For fair interaction in the spirit of partnership

Commerzbank advocates respectful cooperation. To this end, the Bank has revised its works agreement "Fair Interaction in the Spirit of Partnership in the Workplace" and takes a firm stance against racism.

"We are sending out a clear signal for fair and respectful cooperation," emphasises Sabine Schmittroth at the launch of the revised agreement. "Together, we are taking a stance against discrimination and exclusion. At Commerzbank, bullying, sexual harassment, stalking and any form of discrimination aren’t tolerated."

No room for discrimination

The Works Agreement applies to Commerzbank employees in Germany, however the topics it covers are important and relevant to Commerzbank globally. It contains guidelines on how to behave in a cooperative, fair and respectful manner at all times. This includes, above all, respecting the personality of each individual. The new agreement includes a ban on discrimination, which covers all types of discrimination, including explicitly xenophobic aspects. Discrimination is defined as prejudicial treatment of people on the basis of gender, nationality, ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age, sexual orientation or gender identity. Going a step further, the work agreement includes an individual responsibility to stand up against discrimination.

"A diverse and appreciative corporate culture must be a matter of course. Any form of exclusion is not permitted at Commerzbank. Respect and consideration are the basis for a healthy working environment," says Uwe Tschäge, Chairman of the Central Works Council.

Taking responsibility

The Agreement on Fair Interaction in the Spirit of Partnership calls on all Bank employees to take action against discrimination, even if they aren’t directly affected. "We rely on all employees to take responsibility and to stand up against negative behaviour in the workplace. For any form of discrimination can result in mental and physical impairments for those affected," adds Christof Eßer, Head of the Representative Body for Severely Disabled Employees.

The Agreement also places a greater onus on the management for a fair working environment. "In an open and cooperative corporate culture, it is important that managers listen, take the situation seriously and take action together with the person concerned," emphasises Claudia Helmschrott, head of the Senior Staff Spokesmen’s Committee.

Commitment for respectful interaction

Martin Fischedick, Executive Management Board Member GM-HR, and Astrid Schubert, Spokesperson of the Central Works Council Committee "Diversity, Health and Social Affairs", took the worldwide discussions on the topic of racism and discrimination as an opportunity to emphasise the Bank's position on this issue even more clearly, resulting in the development of a joint concept. A key element was the revision of the Works Agreement on Fair interaction in the spirit of partnership dated 2004.

Commerzbank has also been committed to a prejudice-free and healthy working environment for years. As such, it signed the UN Global Compact as early as 2006. With this worldwide voluntary pact between companies, organisations and the UN, Commerzbank committed itself to promoting human rights and creating fair working conditions.

Moreover, Commerzbank is one of the first signatories on the Diversity Charter in Germany. The aim of this voluntary commitment is to create a prejudice-free and open working environment. Additionally, the Bank regularly promotes respectful interaction in cooperation with its Bank-wide and cross-company networks.

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