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Respect for human rights and diversity

PZU AR 2021 > Capitals (IIRC) > Human capital > Respect for human rights and diversity
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Respect for human rights and dignity coupled with understanding of societal diversity rest at the core of organizational culture and may translate into how investors perceive the company, thereby translating into its bottom line. Values associated with the observance of human rights and diversity are more frequently taken into consideration also by international rating agencies that evaluate companies in terms of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors.”

Joanna Gorczyca, Director of the Sustainable Development Department in PZU and PZU Życie

During the past dozen or so years, a number of countries and international organizations, including the United Nations, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the European Union and the Council of Europe, have taken steps to effectively protect human rights. Of special significance in this process is the document adopted by the UN Human Rights Council in 2011, entitled the “United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights”. This document has become a point of reference for the systematization and intensification of activities aimed at protecting human rights in the business context. EU Member States, including Poland, adopted national action plans (NAPs) and responded to the European Commission’s communication on corporate social responsibility and the adoption of NAPs geared towards the espousal of the Guiding Principles. In keeping with the recommendations issued by the United Nations, the European Union and the Council of Europe, Poland’s Council of Ministers adopted another document in this regard on 8 October 2021: “Polish National Action Plan for the Implementation of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights 2021–2024”1.

The PZU Group considers respect for human rights and human dignity to be among the essential values of modern society. This view found its formal confirmation in the “Human Rights Policy” adopted by PZU. The PZU Group runs its business also in keeping with the principles of respect for diversity, striving to eradicate any discrimination in access to its services and products, building business relations in a fair and transparent manner. Accordingly, within the PZU Group, respect for human rights forms the foundation for developing relationships with key stakeholder groups, in particular with: (1) PZU Group employees, (2) clients, (3) suppliers and business partners, and (4) all other PZU Group stakeholders.

(1) Respect for human rights and diversity in relations with employees

In relations with employees, activities designed for creating an organization that supports diversity play a pivotal role. Respecting human rights is assigned special significance in the pursued organizational culture policy. This involves counteracting mobbing and discrimination, offering equal opportunities to all employees regardless of their professional position, gender, age, disability, race, religion, nationality, political convictions, union membership, ethnic origin, denomination, sexual orientation, form of employment – for a specified or unspecified term, on a full-time or part-time basis while simultaneously respecting the right of assembly and the right to strike.

(2) Respect for human rights in relations with clients

In its relations with clients, the Group applies the highest standards of respect for human rights. Particular emphasis is placed on ensuring privacy, fair terms of non-life insurance and a high quality of healthcare services. Moreover, the PZU Group builds its relations with clients based on the principle of their equal treatment, and none of the products or services offered by the PZU Group are discriminatory in nature. Some of the products offered by PZU are targeted at social groups that are especially vulnerable to breaches of human rights, such as the elderly, children or people with disabilities. Also when making investment decisions regarding exposure to various commercial undertakings, the Group takes into consideration potential risks related to human rights violations. Relationships with clients and product design issues are also covered by the operational and compliance risk management system.

(3) Respect for human rights in the supply chain

The PZU Group aims to make suppliers more aware of the importance of ensuring respect for human rights in their business – with this objective in mind, the Code of CSR Best Practices for the PZU Group’s Suppliers has been adopted. The document makes it clear that the PZU Group expects its suppliers to respect human rights and counteract any discrimination in the course of their business. The PZU Group makes efforts to ensure diversity in its supply chain by initiating cooperation with large, medium-sized and small enterprises as well as social economy players. The area of observance of human rights and employee rights by suppliers will be among the topics to be covered by the Group’s extended supplier audit program starting in 2022.

(4) Respect for human rights in relations with other stakeholders

Respect for human rights serves as the groundwork for all relations established and maintained by the PZU Group. It also transpires in the Group’s endeavors pursued with the benefit of local communities in mind. Social involvement campaigns are predicated on two key factors: the most pressing social challenges and the knowledge and competences within the organization. This approach translates into measurable benefits brought to local communities owing to the PZU Group’s contribution to their development and results in improved living conditions.

1 Polish National Action Plan for the Implementation of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights 2021–2024,

Diversity management

Another key aspect of the observance of human rights is respect for diversity. PZU operates under the patronage of the EU Platform of Diversity Charters. As a signatory of the Diversity Charter in Poland, already in 2013 PZU undertook a commitment to review its own procedures and policies regarding human rights and diversity. These principles have been effectively developed ever since. The Charter emphasizes, among other issues, that diversity belongs to the fundamental values of modern society and that policies of equal treatment and diversity management generate measurable benefits through growth and innovation within the organization. This initiative is coordinated by the Responsible Business Forum.

Bank Pekao has adopted the “Gender Equality and Diversity Policy for Supervisory Board Members, Management Board Members and Key Officers at Bank Polska Kasa Opieki Spółka Akcyjna.” The document defines the Bank’s strategy for managing the diversity of its employees, including with regard to the appointment of Supervisory Board members, Management Board members and individuals discharging key functions within the Bank’s structures. The Gender Equality and Diversity Policy lays down the Bank’s guidelines aimed at empowering employees to manage their careers, reaching for success and evaluating their work on the basis of individual achievements, regardless of gender. In 2021, Bank Pekao became a member of the United Nations Global Compact – an initiative conceived by United Nations with a view to uniting business operators in pursuit of sustainable development, including in the area of human rights. PZU intends to join this organization in 2022.

Alior Bank has in place the "Policy for the Selection and Assessment of Management Board and Supervisory Board Members at Alior Bank Spółka Akcyjna", the purpose of which is to ensure diversity of education, professional experience, age and gender of the Management Board and Supervisory Board members, in particular by ensuring women’s participation in the process of selecting Management Board members and equal treatment of candidates regardless of gender.

Principles supporting diversity and equal treatment span all career stages in the company, starting from the recruitment process to the duration of the employment relationship (employment terms, access to training and development-, opportunities to be promoted) to the termination of cooperation. Under focused recruitment in recruitment processes PZU observes principles of equal access to work for all. The rules of not discriminating on account of gender, age, disability, country of origin or other reasons are observed. Recruitment in PZU relies on the best possible match of candidates’ profiles to the requirements defined in the job description. Similarly, the very same principles are upheld in the Apprenticeship and Internship Program, with all parties enjoying equal access and treated in the very same manner.

PZU is set to develop competences in the effective use of the potential brought to the organization by its diverse teams. It is just one of a number of initiatives aimed at supporting diversified growth and building an inspiring and accountable workplace (#potential_within_teams). Diversity applies not only to gender, age or origin, but also to individual styles of action, communication and work. In 2021, a diversity management module was included in the scope of basic training for newly appointed managers. A new e-learning course “Collaboration in Diversity” has been prepared for all employees, the purpose of which is to improve the participants’ understanding of interpersonal differences, especially between generations, in order to be able to engage in effective collaboration within diverse teams.

PZU participates in professional activation of disabled persons by creating safe working conditions that are adopted to accommodate their degree of disability. At the end of 2021, PZU and PZU Życie employed a total of 110 people with a confirmed disability.

It is worth emphasizing that the principles of openness and understanding of diversity apply not only to employee-related issues. The diverse needs of clients, on the one hand, present an opportunity to shape the product offering accordingly, and on the other hand, sensitivity to the needs of people at risk of social exclusion provides a stimulus, through the provision of bespoke business solutions, to efforts aimed at finding solutions to specific social problems. Among the special groups of clients whose needs are of major concern to the PZU Group are people with disabilities and senior citizens.

[GRI 405-1]

Composition of supervisory bodies and employees broken down into employee groups by gender, age and other diversity factors converted into FTEs

Employees by age category and diversity Percentage of employees in each category in relation to the total number of employees in a given category in PZU and PZU Życie
2020 2021
Women Men Women Men
<30 years old 59,8% 40,2% 62,0% 38,0%
30–50 years old 62,7% 37,3% 62,7% 37,3%
>50 years old 56,0% 44,0% 56,5% 43,5%
Total by gender 61,2% 38,8% 61,5% 38,5%
Foreigners* 0,1% 0,1% 0,1% 0,1%

* respectively, the percentage of women (foreigners) to the total number of women in PZU and PZU Życie and the percentage of men (foreigners) to the total number of men in PZU and PZU Życie

Employees by employment structure Percentage of employees in each category in relation to the total number of employees in PZU and PZU Życie
2020 2021
Women Men Women Men
Management positions 55,3% 44,7% 55,4% 44,6%
Other employees 62,3% 37,7% 62,6% 37,4%
Total by gender 61,2% 38,8% 61,5% 38,5%

Employees by employment structure Percentage of employees in each category in relation to the total number of employees in PZU and PZU Życie
2020 2021
<30 years old 30–50 years old >50 years old <30 years old 30–50 years old >50 years old
Management positions 1,5% 83,2% 15,3% 1,4% 81,4% 17,2%
Other employees 13,5% 68,7% 17,9% 12,1% 69,2% 18,7%

Composition of the Supervisory Board by age category and diversity as at 31 December 2021

Composition of the Supervisory Board by age category and diversity % share in PZU % share in PZU Życie
Women Men Women Men
<30 years old 0,00% 0,00% 0,00% 0,00%
30–50 years old 9,1% 54,5% 0,0% 28,6%
>50 years old 9,1% 27,3% 42,9% 28,6%
Total percentage by gender 18,2% 81,8% 42,9% 57,1%
Foreigners 0,0% 0,0% 0,0% 0,0%

Composition of the Management Board by age category and diversity as at 31 December 2021

Composition of the Management Board by age category and diversity % share in PZU % share in PZU Życie
Women Men Women Men
<30 years old 0,00% 0,00% 0,00% 0,00%
30–50 years old 25,0% 50,0% 33,3% 44,4%
>50 years old 12,5% 12,5% 11,1% 11,1%
Total percentage by gender 37,5% 62,5% 44,4% 55,6%
Foreigners 0,0% 0,0% 0,0% 0,0%


The customer service standards in place in PZU branches comprise a “five steps theory” which places particular emphasis on the senior citizens’ needs (e.g. problems with vision, hearing, mobility or comprehension of complex information). The employee guide contains recommendations on how to provide services to senior citizens. In particular, it contains the instruction that the information should be provided in an understandable manner, sometimes more slowly. In 2021, PZU established cooperation with the National Institute of Silver Economy. The Institute’s mission is to acquire knowledge and prepare solutions targeted at adapting the economy and society to longevity. Within the framework of this cooperation, a series of training courses have been created that will provide senior clients with an even better level of service in PZU branches.

Analogous principles apply when serving the disabled, including people with mobility impairment, blind persons or persons with impaired vision, deaf persons or persons with impaired hearing, or people with speech impediments.

Approximately 78% of PZU’s branches offer access to people with disabilities. These branches are partly adapted to the needs of people with disabilities. They are equipped, among others, with appropriate driveways, ramps, platforms, elevators and stair-climbers.

  • there are currently no barriers at entrances in approximately 37% of the PZU branches;
  • in approximately 40% of the branches, access to the disabled is facilitated through suitable ramps, elevators and other technical equipment.

During the verification of the market and analysis of facilities for lease agreements to be used as newly-opened branches, the accessibility afforded to the disabled is one of the key criteria making buildings eligible to be leased by PZU.

Approximately 43% of PZU branches are equipped with accessible toilets for disabled persons. They have, among others, maneuvering space for wheelchairs and grab rails. With guaranteeing the reduction in the number of obstacles and equal accessibility as their goal, PZU, other business entities and local governments are participating in a nationwide campaign to “eliminate obstacles” in Poland. The steadily growing number of parking spots for disabled persons across the country is a visible outcome. Efforts have been made in all of the properties owned by PZU and used as parking lots to designate separately marked spots for eligible vehicles. If parking lots are leased then PZU expends effort for the lessor to show its care about creating separate privileged spots.

The company also seeks to meet the needs of parents. Playroom corners have been prepared specially for the children, where the child may freely and safely occupy oneself while the parent is taking care of all the matters related to an insurance policy. As at the end of 2021, there were playroom corners in 13 branches, and in 120 branches children could play with environment-friendly puzzles.

In many cases, a person’s disability is the outcome of an accident. The sudden loss of full physical ability is an extremely difficult experience. In its relationships with clients who have found themselves in such difficult circumstances, PZU’s intention is to provide substantial assistance using the potential of the PZU Group. Among the various examples of such initiatives is the Free Rehabilitation Program for beneficiaries of TPL coverage, which provides assistance to individuals injured in motor accidents and accidents at work. The purposes of this initiative are to:

  • Bring the victims back to society;
  • Establish treatment and rehabilitation options based on the PZU Group’s potential, making the recovery process faster easier and more effective;
  • Facilitate occupational mobilization of the injured.

This initiative supports the injured and their relatives in their day-to-day lives on family and social levels, immediately following the accident. We provide assistance during the treatment and rehabilitation process, using the synergies generated by the PZU Group (network of outlets, network of service providers, cooperation with suppliers).

Another example is the Organizer of Assistance for Accident Victims (under TPL insurance coverage). The Organizer of Assistance provides a comprehensive support program for individuals injured in accidents and their families. Acting as a link between the injured individual and the claim manager, the Organizer of Assistance helps the accident victim find himself or herself in the new reality. Within the framework of this assistance, the injured individual receives from PZU not only financial support, but above all a helping hand. PZU has committed itself to extend the assistance program to a total of 350 people by 2024. Specifically, the following forms of assistance will be provided:

  • Care for the accident victim after leaving the hospital – we assist in finding psychological support for the victim and his or her family to maintain/gain the injured individual’s commitment to change,
  • We run programs to provide treatment (operations), rehabilitation and prostheses,
  • Assistance in finding information about local medical facilities (including PZU Zdrowie) and obtaining funds from the State Fund for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled and other sources,
  • Assistance in adapting the injured individual’s apartment and driveway to the new circumstances,
  • Cooperation with local employment offices and employers. Owing to the knowledge of the local labor market and its needs, we organize training courses in order to help retrain accident victims to facilitate their finding a different job,
  • Psychological support in the form of stationary therapeutic and recreational camps for children and their families suffering from trauma caused by an accident or death of a parent,
  • Psychological support in the form of in-home or remote psychological support provided to individuals traumatized by an accident or disease,
  • Legal information upon obtaining a court permit to enter into a settlement in a personal injury case in favor of a minor.

PZU also cares about the needs of the disabled in its prevention initiatives. An example of such initiatives is the comprehensive service provided to disabled drivers and passengers. In collaboration with the SPiNKa Association of Disabled Drivers, PZU takes cares of the needs of disabled drivers and passengers. This long-term cooperation bears fruit in the form of financial support to individuals suffering from various disabilities (movement, speech or hearing), whose active day-to-day existence requires a specialist technical adaptation of their vehicle for driving or transportation. Beneficiaries who wish to be professionally and socially active may obtain funding for the costs of specialized adaptation of their motor vehicle and thus be able to move around and go about their lives independently. Financial support may also be obtained by entities involved in the adaptation of vehicles to provide various services (e.g. driving lessons) and those that are actively involved in creating conditions for the disabled to benefit from the opportunities offered by the automotive industry. Importantly, vehicle adjustments are provided based on new types of devices that improve the comfort of vehicle use by drivers with disabilities, and most of these devices are manufactured in Poland. Every year, PZU supports the adaptation of vehicles for tens of drivers.