Brim encourages both the management and the employees to take an interest in the wellbeing and health of their colleagues. The company is a family-friendly workplace that strives to ensure a balance between work and private life. The company focuses on ensuring a good working environment, safety and good working facilities for its employees. The company offers its employees free annual health checks.
The company works on creating a sought-after workplace and ensuring the best working conditions it can for its employees. In its human resources policy, 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 2019, there were an average of 798 full-time employee (FTEs) positions within the group, based on full-year employment, as opposed to 773 in 2018, an increase of 3% between years. Of these, there were 275 FTEs on sea in 2019 and 207 in 2018. The increase can be traced to the addition of Vigri RE-71 to the operation in 2019. On land, the FTEs were an average of 523 during 2019, while being 566 in 2018. This was a decrease of 8% between years.
The principal goal of equal pay certification is to combat gender-based wage gaps and promote gender equality in the labour market.
The company received equal pay certification in March 2019. The company’s equal pay system was examined by a representative of BSI in Iceland, a certification service provider qualified to verify the conditions of the ÍST 85:2012 equal pay standard. The process was a success. This involved the first step of the adoption of the company’s equal pay system, and work is progressing on the further adoption of the system. The achievement of obtaining the equal pay label is the result of extensive and good collaboration between many Brim employees.
Brim is the third Icelandic fisheries company to receive the equal pay label. The company is engaged in creating a sought-after workplace. This entails ensuring that the gender-based wage differences are less than 5%. When account is taken of total wages and having taken into account the main aspects that have an impact on wages, women receive approximately 2% lower wages than men according to an investigation carried out in March 2019. Women, therefore, have yet to receive equal pay. Efforts are being made eradicate gender-based wage differences.
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, illness or accident, as well as other rights provided for in the effective collective wage agreements in the operating areas of the company.
The majority of employees are members of unions, or 97%, and are paid wages in accordance with the provisions of effective collective wage agreements. Employees in fish processing are paid a supplement when working with raw materials on trimming lines. Such pay supplement is supported by the provisions of collective wage agreements. No other wage system is being used elsewhere within the company. Seamen receive pay in accordance with a share allotment system which is based on collective wage agreements. The seamen’s wage system is based on the catch value of the vessel in question, and the value is divided between the vessel operator and the crew according to a share allotment system.
The company has established for itself codes of ethics on human rights, corruption and bribes. Brim focuses on complying at all times with law and general criteria for ethical business practices and follows the rules that the company establishes for itself. Brim respects human rights, particularly those that relate to union membership rights, forced labour and slavery and inequalities in workplaces.
Every effort is made to ensure that contractors and their sub-contractors always comply with Icelandic laws as regards all who work for them, irrespective of whether they are their employees or a sub-contractor.
Victimisation and sexual harassment is not tolerated at the company. The company maintains a response action plan, reviewed during the year, in the event of any suspicion of victimisation or harassment in the workplace. Brim feels that it is important that employees show respect for each other, and injustice is not tolerated, such as victimisation, sexual harassment or discrimination on the basis of unjustified aspects such as gender, religion, race or sexual orientation. If we become aware of victimisation or injustice, we immediately inform our supervisor of such event.
Brim endeavours to instruct, re-educate and train its employees. It is important that new employees receive the appropriate education and training. The goal is to ensure that the company attracts employees with exceptional capabilities in their fields. Organised training and learning takes place all year round.
The educational work takes place either within the workplace or elsewhere; a large proportion of employees, for instance, sources re-education from the Maritime Safety and Survival Training Centre each year. Increased technological advancements mean that it is much easier to be in contact with employees who are widely dispersed on land and at sea. In 2018, a new electronic educational system, Eloomi, was adopted and has proved a success.
Seamen undergo a training programme at the Maritime Safety and Survival Training Centre each year. Main courses include:
The NSL 01.1 course focuses on employees adding to their knowledge in the use of the rescue and safety equipment available on the vessel. The manner in which to respond to various accidents and mishaps, prevent them and ensure personal safety are also closely examined. The ability to respond correctly during emergencies is very important.
The number of educational hours in 2018 was 4,134, as opposed to 1,022 hours in 2019. The reason for this decrease is that courses that were to be held at the end of the year were cancelled and will be transferred to summer 2020. There are, therefore, unusually few educational hours that are considered to belong to 2019.
|Courses||Participants||Total number of education hours|
|Maritime safety and survival training centre||45||616|
|New recruit courses||60||120|
|Vocational training courses||5||10|
|Protection assessment, fraud and the main preventative measures in quality systems||51||179|
Each year in August, Brim 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. 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, a bear and a lion walked around the park and interacted with the children and everyone had their share of hotdogs. The ice cream truck from Valdís was also in the area and was very popular.
Brim invites its employees to a Christmas concert every year. In 2019, the concert performers were Baggalútur in Háskólabío. Employees were invited to enjoy refreshments during the break. Approximately 150 tickets were given to Landsbjörg (Icelandic Search and Rescue), all of which were used.
The annual company celebration is, as a rule, 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 2019 festivities were held on 8 June in the Origo hall and were a great success. Approximately 450 attended the celebration hosted by Selma Björnsdóttir and Vilhelm Anton Jónsson and had great fun together.
Brim participated in the Festival of the Sea, which is held during the same celebratory weekend each year: The Harbour Day is held on Saturday and the Seamen’s Day on Sunday. The sponsors are Brim, Faxaflóahafnir (Associated Icelandic Ports) and Sjómannadagsráð (Reykjavík Seamen’s Day Committee). The festival is one of the largest held in Reykjavík, and more than 40,000 people made their way to the harbour area in 2019.
At the festival, we celebrate all aspects that relate to the sea: seamanship, vessels, marine life.
The Brim Staff Association is intended for all Brim employees, both 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 Brim employees. The staff association owns a summer cottage at Flúðir that is rented out throughout the year. At the close of the year, a competition was held to find a new name for the association; its former name was the Staff Association of HB Grandi. The association has now been named “Brimgarður”
Employees of Brim in Vopnafjörður can be members of Brimgarður or the staff association of Brim in Vopnafjörður. The distance between Vopnafjörður and Reykjavík is considerable, and the staff in Vopnafjörður are rarely able to participate in events held in Reykjavík except in April to June, as the rest of the year is spent on working shifts.
Arrangements for safety issues are intended to increase the importance of the subject within the company and strengthen the efficiency of safety measures. Management is responsible for safety issues. In addition, safety committees with clear mandates are operated in all company departments. The company’s human resources division is responsible for the management and supervision of these issues.
Each and every employee is responsible for their own safety. One of the basic prerequisites enabling us to be successful in reducing the number of accidents is that all stakeholders participate and that management as well as employees are determined to involve themselves in improving safety. The management is responsible for ensuring that all equipment is of the best quality and that the safety arrangements of the work areas and units for which they are responsible are up to date.
The company relies on management to lead by good example and that they lead the occupational safety work of the company.
Brim is a reliable workplace where the management and employees care about the wellbeing and health of their colleagues. The safety management system of the company covers all the operations of the company, registration and review of accidents and incidents. Risk assessments and safety rules are key factors, and focused training and education play an important role.
We at Brim are determined to concentrate on occupational health and safety issues and create a safe working environment for our employees.
Safety committees that cover all working units are operated by the company. This is in accordance with Regulation No. 920/2006 on the organisation and implementation of health and safety in workplaces. Safety issues are an integral part of the company’s human resources policy. It is extremely important that employees comply with the safety rules in the workplace, participate in safety education and submit suggestions as to where improvements could be made.
Sixty-five employees sit on safety committees in the company. There are a total of 11 safety committees operated by the company. Safety officer is a term that covers both safety guards that are nominated by the manager of the operating unit in question and the safety stewards that are elected by employees. The role of safety officers is to ensure that occupational health and safety are in accordance with applicable laws* and the policies of the company.
*Act No. 46/1980 on Working Environment, Health and Safety in Workplaces. Regulation No. 200/2007 on measures to encourage improvements in the safety and health of workers on vessels
Occupational health and safety issues are an important part of Brim’s educational schedule. During new recruit orientation, the staff of the company carefully go over aspects that relate to the occupational health and safety of the company.
Preventive measures and education on board the company’s vessels are largely handled by the new recruit orientation carried out by vessel officers as well as during regular rescue exercises in which the entire crew participates. Great importance is placed on vessel officers holding regular rescue exercises, at least twelve times a year.
The Brim Safety Day was held for the fourth time on 27 November 2019. The Safety Day serves the role of maintaining necessary dialogue within Brim as regards employee safety. The meeting brought together the management, safety officers and Brim employees. The CEO opened the meeting with an address and then reviewed the statistics and cost of seamen becoming ill. The Human Resources Manager reviewed arrangements in safety issues, discussed the main points of focus in this field and in addition, mentioned accident statistics in comparison with earlier years and current arrangements for electronic accident registrations. The Technical Manager of Fishing Vessels reviewed safety issues relating to vessels, and the Floor Manager of Norðurgarður accounted for accidents on land and the status of safety issues in the fish processing plant.
Brim places importance on all accidents being recorded, and the procedures and work processes are presented to employees. All accidents and incidents must be recorded electronically on the intraweb of Brim. All absence and care accidents of employees on land are notified to the Administration of Occupational Safety and Health (Vinnueftirlit ríkisins), the Icelandic Health Insurance (Sjúkratrygginga Íslands) and the insurance company. Absence accidents of workers at sea are notified to the Icelandic Health Insurance, the Icelandic Marine Accident Investigation Board (Rannsóknarnefnd sjóslysa) and the insurance company.
With the adoption of electronic accident registration, the ability to analyse data has increased significantly. A total of 61 accidents were reported in 2019, whereof 38 were accidents on land and 23 were at sea. A total of 91 accidents were reported in 2018, whereof 65 were accidents on land and 26 were at sea.
The examination of all recorded accidents in 2019 shows that absence accidents were for the most part due to blows of some form or another. In addition, serious accidents can be frequently traced to knives and instances where employees are crushed by or between objects.
There were no fatal drownings of Icelandic seamen in the seas off Iceland in the past three years.
This achievement can be attributed to technological advances, i.e. better vessels and equipment, and not least to the work of the Maritime Safety and Survival Training Centre, which was established in 1985. The Training Centre is responsible for education on safety issues and accident prevention. Attending training courses is a prerequisite for being legally registered on a ship.
Brim is extensively involved in accident prevention, as can be seen in both its internal work, i.e. education and prevention, and by the fact that the company supports the robust work of the accident prevention and rescue work both on land and sea through ICE-SAR (Landsbjörg). At present, the Maritime Safety and Survival Training Centre is a subdivision of ICE-SAR.