One of our company’s most valuable assets is the absolutely equal treatment of our personnel, no matter what nationality or cultural background. We are one.
ESL Shipping and its subsidiaries treat its employees in a just and equal manner in all countries where it operates. The applicable local legislation, collective bargaining agreements and regulations are complied within all contracts of employment. These concern, among other things, working hours, remuneration, development opportunities, human rights and working conditions. We aim to improve the personnel’s engagement and well-being at work by promoting employees’ professional development at all organisational levels and by building an encouraging atmosphere.
The Group is committed to respecting internationally accepted human rights as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Our Code of Conduct defines a common set of rules for the Group’s entire personnel. We reject any discrimination based on education, competence, position, personality, way of life, work experience, ethnic origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, nationality, abilities or other qualities.
All employees are covered by collective bargaining agreements
In the Finnish system, collective bargaining agreements are usually negotiated between employer and employee unions rather than by a company itself. Our parent company Aspo Plc is a member of Technology Industry Employers of Finland, which negotiates collective bargaining agreements for shore staff with relevant trade unions.
In Finland, the shore staff has not formally organised itself or elected a representative as stipulated by the Employment Contracts Act or related collective agreements. Although employee organisation is not compulsory, the company follows the terms of the universally binding collective agreements, specifically those concerning the Technology Industry's salaried and senior salaried employees.
In Sweden, the company is not subject to any collective or industry-specific agreements imposed by local labour market entities. Nonetheless, we align with legal requirements concerning e.g. generally discussing primary employment terms and employee representation, and organising workplace cooperation.
All vessels owned by ESL Shipping are flying the Finnish flag and consequently Finnish legislation and collective bargaining agreements apply to all employees working onboard. ESL Shipping is a member of the Finnish Shipowners’ Association, which negotiates collective bargaining agreements with the trade unions representing seafarers. The unions negotiate collective bargaining agreements for both Finnish and non-EU seafarers.
When taking a vessel into time-charter, we ensure that the working conditions and contracts of employment follow international regulations including remuneration.
Overtime and non-standard working hours are compensated
Although our office staff generally works within normal office hours, there is a need for duty personnel in certain functions. Unless otherwise agreed upon, we follow statutory regulations from collective agreements (Finland) or the Working Time Act (Finland, Sweden) when compensating for such hours either financially or via corresponding leave.
In positions where there is a foreseeable and consistent need for regular overtime or standby, and if neither the law nor the collective agreement prohibits it, an agreement may be made between the company and the employee for a fixed monthly compensation.
Performance-Based Bonus Scheme for all employees
The annual performance bonus fluctuates based on several factors: the bonus allocation determined by the company board (typically assessed per fiscal year), the position-specific bonus, the length of employment, and the attainment of personal performance objectives (if established). In Finland alone, there is an option for personnel funding of individual bonuses, with a limit of 0.5 times the monthly salary annually.
Hybrid work is the new normal
The Covid pandemic has had a significant effect on the way work is conducted amongst the group. While before the pandemic most of the shore staff worked at the office every day, the hybrid work model is the new normal. Our hybrid work policy provides clear guidelines for employees who choose to partially work from home.
As employee health and safety remains the responsibility of the employer even during remote work, new policies were established to improve the ergonomics of the home office. Employees have nowadays the possibility to request stand-up desks, work chairs and extra screens which are loaned to the employee by the company. Regardless of the transition to more flexible working arrangements, employee satisfaction has remained high with ESL Shipping reaching AA-level in 2022 (AA+ in 2021).
Mobile intranet for seafarers
In late April 2022, we launched a mobile intranet solution for our seafarers making it possible for them to access important information such as company news, announcements and HR information through an easy-to-use mobile interface. The response from the seafarers has been positive and the activation rate has remained over 80 percent. In 2023, the intranet was expanded to cover the vessels owned by AtoB@C Shipping.
The project to renew the intranet for shore personnel was completed in the summer of 2022. In addition to the better functionality and updated content, the intranet is now accessible without using a VPN connection producing a hassle-free experience.