HB Grandi has set itself the goal of providing its employees with the best possible working conditions. The company tries to ensure that the company employs capable and reliable employees who, through their professional and responsible efforts, ensure sustainable and efficient use of resources.
During 2017, there were an average of 839 full time employees (FTEs) within the group, based on full-year employment, as opposed to 858 in 2016. At HB Grandi in 2017, there were 243 FTEs at sea and 510 on land, as opposed to 241 at sea and 532 on land in 2016.
The management and employees take an interest in the well-being and health of their colleagues. HB Grandi is a family friendly workplace where every effort is made to organise working hours so that employees have adequate time off and that a balance is achieved between working hours and family/private life. The company provides a good working environment, safety and good working facilities for its employees. The company offers its employees free health checks. Focused efforts are made to obtain information on the status of the issues covered by the human resources policy, and action plans are updated regularly in order to attain the goals aimed at each time.
A human resources department was established in November 2017. The department is responsible for the company’s human resources issues and provides management with professional advice and support regarding human resources issues and interpretation of collective wage agreements. It is also responsible for managing human resources policies, career development and education, development of teamwork systems and the intraweb, the reception and the cafeteria in Norðurgarður.
Work on equal pay certification began in 2017, with the goal of completing the work by the end of 2018. The principal goal of equal pay certification is to combat gender-based wage gaps and promote gender equality in the labour market. According to these new requirements, equal pay certification is to be based on the equal pay standard ÍST 85. The company has operated in accordance with an action plan on equal rights issues for the past year, and this work accords well with the goals aimed for. The proportion of men working for the company is higher than that of women, with women forming a third of the workforce. The fewest number of women work on the company’s ships, while gender proportions are more equal in the company’s fish processing plants and offices. The company seeks to ensure the equal representation of the genders in committees and working groups. HB Grandi employees may not be discriminated against on the basis of gender, sexual orientation or ethnicity.
The company began to revise and record processes that relate to increased and amended legislative requirements on personal protection. These can be traced to legislative changes in this field in the EU. The legislation entered into force on 25 May 2018 in EU member states. A draft bill for legislation on personal protection has been submitted, and according to the draft, new personal protection laws are to enter into force on their approval by the Alþingi. The work is expected to be completed during the 2018 spring session of the Alþingi. The adoption of the new rules involves increased requirements for internal controls within companies and the duty to provide information to individuals and personal protection authorities. With the new rules, moreover, the authorisations of the authorities to employ fines and publish information on the companies that do not fulfil their obligations in this field are increased. The company has recorded the procedures that apply and is ready to fulfil these increased requirements.
Work began on examining the manner in which improvements could be made to the company's human resources information systems, as increased demands have been made in recent years for access to more comprehensive and detailed information on the operation of companies. HB Grandi is no exception in this respect. Increased discourse on social responsibility and requirements made by certification service-providers for a range of information relating to company human resources issues can be cited as reasons for such work. The aim is to ensure focused information provision on aspects of human resources issues in the company’s corporate social responsibility.
In addition, a review of the company’s employee´s education and career development issues was initiated. Career development involves providing employees with the opportunity to further develop their skills, knowledge and attitudes and thereby use their talents to prosper in their work. Career development is the responsibility of employees and managers. The goal of adopting electronically transmitted education is to reach all the company's employees in all its operating units. The majority of employees attend regular training courses. These can be either a prerequisite for their work in the company or necessary to maintain certification in their field. For example, courses have been held for employees engaged in fish processing according to provisions contained in collective wage agreements as well as various certification courses attended by employees to gain and maintain their rights at sea and on land. Continuing education and training entities have worked with the company to excellent effect.
HB Grandi respects general human rights, the right to be a union member and collective wage agreements. Contractors and sub-contractors are under obligation to comply with applicable Icelandic laws, irrespective of whether they are wage earners or independently operating sub-contractors. The company honours effective collective wage agreements and other statutory rights of employees, including as relates to holiday time, maternity/paternity leave and wages due to inability to work as a result of illness or accident, as well as other rights provided for in the effective collective wage agreements in the operating areas of the company. Through its membership in SA (Confederation of Icelandic Enterprise), the company has relations with 27 unions and associations of unions as regards the wages and terms of the company’s employees. Almost all the employees of the company are members of a union. Approximately 3% of employees are not members of a union.
Victimisation or sexual harassment is not tolerated at HB Grandi. The company maintains a response action plan in the event of any suspicion of victimisation or harassment in the workplace. The company has not established written rules on morals, corruption, human rights or bribery. The plan is to do so as soon as possible, and this work will probably be completed in 2018.
Each year in August, HB Grandi invites staff and their families to a celebration in Húsdýragarðurinn (Reykjavík Park and Zoo). Staff have been extremely happy with the outing, and participation has normally been very good. Around 650 came to the park in 2017. As in previous years, all children thirteen years of age and younger were given a free day pass for the park’s play equipment. There was free face painting and animal balloons and everyone had their share of hotdogs. The ice cream truck from Valdís was also in the area and was very popular.
HB Grandi invites its employees to a Christmas concert every year. In 2017, it was a Christmas concert featuring Sigga Beinteins, performed in Eldborg, Harpa. HB Grandi filled the hall with employees and their guests. In addition, the company invited the search and rescue squads that the company most often interacts with and the staff of the Maritime Safety and Survival Training Centre (Slysavarnarskóli sjómanna).
The annual company celebration is traditionally held the day before Seamen’s Day, as it is the only weekend that all the seamen working for the company have a chance to attend.
The 2017 festivities were held on 10 June in Gullhamrar and were a great success. Approximately 500 attended the celebration and had great fun together.
The HB Grandi staff association is intended for all HB Grandi employees at sea and on land. The purpose of the association is to promote social and educational activities among its members, leisure trips, festivities and any cultural and educational matter that can be of use to members. In recent years, the staff association has had the goal of holding a spring and an autumn get-together, a Christmas buffet and a Christmas party for the children of HB Grandi employees. The staff association owns a summer cottage at Flúðir that is rented out to employees throughout the year.
Employees of HB Grandi in Vopnafjörður can be members of the HB Grandi staff association or the staff association of HB Grandi in Vopnafjörður. This is due to great distance between Vopnafjörður and Reykjavík but is also due to the fact that the staff in Vopnafjörður are usually unable to participate in events held by the HB Grandi staff association except in April to June, as the rest of the year is spent on working shifts.
The staff association in Vopnafjörður was revived around 2002, when the company Tangi was responsible for the operation, after having been inactive for many years at the time.
The spouses of employees are entitled to pay membership fees to the association, in which case a double fee is deducted from employees.