Freedom of association and collective bargaining

Sampo Group supports freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining.

The Sampo Group Code of Conduct sets the overall guiding principles on freedom of association and collective bargaining within Sampo Group. In addition, each Group company has adopted supplementary and more detailed policies, guidelines, and processes for their own purposes.  

Sampo Group guarantees the effective exercise of trade union rights in the workplace. The employees of Sampo Group are free to join organisations of their choice, and which are consistent with local organising laws. The collective, or local, agreements in place can stipulate applicable employment conditions concerning, for example, health and safety, remuneration, working hours, work time flexibility, training and competence development, employability/life-long learning, and equal opportunities.

Sampo Group strives for a constructive, trustful, and open dialogue with employees and their elected representatives with the purpose of developing the company and safeguarding the correct treatment of all employees. Especially in locations where employees have decided not to appoint representatives, Sampo Group promotes direct and open communication between employees and management. Sampo Group’s local processes are designed to ensure equal treatment regardless of unionisation, based on the employee’s constitutional right.  

All Sampo Group employees have a written employment contract with mutually agreed terms and conditions, including notice periods on both sides. In addition, all employees have the right to fair remuneration.  


Employees covered by collective bargaining agreements, %
Sampo Group

Company 31 Dec. 2023 31 Dec. 2022 31 Dec. 2021
If 85.5 85.5 86.4
Topdanmark 96.3 96.9 96.5
Hastings* 0.0 0.0 0.0
Mandatum** - 48.7 48.9
Sampo plc - - -
Sampo Group, total 66.1 66.1 66.5

The figures include only employees who are truly covered by collective agreements. There are many employees at If to whose employment terms the agreement is applied even if they are not covered by the agreement. 

*Hastings does not formally recognise a trade union, preferring to communicate and engage with employees directly, either through the HCF, through the YourVoice employee survey, by email and intranet, and/or directly with individual employees, as appropriate. Trade union membership is not, however, prohibited, and the company does not restrict union representation at a grievance or disciplinary meeting, should any employee request it.
** Mandatum was part of Sampo Group until and including 30 September 2023.

Company-level information

If has collective agreements as well as local agreements such as co-cooperation agreements in each operating country. If cooperates with the trade unions as stipulated by law and collective bargaining agreements.

Based on the Directive on European Works Councils, If has established a Communication Council, where top management and union representatives meet quarterly to address topics concerning more than one of If’s operating countries or business areas. If has also forums on business area level, where senior management regularly meet with Nordic union representatives to proactively share information and discuss business development. Based on local co-determination requirements, If has also established national cooperation forums to handle local issues. If has mandatory working environment committees based on the country’s legislation and practice, and local work environment committees have been established in certain major offices. Depending on local legislation, the representatives are either appointed by the labour union or elected by the employees.

Upon changes in the organisation, If informs and/or consults union members accordingly. Information about trade unions is available on If’s intranet and is also included the introduction for new employees.  

Through If’s Supplier Code of Conduct, If ensures not to engage with suppliers or other counterparts who have substantially neglected their obligations to their business partners, employees, or the general public. In this way If also respects the rights of contingent workers in If’s operations.  

At Topdanmark, the employees have the right to freedom of assembly and association at the workplace, and they are free to join organisations of their choice and in accordance with Danish legislation. All employees except top management are covered by collective bargaining agreements. Information about collective agreements is included in employment contracts and employees are informed on the intranet when new collective agreements have been made. New employees are informed about the three trade unions that have local representatives among Topdanmark employees and further information is available on Topdanmark’s intranet.

Topdanmark collaborates with the trade unions through their Cooperation Committee and through frequent meetings between HR and the local union representatives. The Cooperation Committee has several sub-committees, e.g. the well-being committee, competence committee, and work environment committee. The purpose of these committees is to ensure coherent and close collaboration between management and staff.

Topdanmark’s well-being committee with employee representatives discusses and evaluates possible new efforts to enhance the employees’ well-being on a continuous basis. Focus areas such as work life balance, physical and mental work environment, the opportunities for training, and career development are some of the topics addressed in this committee.

Hastings does not formally recognise any trade union for the purposes of collective consultation. Trade union membership is not, however, prohibited, and the company does not restrict union representation at a grievance or disciplinary meeting, should any colleague request it.

At Hastings, the mechanism for formal collective consultation is the Hastings Colleague Forum (HCF). The HCF is a group of democratically elected employees who represent all business areas and sites. The forum facilitates collective bargaining and is committed to genuine consultation in which the employees can influence real change. The HCF constitution provides consultation on significant changes to the company; organisational structure change, terms and conditions of employment including all aspects of the remuneration and benefits package. Hastings also operates an advocacy agenda which sees the company work with the forum to promote colleague benefits and initiatives.

The HCF meets monthly and more often on an ad-hoc basis where required. The HCF representatives self-manage the forum with a supporting named contact within HR. The role, and activity, of the HCF is actively promoted across all colleague communication channels and via the HCF representative in each business area. The HCF representatives communicate directly with their business area constituents, for example through a monthly update created by the HCF office holders which the individual representatives send to their constituents. In addition to this, the HCF has an online feedback form which constituents can complete if/when they have an issue which they would like to have discussed at an HCF meeting.

Hastings Senior leaders personally attend HCF when they wish to consult on organisational change programmes within their business area. Hastings’ CEO and Group HR Director also periodically attend HCF and always participate in the HCF AGM.

In addition to the HCF, colleagues can meet, discuss their views and voice their concerns through various channels such as the Inclusion Council, annual town hall events between senior leaders and employees, and employee surveys. Employee surveys are conducted twice a year and in addition to employees being asked to rate their sentiment against set questions, Hastings offers and encourages the use of the free text feedback element within the survey.

Each business area has a group of champions, comprised of employees who volunteer for the role alongside their full-time role, who work with leaders and colleagues in their areas to address issues and feedback raised in the employee survey. A ‘you said, we did’ summary of activity following Hastings employee survey is then shared with all employees as a result of remedial activity.