Swiss Re's Policy Engagement
As part of our engagement with external stakeholders, Swiss Re also engages in dialogue with local (city/municipal), regional (cantonal), national and international policymakers, government representatives, international organisations and financial institutions, and opinion leaders.
We appreciate this dialogue as an opportunity to stay abreast of current developments, explain Swiss Re's position, inform and shape the policy debate about matters of interest for us, and, not least, learn about trends and developments important for our business at all political levels.
Our engagement and dialogue with all our stakeholders is governed by published governance guidelines such as Swiss Re's Code of Conduct.
Our policy engagement is particularly relevant in Switzerland, our global Headquarters location for over 150 years and where Swiss Re employs about 3 200 employees or about 23% of its global workforce.
Policy engagement in Switzerland
In the absence of state funding, political parties and organisations have to rely on private donations from corporations and individuals to support their activities. As a corporate citizen and in line with applicable laws and regulations, Swiss Re supports the political process in Switzerland as follows:
1) Political parties
Swiss Re supports political parties, organisations or groups who – based on their political programmes and activities – are committed to the principles of open society, freedom, open markets, fair competition, the respect of property and privacy rights, and who support favourable framework conditions for Switzerland as an attractive business and investment location.
Switzerland's political system has strong direct democratic features with frequent public votes (initiatives, referenda) and elections at local, regional (cantonal) and federal levels.
Organisations such as industry and sector / trade associations (eg economiesuisse, Swiss Insurance Association, Chambers of Commerce) inform and explain the position of their members and of the corporate community to the electorate to enable it to build an informed opinion.
Swiss Re supports specific election campaigns and voting projects if deemed relevant for our business or of concern for Switzerland as an attractive location for business and investments. Support is provided either directly or indirectly via Swiss Re's membership in business and industry organisations.
Swiss Re's support is in line with applicable laws and regulations and is based on considerations of preserving an attractive location Switzerland with a competitive, open market, good working conditions, and a sustainable, attractive environment for businesses and investors.
3) Individual candidates standing for election to public office
Swiss Re provides financial support to election campaigns of individual candidates standing for election to public office and whose election programme and past track record indicate support of the principles of open society, freedom, open markets, fair competition, the respect of property and privacy rights, and who support favourable framework conditions for Switzerland as an attractive and sustainable business and investment location.
In 2018, the aggregate amount of Swiss Re's political contributions in Switzerland did not exceed CHF 500'000.-.
All contributions are made strictly in line with applicable laws and regulations and with Swiss Re's corporate guidelines and policies (such as anti-bribery and corruption).
Supporting our employees who stand for election to public office
The particular Swiss political system ("Milizsystem") hinges upon the personal engagement of its citizens. Swiss Re therefore also encourages and supports employees who stand for election to public office at communal, cantonal or federal levels in Switzerland. This support is independent of individual party affiliation and political orientation.
Swiss Re's general working conditions state: "Paid leave with no reduction in salary of up to 20 days in any one calendar year shall be granted where necessary for public duties performed in communal, cantonal or federal authorities. Longer periods of leave may be granted at the discretion of the relevant line managers and HR team."