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8 July 2015
The EPO has just published the Social Report 2014, which provides a comprehensive overview of staff and working conditions at the office.
As the two previous editions, the report aims at creating a better understanding of the current social situation at the EPO, and of the challenges ahead. Using a set of indicators, it provides concise and factual information in areas such as employment and professional development, social security, health, safety and welfare services, and social dialogue. It is also intended to support the implementation of the EPO's strategic HR Roadmap and to help monitor the impact of the measures it envisages.
As the report shows, the EPO continued to invest heavily in recruitment in 2014, hiring 193 new patent examiners – a 6% rise over the previous year. To maintain our highly talented pool of employees, we have been able to draw from an even wider selection of applicants, with 23% more external candidates applying for jobs than in 2013.
There has also been a marked increase in staff training, especially in e-learning, which offers staff enhanced flexibility. It is this flexibility that has become, and continues to be, an integral part of working life at the EPO, with the number of employees participating in part-time homeworking rising by 33% last year.