13 July 2017
The EPO has published its Social Report 2016, which provides a comprehensive overview of staff and working conditions at the Office.
First published in 2013, the Social Report aims to increase transparency and build a common understanding of the situation of the EPO staff in all locations of the Office, and the challenges ahead for those involved in the social dialogue. It provides information on employment, professional development, social security, health, safety and welfare services, and social dialogue.
"Behind all the initiatives to fulfil our mission is a talented workforce which drives the EPO’s progress and supports the Office in attaining its strategic goals,” writes EPO President Benoît Battistelli in the foreword to the report. “This publication provides an unparalleled and up-to-date insight into the conditions of our employees, from recruitment of new staff to their retirement and pensions. It highlights positive developments, such as greater concentration of resources on our core activities and an increase in training hours undertaken by our employees.”
The 2016 report shows that the EPO remains an attractive employer: 226 new employees were recruited externally, 35% more than last year. 82% of these recruits were patent examiners, bringing the number of examiners to 4 300, with the staff total remaining at 6 800.
The Office also proved a flexible workplace in 2016: Some 17% more employees – now one fifth of all staff – made use of the possibility to work partly from home, and 14% of all staff opted to work part-time. The average number of sick leave days per staff member decreased further, from ten days in 2015 to nine.