Annual report and accounts 2012

Social risks

Our business depends on good relations with employees. A breakdown in these relations, or restrictive labour and employment laws, could have a material adverse effect on our operations.

Although we believe that relations with our employees are good, there can be no assurance that a work slowdown or stoppage will not occur at one of our operating units or exploration prospects. At most of our business units, there are collective bargaining agreements in place with labour unions. Any future work stoppages, disputes with labour unions or other labour-related developments or disputes, including renegotiation of collective bargaining agreements, could result in a decrease in our production levels. They could also lead to adverse publicity or an increase in costs, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position and operational results.

Mitigating factors:

  • We devote significant attention to staff support and development programmes.
  • We undertake sociological surveys (employee satisfaction), create conditions for the development and fulfilment of employee working potential, and implement social assistance programmes.
  • Employee benefit programmes in different parts of our business include employee healthcare programmes, maternity and childcare support, catering and the organisation of recreational activities, social assistance for retired staff and veterans, staff education and development, and social benefits for outstanding employees.