Equal treatment is a must for successful companies of the future

Many talented people believe they need to leave the country to pursue an international career.

It’s important to do everything possible to keep local talents in Slovakia while offering them opportunities and international exposure. Philip Morris Slovakia was awarded TOP EMPLOYER brand for four consecutive years and was the first company in the CEE region certified as EQUAL SALARY in 2018. Working conditions, diversity and inclusion, equal opportunities and the potential for international careers make Philip Morris Slovakia a competitive employer on a global scale.

Do you offer your employees and co-workers special benefits?

Our company provides a wide range of benefits. Our employees value, in particular, the 13 and 14th salary, which is part of the working contract, the flexible working time, the voluntary pension plan, four extra days of vacation, sick days and the possibility of home office. We have about 30 benefits in total that are discussed on an ongoing basis with employees to make sure these address their needs and motivations.

What differentiates Philip Morris from other companies and competitors?

Something that is special and different about our company is our treatment of colleagues on maternity/paternity leave. Women who return to work after 1-2 years of maternity leave and our male colleagues returning from paternity leave receive partial reimbursements on the difference between their salaries and the support provided by the state. We also allow part-time contracts or sabbatical upon request and offer eight working days as study leave support. Last but not least, our employees can use their working tool car for private use with possibility of use by their spouse or partner. However, what set us apart is the very friendly, openhearted atmosphere we create through a targeted individual approach towards every single employee.

Do you promote equal opportunities for men and women in your company such as equal salary?

This topic is extremely important to our company so we invest a lot of energy into equal treatment as well as diversity and inclusion initiatives. The career and development opportunities are accessible for any employees and we differ according to motivation, attitude and performance. Diversity and inclusion is supported by particular indicators monitored on a quarterly basis, such as the female ratio of new hires, presence in management and inclusion of newcomers via the new hire turnover. Philip Morris Slovakia is the advisory board member of the Diversity Charter of Pontis Foundation, which supports diversity and inclusion practices in the workplace. We remunerate our employees according to objective facts like experience, seniority and position on the career ladder. To build appropriate salary structure we use salary surveys, local market and industry practices. We proved our efforts of providing equal treatment by participating in a global audit organized by the Equal Salary foundation in cooperation with PricewaterhouseCoopers. Philip Morris Slovakia underwent a thorough and important analysis and we believe that we will succeed in becoming the first certified company in Slovakia and one of the first in Europe!

The Equal Salary Certificate sounds very interesting. Can you tell us more about it?

Certification is very unique and, in my view, a useful tool to promote equality not only in remuneration, but also in equal opportunities relating to career advancement, professional and personal growth as well as equality in more than just gender. It was neither an easy nor short process. This certification is granted based on an in-depth audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), and we were the first Philip Morris branch in an EU country to complete the audit. The audit included a comparison of remuneration, overall employee satisfaction, the assessment system, development options, career advancement, parenting support and other employee groups. It was a complete audit of human resource processes. What I am proud of is that Philip Morris is the first company in the world to undertake the process of global certification. This means that each of our affiliates must be awarded a certificate.

This can be associated with the issue of women's support at the workplace. How is it like in your company?

We take an equal approach to both women and men. In terms of parental support, I would like to mention, for example, a partial, but interesting, compensation for the difference in wage paid during maternity and parental leave, the possibility to use a tool car when the child reaches one year of age, the possibility of flexible and shortened working hours, and so on. Overall, we also support our male colleagues who go on paternity leave. When we talk about possible benefits, we always consider how they can suit men and women simultaneously. For us in the PMI, it is unimaginable for women to be paid less than men or otherwise discriminated against. In Slovakia, however, this is not a common practice. We would never pay women 20% less on average, which is what various salary surveys suggest some companies in Slovakia do.

Your company is continuously investing in sustainability. Do you plan to continue in the future as well?

Sustainability is a very important topic for Philip Morris and for Slovakia as well. As a company, we have set ambitious sustainability targets and have made great progress. We are ranked among the top fast-moving consumer goods companies in terms of our environmental footprint, starting from the way we source tobacco to how we manufacture and distribute cigarettes. Our sustainability efforts touch every aspect of our value chain – from the farmers who grow tobacco right through the 150 million consumers who choose our products. We have been continuously investing in sustainability and will definitely continue to do so in the years to come. But that’s not all. We are now putting our core product at the center of our sustainability efforts by doing something dramatic – replacing cigarettes with less harmful alternatives to smoking to create a smoke-free world.

In Slovakia, Philip Morris continues to support local communities to improve access to quality education, income-generation initiatives, and the promotion of women’s leadership roles in society. We cooperate with the Slovak-Czech Women’s fund to support prevention of domestic violence and promotion of equal opportunities for women and men. Thanks to the Divé maky foundation, the company supports programs developing youth from minorities and other disadvantaged areas. We also focus on the continued support of handicapped and homeless people together with our partner, the Pontis Foundation. We are a long-term supporter of the youth smoking prevention program “Age Matters” (Na veku záleží), launched in 1998. Its objective is to prevent access of minors to tobacco products by encouraging retailers to comply with minimum age legislation.

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