2016/01/20 - Career
Changing views on disability
As well as gender equality, age equality, now it's the turn of disability.
As part of its diversity policy in France, at the end of 2014 Virbac signed an agreement with its social partners on this important theme within the company. Details of the content of this agreement with the diversity manager for France.
Why an agreement relating to disability?
Virbac wanted to continue its commitment to the promotion of diversity and equal opportunity in the same way as it had done via its agreements on professional and inter-generational equality, signed in 2012 and 2013 respectively. In addition, an internal survey was carried out in 2011 amongst 350 of the company's employees on the theme of disability. This survey showed that 53% of those who responded thought that the integration of workers with disabilities was a priority issue for the company. At the beginning of 2014, therefore, we set up a dedicated cross-functional commission.
What were the objectives?
There were two main objectives. Firstly, to identify the main areas of a company agreement whose aim was to produce a formal policy on disability, enabling a skills management in line with the company's business and HR objectives. The next step involved internal and external actions in terms of communication and raising awareness which would gradually change preconceptions. For example, few people know that 80% of disabilities aren't visible.
What does this agreement cover in practice?
Over the next three years in France, Virbac aims to increase employment of handicapped workers, not only through direct recruitment of all types of employee contracts and the welcome of trainees, but also through establishing sub-contracting agreements with appropriate organizations or establishments which provide employment-based assistance schemes. In addition, internal and external representatives, notably disability ambassadors, have been specifically assigned on every site. They provide employees with information and guide them towards the appropriate contacts who will assist them with the various administrative procedures that are associated with disabilities.
And in other areas?
Virbac's aim is to help workers with registered disabilities remain in employment through training, re-training or through adaptations of the workplace.
Actions to communicate our disability policy will allow Virbac to clearly demonstrate its commitment, through systematically publishing job offers on specialist sites and attendance at specialist forums.
Production manager for tablets:
"Since June 2013 we've been working with operators, team leaders, HSE and the service in charge of the improvement of production means, on a project to modify the layout of work stations in the manual packaging box for tablets. Several items of equipment were added end of September: a central conveyor to minimize multiple- andling of product, basket-lift systems to reduce the need to carry heavy loads and finally an accumulation table to overcome the need to move back-and-orth at the end of the line. As a result not only manual packaging operations were run more smoothly, but the work stations were laid out for employees with recognized disabilities. These arrangements will also be of benefit to all employees."