“It is very important to us to provide a working environment free of prejudice, in which all employees can contribute to the company’s success,” said Dr. Christian Hartel, member of the Executive Board and Personnel Director, during the presentation of the emblem at WACKER’s Munich Headquarters. “It is therefore our aim to permanently integrate employees who are severely disabled or have a similar impairment. We offer individual support for employees who are impaired because of health issues, helping them to maximize their performance as comfortably as possible.” WACKER’s commitment makes good business sense, too: “It allows us to keep skilled staff, and to retain valuable knowledge gained over many years.”
In presenting the emblem, Undersecretary Johannes Hintersberger stressed, “We are striving for a working environment in which every person – with or without disability – can contribute his or her individual strengths and gifts. Wacker Chemie AG shows how an inclusive working environment operates, and is therefore a shining role model, which will hopefully encourage many other employers to follow suit.”
Special arrangements are in place to help and promote WACKER employees who suffer from disabilities or similar impairments, or from poor health. Thus, supervisors, staff, HR departments, employee representatives, representatives for employees with severe disabilities, and health services work hand in hand in the company’s integration management to provide targeted support for the employees concerned. The overarching goal is to provide people with job security. First, we examine together whether we can provide support for the employees by, for example, ergonomic redesign or changing work routines at their workplace. If not, then we try to offer them a different position.
WACKER has, for years, employed more persons with severe disabilities and equivalent impairments than is legally required: in 2016 (on average for the year), the WACKER sites in Germany employed 1,101 persons with severe disabilities (persons with degree of disability of 50 or more) or with similar impairments (persons with degree of disability of less than 50 but at least 30 and a certificate of recognition for equal status from the Federal Employment Agency). That constituted 8.7 percent of WACKER’s total employment rate in Germany. The legal requirement is for 5 percent, which would have corresponded to 632 persons with severe disabilities or similar impairments last year. WACKER’s biggest site, in Burghausen, took on eleven trainees with disabilities in the past ten years.
WACKER is committed to helping people with handicaps beyond the company boundaries, by working together with workshops for people with disabilities. Our Burghausen site, for instance, sources key products from the nearby charitable Ruperti workshops – from dunnage for securing freight to assembly parts for process engineering.