Our people

The growth and development of employees, especially in terms of diversity and inclusion and together with health and safety, are fundamental values for Iren Group: pillars which embody the mission and vision in the Strategic Plan (see page 47) and in the actions of personnel.

These values are even more relevant in the pandemic context, which has had a significant social and economic impact and has placed greater emphasis on the value of employment, a key factor for the Group that consider human resources as a fundamental asset for its growth.

Therefore, also in 2021, was active the Crisis Unit (consisting of: Chief Human Resources Officer, Head of Personnel, Head of Welfare and Safety in the Workplace and Coordinator of the Group’s Occupational Health Physicians) –instituted in February 2020 as soon as the Covid-19 emergency spread, in close contact with all First-Level Managers – to prevent and monitor the spread of the infection, guarantee the continuity of the services provided, and maintain an ongoing dialogue with all Group employees. In fact, internal communication was constant to disseminate to all employees – via the company Intranet, e-mail and text messages – the general measures to be observed for preventive and precautionary purposes and specific additional company measures for the protection of the health of workers and business continuity.

Remote work for white-collar workers was prevalent for the first part of the year and was combined with face-to-face work starting in the second half of the year when the health emergency eased off; in this way it was possible to ensure the continuity of activities and, at the same time, contain the spread of infection. Employees with technical-operational roles have mainly continued working in-person, with procedures and means of protection appropriate to the different operational situations, avoiding situations of contact and crowding as much as possible thanks, for example, to the encouragement, where possible, of the departure from home with the operational vehicles, to the access in shifts to the canteen, to the management of meetings via tele or video conference.

After the acute phase of the pandemic, the new forms of work, in particular remote work, have been consolidated and refined by pursuing company and individual improvement objectives through a precise analysis of the way in which activities are carried out. In this context, in addition to continuing all the interventions to enable the adoption of the new working methods and avoid the risk of reducing internal cohesion, training continued for the development of new leadership, a fundamental factor for adequately managing the changes underway.

The Group has also contributed to the national anti-Covid vaccination plan, carrying out, in line with government guidelines, a company vaccination campaign aimed at all employees on a voluntary basis.

Despite the continuing health emergency, during the year the Group carried out an important recruitment plan, offering employment to a large number of young people.

The maintenance of adequate employment levels, the monitoring and development of skills, the health and safety of workers, are central to the pursuit of the strategies of the Group which, for this reason, is actively committed to improving working conditions and personal growth of its employees, promoting a stimulating and constructive working environment. Investments in training and development, meticulous career planning, targeted strategies to enhance talents, tailored benefits, personalised remuneration policies and an innovative corporate culture are some of the elements the Group continues to focus on.

Moreover, the involvement and engagement of collaborators are considered essential to teamwork and to developing a solid corporate culture. This approach is part of the process, launched in 2020 and continued in 2021, to manage individual skills and knowledge as part of a model that aims to maintain a high quality of human resources through policies that aim to increase professionalism and guarantee the necessary involvement (see page 230).

In 2021, Iren Group was awarded the Top Employer Italy certification, for the fourth consecutive year, destined for the best companies in the world in the field of human resources: those that offer excellent working conditions, that train and develop talents at all company level and that constantly strive to improve and optimise their best practices in the field of human resources.

People are a fundamental capital for the Group, as shown by its 2021 Top Employer certification

The Group contributes to maintaining employment levels also by promoting the development of businesses to which it outsources services and work,

While having no specific local recruitment policy, given the specific features of the Italian labour market, a high percentage of Group employees reside in the province where their place of work is located. Furthermore, considering the type of business, the geographical areas in which the Group operates, and the procedures adopted to ensure compliance with current legislation, no risk of child labour or forced labour exists for Iren Group.

At 31 December 2021, Iren Group had 9,055 employees, up from the 8,465 employees at 31 December 2020. The main changes in workforce are due to:

  • boundary changes, mainly due to the inclusion of the companies from the former Unieco Environment Division, acquired at the end of 2020 but reported separately in the Sustainability Report 2020, for a total of 186 employees and the acquisition, at the end of 2021, of the company Bosch Energy and Building Solutions Italy, for a total of 155 employees;
  • the characteristics of the annual workforce trend of the company San Germano due to the start/termination of contracted services, including those of a seasonal nature;
  • continuation of the generational turnover plan.

More than 98% of the Group’s employees are employed on permanent or apprenticeship contracts

Personnel as at 31/12 by position (no.) 2021 2020 2019
Managers 104 92 94
Junior managers 345 305 314
White-collar workers 3,915 3,618 3,495
Blue-collar workers 4,691 4,450 4,199
Total 9,055 8,465 8,102
Our people

More than 98% of personnel are employed on permanent or, in the case of young people, apprenticeship contracts. This figure confirms that the Group favours long-term working relationships, also offering opportunities for internships with the aim of giving young people, in particular, concrete professional experience. In 2021, 99 people were given internships and 6 students took part in School-Work programmes.

39% of the employees fall within the 30 and 50 age group, while the average age is 47.6.

The Group believes that maintaining long-term relations with its own employees, in combination with lifelong learning programmes, is an essential part of its corporate responsibility and is committed to avoiding any form of collective or unfair dismissal, always in compliance with legal and contractual provisions, in the case of positive economic results or otherwise those in line with shareholders’ expectations. The management of redundancies, should they occur, prioritises the incentivization of voluntary resignation for those eligible to access pension funds, and the reassignment of excess personnel to other activities within or promoted by the Group, with due retraining, and the use of the available social safety nets, promoting forms of internal solidarity and, where necessary, with the internalisation of activities which had previously been outsourced. The Group is committed to protecting, in line with legal and contractual provisions, personnel belonging to protected categories and/or suffering from long-term illness, avoiding any form of discrimination in their regard.