Serinus seeks to ensure the health, safety, security and welfare of our employees and those with whom we work and to ensure that we have a workforce that is performing at its best and to contribute to the economic and social development of the countries in which we operate. Serinus Energy Romania S.A. has been certified for ISO 45001:2018 (Occupational Health and Safety).
The safety, security and welfare of all of our colleagues is a key priority for the Group and governs the manner in which we aim to conduct our business. Serinus has emergency response plans in place for all projects and assets. These plans are reviewed for relevance and updated by senior management annually. The plans are communicated to the workforce and response personnel receive training to ensure they are competent to carry out their emergency roles. This is supplemented by periodic refresher training. Drills and training exercises are carried out. Where relevant, the Group monitors the security situation at a local level and ensures that personnel are aware and appropriate measures are taken and updated as required. In Tunisia the HSSE team ensures the effective implementation of the Emergency Preparedness and Response Procedures and maintains and updates the Security Emergency Response Plan on a regular basis.
We undertake a range of activities to continuously improve our HSE Management Plan to ensure that the Company’s policy commitments are applied. Routine monitoring is undertaken to assess and improve performance and periodic audits are conducted. Our procedures are set out as corporate standards that define the company expected practices within the whole organisation. The standards have been shared across the organisation and employees and contractors are trained as required at country level. In 2020, a total of 62 HSSE training drills and asset protection drills took place in Tunisia and 168 HSSE training sessions took place in Romania. Regular HSSE audits are undertaken to review policies and procedures with 25 internal HSSE audits completed in Tunisia in 2020 (2019 – 21) and an annual audit was undertaken by Lloyds Register for ISO certifications in Romania.
Serinus has an Emergency Response Plan in place for all projects and assets. This plan is reviewed annually with consultation from the Business Units. The plans are communicated to the workforce and response personnel receive training to ensure they are competent to carry out their emergency roles. The plan is recirculated to the Serinus team involved, prior to the launch of any major works campaign. These circulations are further supplemented by periodic refresher training, with drills and training exercises regularly carried out. In Romania, there have been 667 days without accidents and 1,853 days in Tunisia. In 2020, there were no Lost Time Injuries recorded across both Tunisia and Romania operations and we maintain a continuous focus on providing a safe working environment for our workforce. Our goal is to maintain this high level of safety and efficiency.
A key health and safety issue for the Group in 2020 has been dominated by measures implemented to protect its workforce from COVID-19 which included amended shift patterns and working from home schedules, additional operational protocols to minimise the risk of infection, the provision of protective equipment, regular disinfection of facilities and testing of personnel, as well as on-site access to medical staff, and in Romania the energy sector has been identified as a priority industry that qualifies staff for vaccination.
Our Code and Policies commit us to providing a workplace free of discrimination where all employees can fulfil their potential based on merit and ability. We value a diverse workforce and are committed to providing a fully inclusive workplace, which ensures we recruit and retain the highest calibre candidates while providing the right development opportunities to ensure existing staff have rewarding careers. Both the Romanian and Tunisian business units are led and managed by Romanian and Tunisian nationals respectively, and we currently have no expatriates in either of the business units. Our Romanian business is led by Ms. Alexandra Damascan and 50% of the staff in Romania are women, while in Tunisia 32% of the local head office are female. We value a diverse and equal opportunities workforce and we aim to recruit locally in all jurisdictions as we believe in the quality of our staff and the available pool of talent in each local market.
Serinus’ Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Policy commits the Group to act ethically and with integrity in all our business dealings and relationships and to implement and enforce effective systems and controls to ensure modern slavery is not taking place anywhere in our own business or in any of our supply chains. The Group is also committed to ensuring there is transparency in our own business and in our approach to tackling modern slavery throughout our supply chains, consistent with our disclosure obligations under the Modern Slavery Act 2015. We expect the same high standards from all of our contractors, suppliers and other business partners, and as part of our contracting processes, we include specific prohibitions against the use of forced, compulsory or trafficked labour, or anyone held in slavery or servitude, whether adults or children, and we expect that our suppliers will hold their own suppliers to the same high standards. The prevention, detection and reporting of modern slavery in any part of our business or supply chains is the responsibility of all those working for the Group or under our control and they are encouraged to raise concerns about any issue or suspicion of modern slavery in accordance with our Whistleblowing policy.
Serinus Tunisia developed its CSR programme in conjunction with local communities and stakeholders to identify those areas which would make a significant impact to those groups, focussing on support for healthcare, education and culture in the local areas within which it operates. It has managed a programme since 2013 to undertake this, with support and contributions for providing medical equipment to hospitals, repairing classrooms and school facilities, providing books for school libraries, improving nurseries and sponsoring local cultural events. Serinus Tunisia also participated in projects with local and regional authorities and other oil and gas companies operating in its areas, such as the Kébili CSR Consortium with which it has been involved with since 2015 and which promotes the regional development of the Governorate of Kebili, in collaboration with the regional authorities, the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mines, ETAP and the oil and gas companies operating in the region (the “Kebili CSR Consortium”). Since 2015 the Kebili CSR Consortium has supported education programmes, restoring schools and providing facilities and infrastructure, health initiatives, purchasing medical equipment and renovations, and other social projects. The CSR programme for Kébili also includes a cultural component with a specific focus on encouraging women to preserve the local handicraft traditions amongst others by setting up and equipping a handicraft centre for women in Kébili. This project has a training and development component and will ensure the economic empowerment of women.
Social tensions and political instability in Tunisia, particularly in the southern regions, over the past few years has impacted the ability to execute many of these initiatives and CSR programmes, but these initiatives have been an important part of maintaining the company’s relationships with local stakeholders throughout this period and it is expected that with renewed stability it will become possible to resume such support in the coming years.