leave, with maintenance of economic supplements by the company and full equality in terms of parental protection.

With the renewal of the Second-Level Collective Bargaining Agreement, as of 2023 a new welfare contribution was introduced for each dependent child up to the age of twenty-four by way of a payment to the supplementary pension scheme position in the name of the same child, also providing for the possibility of using the amount by way of reimbursement through the “Conto Sociale” account. The same contribution will also be paid to families with foster children.

In terms of parenting support, the possibility of requesting financial aid was also extended to family members with serious disabilities, as well as to foster children, including for the children of the spouse/civil partner or de facto cohabitant.

Among the company welfare programmes, the so-called “Youth package” was introduced, which includes an increase in the employer’s contribution to the supplementary pension scheme for the first 5 years after hiring, a “primary residence bonus” and a “child birth bonus” payable within the first 10 years after hiring.

The Second Level bargaining then confirmed the tools for balance professional and family life by introducing some innovations in the light of the experiences gained:

  • as part of the possibility of taking advantage of days of suspension from work, the opportunity is offered to increase - beyond the ordinary 20 and to meet specific family assistance needs - the number of working days for which the Company provides a substitute salary equal to 35% of salary
  • within the overall system of parenting support, which integrates and improves the set of leaves and permits guaranteed at the national legislative and contractual level, specific interventions have been envisaged aimed at encouraging the involvement of fathers in family care. For fathers, specific additional paid leave is available following the birth of their children, as well as the entitlement to an allowance of 10% of the sum granted by law for parental leave, and the possibility of taking 10 days of parental leave, and additional days of unpaid leave.

To summarize, therefore, with reference to parenting support:

  • The mother has extensive protections provided for by Italian legislation and included primarily in the Consolidated Law on the protection and support of maternity and paternity (Legislative Decree 151/2001): 
    • 5 months of compulsory maternity leave, with 100% pay envisaged by the National Collective Labor Agreement 
    • up to 6 months of parental leave available until the child's 12th birthday 
    • from the early stages of pregnancy, the Group's new mothers can also benefit from paid leave for prenatal examinations and for participation in the preparation course for childbirth and subsequently from tools, with different time extensions, to deal with the arrival of the child, support its growth and look after it in case of illness. The work-life balance for new mothers is also favored by the preferential access to the "part-time" institution
    • during the first year of the child's life, the working mother is entitled, upon request, to have two fully paid daily rest periods of one hour each, if the daily working time is equal to or greater than 6 hours, which may also be combined; if instead, the daily working time is less than 6 hours, only one hour of rest is due.
  • The father, on the occasion of the birth of children, has at his disposal: 
    • 10 working days of mandatory paternity leave provided for by Italian legislation 
    • 6 working days of paid leave granted by the Bank for a total of 16 fully paid working days 
    • up to 6 months of parental leave that can be used up to the child's 12th year - to support greater use of the tool by fathers, the bank has envisaged an economic supplement of 10% of the paid quota envisaged by law for parental leave has been provided (30% or 80%).

Employee share ownership plan, investment plans, variable results bonus and social bonus

For all the Group personnel, with the exception of Risk Takers and Middle Managers, to whom specific incentive systems apply, a trade union agreement was entered into on 30 May 2023 for the payment of the 2023 Broad-based Short-Term Plan (PVR) with both distribution-ownership purposes, aimed at enhancing the contribution provided collectively to the achievement of the year’s results and to the achievement of the 2022-2025 Business Plan objectives, and with incentive purposes, in order to reward the team’s merit and performance. The 2023 PVR, which rewards increased profitability, productivity, innovation, quality and greater efficiency, confirms the principles of inclusion, merit and orientation towards sustainable results in the medium-long term as central values, in relation to the Business Plan. According to a redistribution logic, following the Bank’s excellent results, the Group will increase the total amount allocated to the 2023 PVR to 155 million euro (116 million euro in 2022), 25 million euro of which coming from the experimental incorporation into the incentive policy of the Protection Excellence System, which until now had not been subject to negotiation. The base bonus amount paid ranges from a minimum of 1,020 euro to a maximum of 2,750 euro, to which the excellence bonus units will be added. The 2023 PVR consists of two portions:

  • Base Bonus, paid according to the professional role or seniority level, consisting of a fixed fee for all employees and an additional fee for income up to 37,000 euro
  • Excellence Bonus, paid based on distinctive individual performance and team goals, consisting of two portions, one of which is dedicated solely to Network personnel involved in the provision of insurance products. In 2023 as well, employees who were absent for long periods of time continued to be eligible to participate in the Plan.

In addition, confirming the importance that the issues of assistance and services for families and work-life balance have in the Group’s policies, employees once again had the option of requesting that all or part of their 2023 PVR be recognised in the form of welfare services, taking advantage of the opportunities that the tax regulations in the area of workplace productivity remuneration offer employees year by year. Finally, with the agreement dated 9 June 2023, the Insurance Division personnel was paid a Variable Additional Bonus (PAV) and a Social Bonus.

In addition to these tools, in order to enhance the commitment and involvement of all Group’s people to the achievement of the financial, equity and sustainability objectives of the 2022-2025 Business Plan, the Group confirmed the use of Long-term Incentive Systems aligned with the time horizon of the same Plan and broken down by purpose, instruments and clusters. Specifically, two new long-term Incentive Plans were launched for all employees:

  • the Performance Share Plan (PSP) reserved for the Management (including the Managing Director and CEO, the remaining Group Top Risk Takers and other Group Risk Takers) and based on shares paid on a fixed basis upon the achievement of specific performance objectives;
  • the LECOIP 3.0 Long-Term Incentive Plan intended for professionals in Italy and based on Certificates with Intesa Sanpaolo shares as underlying.

These Plans, albeit according to different mechanisms depending on their respective cluster, include the ESG – Environmental, Social and Governance dimension (see page 56 – paragraph “Remuneration” in the chapter “Governance and risk management”). More specifically, the LECOIP 3.0 Plan, entered into with the Trade Unions in 2022, in continuity with the previous editions and to which around 45,600 Professionals participated, entailed the free assignment of Intesa Sanpaolo shares and allows the accrual of a capital greater than the initial investment, depending on the positive performance of the Intesa Sanpaolo share, inclusive of a minimum 4% return linked to the achievement of specific Group ESG objectives, calculated as a fixed percentage of the capital initially allocated.

Since 2015, the Group and the trade unions have shared the introduction of a Variable Result Bonus (VRB) which has integrated the component relating to the productivity of the staff as a whole into a single bonus with incentive systems aimed at enhancing excellent performance, providing for increasing recognition for the achievement of the expected objectives.

Training and awareness initiatives

The company cooperates with the Trade Unions to define corporate training plans aimed not only at obtaining professional skills and complying with legal regulations, but also at enhancing the value of human resources.

The training activities’ targets include providing guidance and promoting individuals, as a growth factor of the company community.

These corporate training plans are frequently the subject of evaluation by the Welfare, security and Sustainable Development Committee, followed by specific arrangements with the trade unions aimed at seizing the financing opportunities offered by the Fondo Banche e Assicurazioni.

Further measures on conciliation, inclusion and sustainable development

The renewal of the second level collective agreement, which took place on December 8, 2021, allowed for the confirmation and implementation of some tools in the field of conciliation, inclusion and sustainable development.

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In particular, the inclusion agreement identifies subjects (Welfare, Safety and Sustainable Development Committee and Interfunctional Working Group, Disability Management) and ways to promote a culture of attention to inclusion also through the inclusion of people with disabilities in the world of work, as well as supporting initiatives in favor of colleagues during particular moments of private or working life. In this context, with the contribution of the Trade Unions in the Welfare, Safety and Sustainable Development Committee, methods have been identified, the experimentation of which, which began in November 2019, is now fully consolidated with support and facilitation actions upon returning from long absences .
In order to contribute to the financing of projects aimed at increasing the employability of people with disabilities, the same agreement confirmed the initiative called "Arrotonda Solidale", which provides for the voluntary payment by employees of the rounding euro cents salary, followed by the further payment by the Company of the supplement of 1 euro.

As part of active employment policies, in order to encourage new permanent hires - with particular attention to the branch network, Southern Italy and disadvantaged areas of the country - and the contextual generational turnover, the Company is continuing the hiring of Global Advisors with a "mixed contract", an innovative way of carrying out the work activity which provides for the simultaneous presence of two contracts for the same person (one subordinate, part-time and one independent as a financial advisor). The first "mixed contracts" were activated in 2017, following the signing of the Protocol for sustainable development, and at the end of 2023 there were over 980 people in service with this type of contract.

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