ŠKODA AUTO CEO Thomas Schäfer says: “Our top priority is to protect the health of our employees as much as we can. The existing anti-COVID-19 measures have provided an excellent basis on which we are now building, and the next logical step is to become a smoke-free company. This way we will motivate our employees to adopt more sustainable and, above all, healthier lifestyles and eliminate barriers between smokers and non-smokers while also underscoring our environmental efforts by reducing the total amount of waste.”
ŠKODA AUTO made the decision to build a smoke-free working environment in close cooperation with its social partner, the KOVO Trade Union, and the Company is thus positioning itself as a responsible and health-conscious employer. The first measures for implementing this plan have already been taken. For example, smoking is no longer allowed at the brand´s Indian-based plants in Pune and Aurangabad.
ŠKODA AUTO has long been supporting employees who decide to quit smoking by providing various services under its programme called “Lungs Matter”, including nicotine substitution therapies and expert counselling. ŠKODA AUTO covers the costs of such initiatives through health insurers, such as Škoda Employee Insurance (Zaměstnanecká pojišťovna Škoda).
As one of the largest employers in the Czech Republic, the car manufacturer supports the general transition to a smoke-free society while giving the top priority to protecting the health of its employees. Smoking is already banned in many public places, such as restaurants, bus stops, as well as sports, cultural and entertainment centres, and ŠKODA AUTO’s decision to adopt a smoking ban is therefore a logical step towards maximum protection of employees’ health.