Safety, health and wellbeing

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Balancing work and life

Our approach to promoting work–life balance varies from country to country. But it is always based on a common straightforward principle: we want to help our employees perform to their full potential.

Flexible working arrangements help our employees balance life and work and are therefore an important element in meeting the individual needs of our increasingly diverse workforce.  Wherever possible, we meet employees' requests for special working conditions, offering arrangements that may include:

  • part-time, flexi-time/flexi-retirement, job-sharing, working from home, sabbaticals and parental leave for men and women
  • childcare facilities such as kindergartens and childcare centres
  • other provisions that help employees combine their career and family roles

Many Roche affiliates already offer some form of flexible working. The degree of flexible working models offered depends on a variety of factors, including the local legal environment, local market practices and cultural environment among others. Whilst taking account of the local regulatory environment and individual job requirements, we aim to offer our employees as much flexibility as feasible.

Flexible working allows an employee to adapt their working time and practices to suit their individual situation, within the legal environment of a country and in alignment with business needs or the specific job requirements.

Employee wellbeing

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Our range of wellbeing programmes at sites around the world vary from country to country. However, one idea we hold in common is a vision to foster a culture of health and wellbeing at work. Depending on the location, these programs may include, for example, medical services (e.g., medical check-ups, screenings), fitness centres, staff restaurants, workplace ergonomic evaluations, and counselling services. We also offer International SOS, a complimentary service, to all our employees (and their dependants) to help keep you safe and healthy if an emergency situation arises when you are traveling or living outside your home country.

We also organize ‘Live Well. Find your balance.’ a wellbeing week held at sites once a year to promote awareness of and education about healthy lifestyles, nutrition, emotional wellbeing as well as resources offered by Roche to its employees.

Managing organisational change

The pharmaceutical industry is changing constantly. It regularly faces mergers and acquisitions and pressures from governments, payers and regulators. As a company, we must address these changes while also ensuring the efficiency and effectiveness of our operations.

Whenever we adapt to new circumstances or make changes to improve our business, we respond proactively to ensure respectful, responsible treatment for employees who are affected.

Supporting employees during organizational change

We inform employees who will be affected as soon as possible and provide appropriate assistance and support during a period of organisational change. This includes comprehensive social plans that may include the following:

  • retraining and redeployment options
  • severance payment programmes
  • outplacement services and counselling
  • access to career centres

To keep our valued employees our support measures include relocation, retention incentives and new career orientation support.  Our packages are also always in line with local and legal regulations and customs.

Safeguarding our employees and our communities

Safeguarding our employees and the communities in which we are located is a key priority for Roche.  Prevention of and/or preparedness in the event of an emergency are essential safety activities and part of our normal company operating procedures.

Maintaining high standards

We maintain high standards to ensure the safety, security, health and environment for our employees and the communities we live.  This is accomplished through the responsible, methodical work of our SHE (safety, health and environment) department. We strive for continuous improvement and integration in SHE wherever possible and economically viable.

All operations are periodically audited to assess safety levels, to identify gaps and to define improvement measures and to ensure compliance with legal and regulatory regulations.

more about our SHE policy

Education, awareness and training

To increase internal awareness, prevention and readiness, we communicate best practices and lessons learned using internal and external examples.  We also conduct and run regular educational trainings and updates to ensure our staff has the latest information in this area.  We believe that education, awareness and training are the best ways to foster employee engagement in and responsibility for SHE. With this in mind, we conduct regular training sessions, regional conferences and workshops and provide online tools in local languages to most employees.

We employ around 600 people in safety, health and environmental protection. SHE teams at each Roche site identify risks, develop mitigation plans and communicate policy and guidelines to employees and other stakeholders.

more about our SHE goals and performance

Achieving high safety levels

We achieve high safety levels by implementing technical safety measures and adhering strictly to safe work processes and procedures. To identify required safety measures and procedures, we use systematic risk assessments for all activities that could result in unsafe practices.

Should a safety incident occur, we immediately dispatch well trained and equipped crisis management and emergency response teams.

Protecting employee health

We establish occupational health standards at the corporate level that must be respected even if they exceed local regulations. Our standards are very prescriptive for matters specific to Roche, such as exposure standards for substances manufactured exclusively by Roche. We also follow best practices in areas such as ergonomics and protection from physical hazards. Our activities are also influenced by local law and culture.

Every site has a local Occupational Health function. It acts as an advisor to local management and supervises the implementation of local regulations, corporate standards and recommendations.

Additionally, in areas such as mental health and health promotion, the Occupation Health function offers employees in many locations counselling services and employee assistance programs.