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VEON is a signatory to the UNGC Principles and several of these are relevant to how we manage employee matters. In this section, we look at how we keep our employees safe, how we engage with them and develop them, and how we treat them fairly.

Health and Safety (H&S)

Although a large proportion of our employees work in offices and face a relatively low level of hazard, we must manage a broad range of H&S risks. The main risks relate to:

  • Road-traffic accidents – employees or contractors distributing products or equipment. This is particularly risky in emerging markets where road and traffic conditions are not well regulated.
  • Working at height and electrical risks – building and maintaining the network involves working with electricity, and on base station masts. Workers must also be careful to limit their exposure to radio emissions when working close to antennae. 

Within VEON (former VimpelCom), H&S is governed by many local labor protection laws and regulations, and our operations have H&S procedures covering specific activities. Several of our BUs have formal H&S management systems. During 2014 we developed a Group Health and Safety Policy which was approved in April 2015. 

A number of our markets, including Ukraine, Pakistan and Bangladesh, have continued to maintain operations during times of civil unrest and sometimes armed conflict. Here, we must carefully manage the personal security of individuals trying to maintain network coverage and services, including, for example, replenishing diesel in remote generators. 

We have provided further definition and guidance on reporting of injuries but recognize there is still room for improvement in data quality. In 2015, we are reporting 100 work-related serious injuries* to employees but it is likely that this represents an under-reporting of the actual position. 

Currently, few of our BUs receive reports from network, or other contractors, on fatalities incurred while working on VEON sites (former VimpelCom sites). This position will change with the introduction of the SCoC (see Supply chain), and we expect our suppliers to rigorously ensure the safety of their employees. 

There were no reported work-related fatalities relating to our employees in 2015. Sadly, in Pakistan, two contractors died. Both were murdered by third parties – one while carrying out his duties as a security guard, the other while distributing devices and top-up cards to retail outlets. As noted in Human rights, recognizing the potential threat to the health and safety of employees and contractors working in higher-risk areas, we initiated a project within GeSI’s human rights work program looking at the provision of security for base stations, particularly in remote areas. This research is ongoing. 

We have postponed the Internal Audit review of our H&S program to 2016, to allow BUs time to adopt and implement the new Group H&S Policy. 

Senior leadership* diversity

% of Local Suppliers

% of senior leadership that are female


% of senior leadership who are natives of the country where they are employed


% of senior leadership aged below 30


% of senior leadership aged between 30 and 50


% of senior leadership aged over 50


* Injuries from incidents at work, or whilst traveling on business, which result in at least one day away from work (typically requiring medical attention).

Forced, compulsory and child labor

We strictly prohibit any forced, compulsory or child labor, as stated in the Group Code of Conduct. We will not employ or contract below the age of 15 or a higher minimum age if stipulated by local employment law or mandatory schooling law. 

We are not aware of any breaches of this. 

Diversity and Discrimination

Discrimination In the businesses which reported (including Group HQ), 54% of employees were male. Of total employees, 2,526 were part-time employees (72% female). There were nearly 20,000 new hires (46% male) – a new hire ratio of 35%. 

The age and gender of the members of our Supervisory and Management Boards can be found in our Form 20-F. Across our Leadership Team as a whole, comprising 150 senior leaders, gender and age diversity numbers are as shown in the table above. 

 Employee engagement and development

At VEON we are committed to investing in our people to ensure they have the skills and resources needed to develop successful careers and deliver exceptional services to our customers. 

With more than 45,000 employees across 13 countries, and with over 40 nationalities represented in our HQ, it is no surprise that we operate a huge variety of employee development programs. A number of these are highlighted across this section.

Knowledge management

We operate a state-of-the art Knowledge Management Platform designed to improve efficiency and productivity while also supporting the digital transformation of the business. The new digital environment improves the way we connect, communicate and collaborate, helping us to foster innovation and make use of knowledge from experts and best practices across the Group.

Leadership development program

The Inspire Leadership Program is based at HQ and supports our top 150 leaders in transforming our business. The program is designed to future-proof a high-performance culture through enhanced leadership capabilities that we apply consistently across the Group, while still making the most of local culture. A three-day program includes content on a huge range of business issues. 

Eurasia Digital Days

To familiarize employees with both the power and potential of smartphone and data use, the Eurasia Business Unit has conducted a series of sessions called ‘Eurasia Digital Days’.

With average smartphone penetration in these markets somewhere around 20%, it is important for us to teach customers how to use smartphones, but also for us to learn to use them ourselves. The Digital Days included a number of common features:

  • Recognition of specific employees as ‘digital gurus’ and giving them the opportunity to speak with their peers about their own smartphone use
  • Activities to encourage and increase smartphone use among employees
  • Discussion of how best to encourage customers to begin and increase their own smartphone use.

Banglalink wins Best Employer Award

Banglalink received a Best Employer Award from one of Bangladesh’s leading job portals, Bdjobs.com being named as top employer in the telecommunications sector, and joined sector champions across a total of 10 ifferent industries.

The award is based on an online survey with 5,000 participants.

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