Annual Report 2023

Integrate work and personal context

As a benchmark employer, we endeavour to improve the wellbeing of our employees and, thus, their satisfaction, by helping them reconcile their work and personal lives. We do so through initiatives that promote the physical, mental and social wellbeing of employees, as well as a healthy working environment and flexible ways of working. In 2023, investment in wellbeing exceeded 7.9 million euros Group-wide.

Physical, mental and social wellbeing

In Portugal, we have facilities that allow office and distribution centres employees access to different health and wellbeing services. Jerónimo Martins Clinic offers general medicine, sleep, smart ageing, psychology and nutrition appointments, nursing services, alternative therapies and physiotherapy, among other services. The Wellbeing Centre includes a gym and services such as dermoesthetics. Both facilities, located near our head offices, were used by 3,308 employees in 2023 (15.5% more than in 2022).

Indoor fitness equipment (photo)

Also in 2023, and in addition to the centre already established at the Azambuja distribution centre, we inaugurated a Prevention and Physical Rehabilitation Centre at the Alfena distribution centre, an investment of over 2.3 million euros. Both help to prevent, assess and treat physical illnesses and musculoskeletal injuries through physiotherapy, gym and nutrition services, and also offer general medicine appointments and nursing services. In total, 1,743 logistics employees used both centres and 69.3% of the patients undergoing physiotherapy had a medical release during the year.

In Portugal, we also offer a free teleconsultation service, available seven days a week from 8am to midnight, with a nurse who refers users to the most appropriate speciality. In 2023, a total of 1,088 employees used this service (24.6% more than in 2022).

Clinical nutrition programme

Following the success of the pilot carried out in 2022, the clinical nutrition programme was implemented in Portugal, aimed at promoting healthy eating habits and ensuring the nutritional monitoring of employees with health problems. The programme seeks to respond to weight loss needs and diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidaemia (high concentration of lipids in blood) and is based on three pillars: nutrition appointments, literacy actions and environmental modulation (introduction of healthy eating options in the workplace).

The sessions are carried out by the Group’s clinical nutrition team and a partner trained by the Group. In 2023, a total of 2,256 consultations were provided to 803 employees and, of these, 47.1% were discharged. The programme was recognised as the project of the year by the Healthy Living 2023 award in the “Community Nutrition and Public Health” category.

At Biedronka, the Razem zadbajmy o zdrowie (Let’s Take Care of Health Together) programme was redesigned and now offers employees a package of complementary medical examinations, with a market value over 600 złoty (132 euros), which covers vitamin D, morphology, hormone and cancer screening tests (allowing for the testing of tumour markers), among other blood tests that help prevent illnesses. A total of 32,605 employees benefited from the programme, which saw around 32 thousand medical examinations carried out (90.4% more than the previous year). Besides blood tests, for all employees, distribution centres and office employees were also able to have abdominal, breast and thyroid ultrasounds, and sessions with specialists, including nutritionists, dermatologists and oncology nurses. Following the programme, all employees may be monitored via teleconsultation by a personal trainer, nutritionist or psychologist.

To protect the health of our employees and their families, we once again made the flu vaccine available, free of charge and optional. A total of 5,081 people were vaccinated.

We continue to implement different programmes to respond to the growing concern about mental health.

In Portugal, we support the mental health of our employees and their children up to the age of 18 by offering a free psychology service provided by an in-house team of psychologists, with the support of a network of partners. The aim is to prevent mental illness and act in diagnosed cases. In the year, 2,570 people benefited from this service. With regard to prevention and early detection, we share knowledge on how to avoid and identify the signs of mental health problems through training and literacy and by closely monitoring vulnerable populations.

We also launched the Cuidar do Cuidador (Caring for the Carer) programme, for employees who, given the nature of their jobs, have contact with a large number of other employees. These “carers” are trained by a psychologist who prepares them to handle and support their colleagues in difficult or sensitive situations. We trained 44 employees under this programme.

In Poland, in addition to the psychological support provided under the Razem zadbajmy o zdrowie (Let’s Take Care of Health Together) programme, we enhanced the Spokojna Głowa (Calm your Mind) programme. This year, besides updating the digital content available on EducAction on stress management, mindfulness, changes in routine, relaxation, mental illnesses and tips for a healthy lifestyle, the programme included a national awareness and training event on the importance of health. The event included inspirational sessions, workshops and appointments with experts in nutrition, physical therapy and relaxation through virtual reality. The in-person event was attended by 555 employees, who received 1,213 hours of training, while the EducAction content had over 19 thousand views (13.3% more than in 2022).

In 2023, Hebe launched the Mindgram online platform. This platform, which is free for all employees and can be extended to their families, offers three types of support: educational, in the form of webinars and podcasts on mental health, career development and personal finance; sessions, where unlimited psychological support is provided in online sessions; and a chat, where employees and their families can get written support from professionals in psychology, law, finance and other fields. At the end of the year, Mindgram had 804 active users, 82.2% of whom had already used the online sessions service.

In Colombia, the Ara Contigo programme, created in 2023, focuses on mental health training for operations leaders and HR teams, giving them the tools to care for themselves and others, and shared webinars on managing stress and addressing mental health problems, impacting 458 people. Ara Contigo also includes intervention in crisis situations, with sessions held with teams who have suffered a trauma.

In 2023, we also continued to carry out initiatives that promote team spirit and build healthy interpersonal relationships between employees.

  • In Portugal, we maintained the Loucos por Corrida (Crazy about Running – also established in Colombia), Loucos por Padel (Crazy about Padel) and Loucos por Criar (Crazy about Creating) communities and launched Loucos por Cozinha (Crazy about Cooking), which saw around 11 thousand participations.
  • Recheio held another edition of Momentos em Cheio (Enriching Moments), a month dedicated to employee wellbeing and a sense of belonging, with 516 participants.
  • A new edition of the Jampions League internal futsal tournament was also held, in which 861 people participated in Portugal.
  • Biedronka employees ran and cycled again, individually and in teams, to support Biedronka Foundation. A total of 300,988 km were covered by 623 employees, translating into an equivalent donation to the Foundation.
  • Biedronka provided funds for the organisation of meetings between its work teams, investing over one million euros.
  • Ara and Hebe organised Wellbeing Weeks, in which 4,981 employees took part in various activities related to promoting physical and mental health.

As a result of the work carried out in Portugal, we received the awards for Best Wellness Programme and Best Musculoskeletal Health Programme, awarded by Workwell. We were also recognised by the Internal Communication Observatory for our mental health communication campaign, aimed at countering the stigma of mental illness and making employees aware of existing support services.


Recognising the demands of our business, we seek to implement solutions that give employees greater flexibility and harmony in managing their work and personal lives.

To this end, we have the Flexible Working Policy in force for office roles, which includes flexible entrance and exit schedules and the possibility of remote working, covering 5,619 employees across all Companies. At Ara, a pilot project has been implemented for the head office, where 351 people work, to test a compressed work schedule, as a means to improve the quality of life of employees, offering them flexibility in commuting times.

For store roles, the Companies have tested and implemented different measures. Pingo Doce has an hours bank system in place and a solution to support work schedule planning. The first initiative gives employees the flexibility to take time off when it suits them best, in return for overtime worked. A total of 22,935 employees made use of this measure in 2023. The latter initiative is a schedule planning tool that helps to better organise work schedules and enable greater equity in the distribution of work hours. Besides legal requirements, this solution also takes into account a set of internal principles aimed at giving greater stability to employees’ lives, for example, by facilitating greater predictability of work schedules. This mechanism reached 26,748 employees.

We continued to facilitate the family management of employees in Portugal through three daycare centres, located in Recheio store in Braga and in the Azambuja and Alfena distribution centres, which took care of 216 children of employees who work there and at nearby stores. These daycare centres also provided 2,669 paediatric, child nutrition and speech therapy sessions for our employees’ children.

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