Personnel expenses during the reporting year totalled EUR 3.096 billion (2011: EUR 2.653 billion). Remuneration packages comprising various different elements are designed to encourage employees to focus on Linde's long-term strategic aims. These include a target- and performance-based remuneration structure at managerial level and the global performance management system, designed to ensure a fair and comparable appraisal for the staff. Variable remuneration components are based on the extent to which the Group meets its targets and on employees’ individual performance levels. To support this system, we introduced an IT module in 2012 that enables performance evaluations – which are binding for all managers worldwide – to be carried out uniformly across the Group. By means of the Linde Long-Term Incentive Plan, managers may also acquire Linde share options and thus participate directly in the company’s growth in value.
Gender is not a factor in determining pay at Linde. Our employees are paid on the basis of their role, qualifications and performance. Our global performance management system includes assessments of all management positions. These evaluations focus on transparency, equality and fair-market-value remuneration. We benchmark remuneration levels internally and externally to check if they are appropriate and in line with established market practice. Remuneration payable to the Executive Board and Supervisory Board is disclosed in The Linde Group's annual report in compliance with the recommendations of the German Corporate Governance Code.
In addition to financial remuneration and participation, Linde offers its employees various social benefits. These are organised at local level and vary from site to site. They include occupational pension plans, childcare subsidies, medical screening and support for preventative programmes such as seminars on avoiding burn-out or preventing addiction.
77% of the workforce covered under company benefit schemes
We offer employees in 46 countries company and employee-financed pension schemes and healthcare benefits. Almost 80 percent of the Group-wide workforce is covered by company benefit schemes. In the 2012 financial year, we spent a total of EUR 241 million (2011: EUR 190 million) on pensions. Through defined benefit plans, 29,069 active employees are being paid an occupational pension, 19,380 former employees have acquired a vested claim to a company pension and 31,118 pensioners are drawing an occupational pension within the Group. The main pension plans – accounting for around 92 percent of the Group’s global obligations – are held in the United Kingdom, Germany, the United States, Australia, the Netherlands, South Africa and Switzerland.
Linde also provides support tailored to its employees' requirements in the form of subsidised health insurance. In China, we extend our Linde-financed supplementary health insurance to employees' family members at subsidised rates. Since 2012, Linde has also been funding supplementary health insurance in China for employees of contractors, applying the same conditions as it offers its own employees.