Discrimination involves the unfair treatment of individuals or groups of people due to certain defining characteristics. The prohibition of discrimination is defined as a human right and forms the foundation of respectful interaction. Preventing discrimination is a major issue particularly at companies.
To permanently integrate sustainability into its company processes, REWE Group has developed an all-encompassing sustainability strategy that is made up of four main pillars: Green Products; Energy, Climate and the Environment; Employees; and Social Involvement. Five areas of action have been defined for the pillar Employees values and culture; training and professional growth; health and safety; job and phases of life; and diversity and equal opportunity. Activities associated with non-discrimination are part of the area of action diversity and equal opportunity.
The corporate culture of REWE Group is characterised by a trusting and respectful relationship among customers, employees and business partners. This commitment is spelled out in the company’s fundamental values. In addition, the Guidelines for Sustainable Business Practices apply to all employees and business partners. These guidelines include a clearly formulated ban on discrimination: “We do not tolerate discrimination in employment and in the workplace for reasons of gender, race, religion, ethnic heritage, age, nationality, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, social background or political orientation.” This principle applies to the hiring of new employees, current employees and business partners.
Each sales line has a contact partner to whom employees can turn in cases of discrimination. These advisers are found in compliance departments, the Works Council and the di.to network (you will find more information on the topic of di.to (different together) in the section Diversity and Equal Opportunity). In addition, employees can consult with managers and the HR Department. Any report of discrimination will be thoroughly investigated. Each case will be treated confidentially. When a case is investigated, personal meetings with the affected employee or employees are held and the Works Council is consulted. At REWE Group in Austria, 14 trained contact partners are available to employees for this purpose. The Remuneration Transparency Act took effect in 2017. It is designed to ensure that equal compensation is paid to women and men who do the same or similar work. During the financial year, 17 inquiries were filed by employees regarding this issue. Employees can turn to the central Department on Compensation & Benefits for questions about equal pay. This process has been coordinated with works councils.
REWE Group conducts a thorough investigation of discrimination allegations. Should the allegations turn out to be true, disciplinary and possibly personnel measures are taken. No discrimination cases that were pursued legally were reported in Germany during the reporting period. One case was worked out during a meeting between a manager and the other individuals involved. In Austria, two employees consulted their contact partner regarding sexual discrimination. A mutual solution was reached out in both cases. No anonymous inquiries were filed during the reporting period. With a campaign called “Sexual Harassment and Discrimination – NO Thanks!”, REWE Group in Austria showed employees how they can fight such behaviour. Specially trained employees can provide support to affected individuals in the company at any time by doing such things as having a confidential conversation with them or actively taking steps.