Lek receives a Disability-Friendly Employer Certificate

  • Lek was awarded the 2021 Good Practice Award for employing disabled people and the Disability-Friendly Employer Title.
  • The award is given by the Ministry of Labor, Family, Social Affairs, and Equal Opportunities of the Republic of Slovenia to companies that create a balance between technological development and socially responsible employment by employing vulnerable groups, particularly people with disabilities.
  • The Novartis initiative Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Slovenia focuses on four areas: people with disabilities, intergenerational collaboration, diverse talents, and the LGBTQI+ community.
27. 9. 2022

Lek, a part of Novartis, was awarded the 2021 Good Practice Award for employing disabled people by the Ministry of Labor, Family, Social Affairs, and Equal Opportunities.

At Lek, they are committed to the inclusion and equality of people with permanent congenital or acquired disabilities. The Disability-Friendly Company Certificate is an important acknowledgment of Lek's efforts to employ people with disabilities in 2021.

"Disability is a natural part of the human experience that calls for greater awareness and inclusion. We all are responsible for creating a safe and supportive work environment that fosters each of our unique abilities and strengths. Inclusion and respect for people with disabilities means to ensure their participation across all activities in which the general population is involved and to remove all possible barriers," said Paulina Pazio Head P&O at Lek.

Lek provides employment opportunities for people with disabilities through a variety of activities, including job retention and adaptation to the needs of associates with disabilities. In 2021, they performed a comprehensive inspection and assessment also known as the Disabled Access Audit of the buildings at the two largest sites, while this year, they began a gradual renovation of the premises according to plans, taking into account the guidelines to ensure accessibility for people with mobility impairments, which will also be considered for potential new constructions.

Lek actively collaborates with many organizations on its journey to become a disabled-friendly organization, including the Slovenian Paraplegic Association, the Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired of Slovenia, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Clubs Association of Slovenia, Šentprima (Institute for rehabilitation and education), Sports Federation for the Disabled of Slovenia – Slovenian Paralympic Committee, and the Slovenian Association of Disabled Students. Among other things, Lek provides these association updates on vacancies and other opportunities for collaboration on a regular basis. Last year, an internship for two students with autism spectrum disorder and a student job for a person with a hearing disorder was introduced as a good practice of early inclusion of disabled people in the work process.

In addition to the activities mentioned above, Lek works hard to raise awareness about this topic among associates and leaders. Through internal training, they are introducing disability to associates and providing them with the information and tools they need to better integrate and establish a safe environment in the workplace for the disabled. Last year, Lek expanded its traditional Career Breakfast event and invited people with disabilities with the help of partner organizations in order to promote the employment of people with disabilities and to identify and address prejudices.

"Lek, a part of Novartis, focuses its operations on strong values of diversity, equity, and inclusion reflecting our commitment to treating all employees fairly and respectfully and providing equal opportunities. We aim to create a working environment where associates are valued for their skills and contributions to our shared mission to reimagine medicine to improve and extend people's lives, regardless of their potential circumstances or limitations, said Tanja Sinigoj, Head Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Novartis in Slovenia. Together with Kristina Lampič, Head of the Disability Pillar, at Novartis in Slovenia, they received the Disability-Friendly Employer Certificate at the ceremony.

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Novartis is the leading provider of medicines in Slovenia, where Lek d.d., Novartis Pharma Services Inc. and Sandoz d.d., operate. Together we are building and maintaining the reputation of a dynamic, ethical, and trusted pharmaceutical company. Lek develops, manufactures, and markets effective, safe, and high-quality medicines and active pharmaceutical ingredients. With our knowledge, quality, and experience we have gained an important role in Novartis' organizational structure, especially in the Novartis Operations, Global Drug Development and the generic division Sandoz. We are the leading Sandoz development center, and one of the key development sites for technologically complex projects. We invest a great deal in the development, education, and training of our employees. Novartis invested in Slovenia more than EUR 3 billion since 2003.

About Sandoz
Sandoz, a Novartis division, is a global leader in generic pharmaceuticals and biosimilars. Our purpose is to pioneer access for patients by developing and commercializing novel, affordable approaches that address unmet medical needs. Our ambition is to be the world’s leading and most valued generics company. Our broad portfolio of high-quality medicines, covering all major therapeutic areas, accounted for 2021 sales of USD 9.6 billion.

About Novartis
Novartis is reimagining medicine to improve and extend people’s lives. As a leading global medicines company, we use innovative science and digital technologies to create transformative treatments in areas of great medical need. In our quest to find new medicines, we consistently rank among the world’s top companies investing in research and development. Novartis products reach nearly 800 million people globally and we are finding innovative ways to expand access to our latest treatments. About 108,000 people of more than 140 nationalities work at Novartis around the world.  Find out more at www.novartis.com.

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This press release contains statements and forecasts of future business operations. The forecasts include estimates based on all the information currently available to us. Should these forecasts prove unreliable, the actual results of business operations could be different from those expected.

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For further information, please contact:
Gregor Makuc
Communication & External Engagement
Lek Pharmaceuticals d.d.
Telephone: 01 580 22 43