APRIL contributes towards promoting differences and combating any form of discrimination through its strong social commitments, particularly to support disabled people, young people from underprivileged backgrounds, seniors and vulnerable entrepreneurs.
As early as November 2004, the management team engaged the group in the Corporate Citizen project, which has been developed focusing on three main areas:
- the professional integration of disabled people,
- the integration of seniors and young people from underprivileged backgrounds,
- the support for entrepreneurs in precarious situations.
Welcoming disabled people
The first initiatives were launched at APRIL Santé Prévoyance (formerly APRIL Assurances), headed by a dedicated disability mission leader.
These successful trial initiatives led to an agreement being signed on 1 April 2008 between APRIL and the French association for managing the fund for the professional employment of disabled workers (AGEFIPH). Thanks to this agreement, renewed in 2010, APRIL is committed to developing actions in all its subsidiaries to promote the recruitment of disabled people, communicating and raising awareness among its members, in order to change how people view disability. The AGEFIPH is committed to funding some of these initiatives.
Today, APRIL has 40 disabled staff and arranges various actions to train up and build awareness among employees in the broadest sense.
In March-April 2010, a sensory exhibition was organized – "Écoutez voir" – to get to the heart of visual and hearing disabilities, devised with the Lyons-based artist Perrine Lacroix and Nathalie Birault, a photographer and graphic artist from Lyons, who is herself hearing impaired and an APRIL employee.
Externally, the company takes part in open days, recruitment drives, meetings...
In October 2010 for instance, it partnered a conference on disability held at Sciences Po Paris focusing on "The hidden barriers to employment for disabled people".
APRIL also facilitates access to insurance for disabled people and their family caregivers by designing specially adapted solutions and policy documents (creating documents in braille for the blind and large characters for the visually impaired).
Lastly, in September 2010, APRIL sponsored the "integration challenge", a record-breaking attempt by a mixed crew of two disabled sailors and four able-bodied sailors to cross from Île de Groix off France's Morbihan coast to Mauritius onboard the single-hull Jolokia between September and November 2010. Mission accomplished after 68 days, 22 hours, 52 minutes and 2 seconds at sea!
Young people and seniors: same fight for professional integration
APRIL is committed to supporting young people, partnering the association "Nos quartiers ont du talent" (Our districts have talent). At the end of 2010, the group also signed an agreement with the French association for facilitating the professional integration of young graduates (AFIJ), working to help young graduates from underprivileged areas by offering them opportunities for work placements and jobs.
Thanks to the work carried out by a dedicated project team, a seniors agreement was also signed by APRIL's subsidiaries on 1 January 2010, aimed at: keeping staff aged 55 and over in jobs, recruiting people aged 50 and over.
Protecting vulnerable entrepreneurs
Promoting entrepreneurship has always been a leitmotiv for Bruno Rousset, APRIL's founder. Within the framework of its Corporate Citizen project, the company has set up the Entrepreneurs de la Cité foundation with other companies (recognized as a public-interest association in October 2008). This foundation aims to support entrepreneurial initiatives by people who may be excluded from the world of work (jobseekers, people on minimum welfare benefits, disabled people, young people, women and seniors). Its first step has been to offer a dedicated microinsurance solution – Trousse Première Assurance – enabling entrepreneurs, often vulnerable during their first years in business, to cover their small ventures in line with their needs and their financial resources. Thanks to the foundation's sponsors, part of the management costs is covered for up to four years, while cover is free for business creators supported by the AGEFIPH for three years.
Since its official launch in May 2006 at the Salon des Entrepreneurs in Lyons, the foundation has supported more than 4,500 entrepreneurs with the management of their risks, and 1,700 of them have been able to benefit from the "Trousse Première Assurance" first insurance kit.
Actions for all
Over and above the actions carried out to protect consumers, APRIL addresses health-related matters through its company foundation: the APRIL Santé Équitable Foundation.
Created in December 2008, the APRIL Santé Équitable Foundation promotes health for all, through a positive and global vision of health which is not limited to just treatment and care. It carries out initiatives to improve individual and collective health with a view to developing a socially and/or economically responsible attitude on a lasting basis.
In September 2010, it published its first piece of work intended for the general public: "La santé dévoilée" (Health Unveiled). This book provides insight into the inequalities in terms of health, the French healthcare system and its players, financing and future. It separates fact from fiction and invites readers to ask themselves questions about their behavior and its impacts. It also makes it possible to identify specific and concrete areas for action looking beyond simply remedial aspects.
Following on from its "corporate citizen" project, in July 2010 APRIL signed up to the French business diversity charter, joining the 3,025 companies that had already confirmed their support.
This charter sets out commitments to support nondiscrimination and diversity, and "expresses the desire of businesses to take action in order to better reflect the diversity of the French population in their workforce".