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TAKING CARE OF OUR PEOPLE

We are constantly focused on the well-being of all employees and of their families.
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Internal Social Responsibility

We continually invest in different internal social responsibility (ISR) projects, which encompass three strategic pillars: healthcare, education and family well-being.

In 2020, and amidst a pandemic, the Group implemented measures to support employees and their families to ensure their well-being and help them find a balance between their personal, family and professional lives. We invested around 20 million euros, in Portugal and Poland. In Colombia, in the year in which we had planned to introduce the ISR area, priority was given to operational support measures.

Health

In 2020, we invested more than 1.2 million euros in healthcare programmes for our employees and their families.

PORTUGAL

The “Mais Vida” (More Life) programme, in partnership with the Champalimaud Foundation and the Portuguese Red Cross, supports employees and their direct family members with cancer by offering different types of support, such as second opinion consultations, transport for treatments, help at home and psychological support. Thirty-one people benefited from this programme in 2020, which has been running since 2015.

The Grupo Lusíadas Saúde protocol, which has also been in effect since 2015, enables our employees (including those who are retired) and their direct family members (spouses, children and parents) to have access to discounts when consulting a specialist and on complementary diagnostic tests. In 2020, more than 1,100 medical services were provided under this arrangement.

Launched in 2012, the “SOS Dentist“ programme supports employees with oral health problems and who do not have the financial capacity to bear the total costs of their dental treatment. In 2020, 229 people continued to follow their treatment plan, an investment of 250,000 euros. The oral health of our employees’ children is also a priority and that’s why we created the “SOS Junior Dentist” programme, launched in 2016, which helped 158 children and young people in 2020.

We also implemented a free flu vaccination programme, under which 6,000 vaccines were administered in 2020, corresponding to an investment of more than 50,000 euros.

We offer psychology consultations to the children of employees up to the age of 18 who are still part of the household under the “Psicologia Infantil e Juvenil” (Child and Youth Psychology) programme, by offering specialised professional follow-up appointments.

POLAND

The “Wracaj do zdrowia” (Get Well Soon) programme helps people with serious or chronic illnesses or with life-threatening conditions and who need significant monetary support for treatment. In 2020, over 42,000 euros were invested to support 79 people.

Through the “Razem Zadbajmy o Zdrowie” (Let’s Take Care of our Health Together) programme, employees are given the opportunity to have free check-ups and screenings, follow an educational programme and participate in sports activities. Free medical examinations are also available, such as a thyroid or testicular ultrasound.

The “Mali Bohaterowie” (Little Heroes) programme helps the children of employees suffering from serious health problems or who have a disability, by providing financial aid for purchasing medicines, medical services, personal care products and rehabilitation equipment and also for treatments at rehabilitation centres. One hundred and seventy-eight of our employees’ children were covered by this programme in 2020, corresponding to an investment of over 160,000 euros.

Besides support for sports activities, the employees have access to over 4,000 gyms and sports facilities throughout the country, through the pre-paid Karta Multisport (Multisports Card).

Education

In addition to the family support programmes, an ongoing study is being conducted on the reality in Portugal and Poland to identify employee needs and the Group’s most effective response in terms of education. During 2020 we invested one million euros in this pillar.

PORTUGAL

As a result of the restrictions imposed because of the pandemic, we contributed to the acquisition of more than 900 devices (computers and tablets) for our employees’ children to ensure that they were able to participate in online classes. The Group invested more than 200,000 euros in 2020.

The “Back to School” programme offered textbooks to the children of employees with a low income and large families and offered discount vouchers for the purchase of textbooks to the other employees. Employees whose children started primary school in 2020 received vouchers to purchase school supplies, with over one thousand vouchers offered. The “Back to School” programme also combines measures as the school kits offered to children starting primary school and discounts on school materials for children up to 12 years of age. One thousand one hundred and fifty children who began their academic journey in 2020 benefited from this support and more than 15,000 discount vouchers for school supplies were offered.

We also implemented the “Online Study Hall” initiative to help the children of our employees in their studies by offering tutoring in the core subjects of Portuguese, Mathematics and English, and other educational activities. Following the launch of a pilot project in the middle of the pandemic, this initiative encompassed a group of 50 children, of which a significant part at risk of failing school, thereby helping them overcome difficulties and supporting parents in monitoring their children.

We also launched a pilot initiative designed for our operations employees’ children between the ages of 6 and 12 to keep them occupied during the summer and Christmas holidays. The first online summer camps were tested in three locations – Braga, Sintra and Algoz. In all, a total of 100 children participated in the camps in 2020.

The “Scholarship” programme is for employees and their children who wish to enrol or re-enrol in higher education, but do not have the financial means. In 2020, the measure encompassed 35 employees and 72 children, corresponding to an investment of over 130,000 euros.

Operating for almost a decade, the holiday camps for children between the ages of 6 and 17 promote activities related to sport, education, art and culture, on a residential and non-residential basis. All holiday camps, in Portugal and Poland, were cancelled due to the pandemic in 2020.

Despite not being able to attend the usual holiday camp in England in 2020, a two-week English language course was arranged for 100 of our employees’ children between the ages of 14 and 17.

In 2019, before the limitations imposed by the pandemic, a volunteering holiday camp was held, that allowed the children of employees to actively take part in the construction of a house for an underprivileged family and in other charity activities, such as beach clean ups and actions with the elderly and the disabled.

Since 2007, the “Aprender e Evoluir” (Learn and Grow) programme has enabled our employees to complete the 9th or 12th grade while working, thus helping to increase their personal and professional development. More than 2,700 employees continued their education.

POLAND

The onset of the pandemic saw schools suspend their in-person classes until the end of the academic year, forcing students to study at home and attend online classes. This led us to launch a special campaign to help our employees purchase tablets and computers for their school-age children, with a small contribution from those employees. More than 600 devices were offered to employees, corresponding to an investment of around 400,000 euros. We also continued to offer school kits to all children embarking on their academic journey. Three thousand five hundred kits were offered in 2020.

The “Wakacje z Biedronką/Hebe” (Holidays with Biedronka/Hebe) programme includes various activities and endeavours to develop creativity and broaden the interests of children between the ages of 8 and 13. For employees’ children between the ages of 14 and 17, we have developed the “Hello Biedronka/Hebe” programme, during which the participants attend an English course with native English-speaking teachers. More than 1,260 children participated in these holiday camps in 2020.

We made a financial contribution towards the cost of schoolbooks for children of employees with economic difficulties through the “To School with Biedronka” programme.

Family Well-Being

Programmes that improve the personal and family well-being of our employees are is especially important to the Group. We invested 17.6 million euros in 2020 in several initiatives.

  • The Social Emergency Fund, established in 2011, aims at helping employees with proven financial difficulties or those who are living in an at-risk social or family situation, being the work carried out with our employees and their families is supported by social workers.
  • The “Możesz liczyć na Biedronkę” (You can Count on Biedronka) programme in Poland, which provides financial support for employees in financial difficulty and grants them loans to help them cover housing costs, encompassed more than 9,000 employees in 2020, translating into over one million euros in financial support and around 3.8 million euros in loans.
  • At the end of November, Biedronka employees received extra financial support over Christmas in the form of pre-paid shopping cards, corresponding to an investment of over 7 million euros.
  • Former 24 employees who retired from Biedronka are supported by pre-paid shopping cards under the “Na Biedronka dla Seniora” (Biedronka Retirement) programme.
  • In 2020, 4,500 baby kits were given to all employees who had children during the year in Portugal and Poland, and 84,417 Christmas presents were also offered to employees’ children under the age of 12, in Portugal, and under the age of 18, in Poland.

Internal Communication

Aware that sharing everything we do for our people and their families is a priority, we communicate with all levels of the organisation to inform, engage and motivate our employees.

The bimonthly magazine “A Nossa Gente” (Our People), dedicated to the Group’s operations in Portugal (with a print-run of 15,000 copies), and the Razem w JM magazine, in Poland (print-run of 32,500 copies), are increasingly focused on the daily lives of our employees and their interests.

In Portugal, we also issue regular Company newsletters and, in 2020, we launched the “My Pingo Doce” app designed exclusively for employees to share daily information on human resource initiatives and about the business.

In Poland, the internal social responsibility website is the primary source of information for employees. In Colombia, online radio station “Hablando Naranja” reaches more than 7,000 employees from all our stores in the various regions of the country, sharing the most important information and business goals.

Communication in pandemic times

Times of uncertainty, like those experienced during 2020, require clear, transparent and frequent communication. This climate was built by regular written and video communications from the Group’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, who shared the strategic guidelines for the period and ensured the safety of employees. Direct communications from the Managing Directors of the various Companies and weekly information shared by the Group’s Human Resources Department also contributed to building trust.

Global reports on the impacts of the pandemic were also shared and we established and/or improved information channels, with new sharing forums, newsletters, radio programmes and using the Intranet (Our JM) as a means to share relevant information.

In 2020, the Employee Assistance Service was expanded to receive queries from our employees on matters relating to Covid-19 (9,071 contacts were registered) and, wherever necessary, helped refer them to the internal health services department.

Independent Verification

Information on the ISR measures was confirmed by an external and independent entity for the Group’s 2020 Annual Report.

Independent Report

Read the 2020 Independent Limited Assurance Report.