By employee relations, we mean all dealings with our employees, including compliance with national and international laws and Statoil requirements. Through this focus, we ensure that we act as a responsible employer and that there is a strong, trust-based relationship between our people, their representatives, where applicable, and management wherever Statoil operates.

Collaboration arenas for employees and management are established where required by law or agreement and in accordance with local practice. We believe in involving our people and their appropriate representatives, where applicable, in the development of our group.

In 2011, a new global employee relations strategy was approved and launched in the company. Prioritised countries were required to define their own country-specific employee relations strategies, and the remaining countries followed up on the strategy through an employee relations survey.

Statoil continues to contribute to global dialogue in the oil and gas industry by promoting good employee and industrial relations practices through various networks, in dialogue with the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions (ICEM) with whom we have an agreement, and through participation by our employee representatives in these networks.

During 2011 management and employee representative have collaborated closely in important processes such as the evaluation of the offshore operations model, and measures to follow up safety incidents on the Norwegian continental shelf. In these processes we have endeavoured to engage in open and honest communication both inside and outside formal meeting arenas.