Annual Report 2023

Promote inclusion

We take an inclusive approach in the communities to which we belong, creating employment and training opportunities for those who are at a disadvantage in accessing the labour market. We do so through innovative programmes, methodologies and infrastructures, in an effort to increase recruitment and improve their integration.

Incluir (Include) programme, implemented in Portugal in 2015, aims at creating training and employment opportunities for people with disabilities and/or an impairment, migrants and refugees, and people at social risk. This programme is supported by a network of 102 partner institutions, which help us in identify potential candidates.

We now have two Incluir Centres, which provide training tailored to the needs of these populations in two stages. The first, in the classroom, focuses on developing behavioural skills and simulating operations tasks in a safe and comfortable environment for trainees in our simulation-stores. The second involves on-the-job training, with the support of tutors and the inclusion team, made up of social reintegration technicians who specialise in preparing and integrating such people. After completing these two stages, trainees are ready to be employed.

Bright lounge space with plants, comfortable furniture, different lights and a screen on the wall (photo)
Simulation of a Pingo Doce store, with products on the shelf and a check out counter (photo)
Glass front with text

Incluir Centres were built and designed taking different impairments into account. As such, they have signage and fonts that make it easier for people with low vision or dyslexia to read them, as well as touch surfaces and texts in Braille (for the blind and partially-sighted persons), colour codes (for people who are colour-blind), and headphones (for Autistic people), among other adaptations. Because they play an important role in promoting an inclusive community, Incluir Centres are open to all and host conferences, debates and rotating exhibitions of artwork created by people with disabilities.

Incluir Programme was awarded at the first edition of EuroCommerce’s European Commerce Awards for being the best practice in the “Qualification and Inclusion” category. A total of 1,709 people have benefited from the programme since it was created, which impacted 567 people in 2023 (49.6% more than in the previous year), 269 of whom were hired. In 2023, Incluir Centres trained 253 people.

We have a total of 1,693 people with disabilities and/or an impairment on our teams (855 in Portugal, 829 in Poland and 9 in Colombia).

In order to raise awareness among our leaders and give them the tools to deal with difference and onboard, monitor and develop each person without unconscious bias, we launched another edition of the Liderar para a Diferença (Leadership for the difference) programme, which has seen 2,827 employees trained in Portugal.

As a result of the work carried out in Portugal, in 2023 Pingo Doce, Recheio and the holding company won the Inclusive Employer Brand seal, awarded by Instituto de Emprego e Formação Profissional1 (Institute for Employment and Vocational Training). The holding company achieved the “Excellence” level for the first time.

In 2023, Ara began implementing an inclusion programme targeting three segments: people with a disability and/or an impairment, women who are responsible for their household, and people over 50. The first two groups were given priority and, with regard to the former, the types of stores and jobs compatible with the programme were identified, resulting in the hiring of ten people with a disability and/or an impairment. These new employees received legal and labour support, training and close monitoring to aid them in their integration. The teams at the stores responsible for onboarding these employees also received training to better integrate them. As regards the second group, to empower women in vulnerable situations due to their family role and to give them the tools to help them manage and succeed in their personal and professional lives, we provided training on topics such as strengthening personal and family life, their role as mothers, and mental health. In all, 176 employees received training.

In Poland, through the Odkryj Siebie Z Hebe (Discover yourself with Hebe) programme, run in partnership with the One Day Foundation, the Company offers a two-month internship in its stores to young adults who live in or aged out of orphanages. The initiative ensures the training of young people in essential skills to succeed in the labour market, who are guided by mentors. In 2023, 13 young people took part in the programme, and five were subsequently hired by Hebe.

Our Companies in Poland continued to invest in the integration of Ukrainian employees. In 2023, we hired 2,918 Ukrainians, 99.5% of which in Poland. The Group currently employs a total of 3,166 Ukrainian people. To facilitate their journey within the organisation, Biedronka has the following mechanisms in place:

  • a team responsible for recruiting and integrating migrants;
  • content and recruitment channels designed especially for the Ukrainian population;
  • onboarding materials, communication and operation processes, such as store check-out, in Ukrainian;
  • internal channels with useful information in Ukrainian, including a chatbot to assist employees.

Besides translating training materials and HSW and HR procedures into Ukrainian, Hebe supports these employees in their immigration process. It also offers language training in Polish for Ukrainian employees, and in Ukrainian for Polish logistics coordinators who have teams with people of that nationality.

JMA has 31 migrant employees on its teams and also invested in their inclusion by providing 65 hours of Portuguese language training, as well as tax and administrative support.

In 2023, we also made improvements to our online channels to promote inclusion, by making the Our JM intranet more accessible. Following an audit of the platform, several changes were made and tested with the support of the Incluir Centre team. Most noteworthy is the greater compatibility with screen readers and keyboard navigation to lower the barriers that exclude people with visual impairments or intellectual disabilities, among other impairments, from enjoying all the possibilities that the online world has to offer.

1 Criteria: (i) recruitment, professional development and advancement; (ii) job retention and return to work; (iii) accessibility (employees); (iv) services and relationships with the outside world (community and customers).

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