Sustainability Series 1/4: Responsible Employer

Sustainability Series 1/4: Responsible Employer

As a grown family business, PALFINGER has been engaged in the topic of sustainability for many years. It is viewed as an interdisciplinary matter that has been genuinely incorporated into the various areas of the company as a matter of course. Already in 2003/2004, the first sustainability report was published by PALFINGER. We now want to introduce our various sustainability fields in a four-part blog series: Responsible Employer, Fair Business, Eco-efficiency in Production and Sustainable Products. The first blog post is dedicated to the theme of “Responsible Employer”.

Shaping the future. Living responsibility.


Our employees are a key success factor for our business activities. Accordingly, their motivation, qualification, but especially their health and safety is a high priority at PALFINGER. A great deal of attention is also placed on our group-wide diversity project “PALversity”. In 2015 we employed an average of 9,000 employees, of which appr. 13% were women. The following sections will provide a brief insight in how PALFINGER adopts its responsibility as an employer.

Attractive work places with individual responsibility

At PALFINGER we live a corporate culture that promotes individual responsibility and offers us numerous possibilities to contribute to the continuous improvement process with own ideas. It is essential to us that active exchange is allowed at any time and that the needs of our colleagues is dealt with carefully. This is particularly supported by our open-door policy. As a matter of principle, freedom of assembly and employee representation are legal options at all sites, provided that this freedom is permitted by law in the country concerned. We create attractive work places by working time scheme and remuneration policy. The former we meet with flexitime and through the use of bandwidths, which ensure high productivity despite fluctuating demand. The second we achieve through collective agreements – 55% of our employees have them – and through variable compensation options.

Health and safety

It is our concern to protect our employees from accidents and to promote their health care. Accordingly, we initiative and actively support the implementation of long-term health initiatives and design of working environments at each location. This is particularly evident by the low value of staff absence at PALFINGER. In 2015 it was at 3.85 percent and therefore represents the industries average. Also our efforts to prevent accidents show impact: since 2006 no employee was killed. The staff absence due to industrial accidents amounted 0.13 per cent of regular working time in the 2015 fiscal year. Well-balanced employees are important to the PALFINGER management team. Amongst others, the corporate health management is established via the initiative PALfit. It includes development programs and voluntary social benefits in combination with initiatives to increase job security and occupational medicine.

Skilled labor

The topic of education and (further) training of course also plays a central role for us. Our goal is to advance the qualification of all our employees in all countries. In 2015 the training hour per employee counted 15.0. Worldwide, 191 employees attended apprenticeship programs or similar teaching options in 2015. To our pride, 47 out of 62 apprentices in Austria completed their school with honors. Also in terms of management training, PALFINGER is very active. With our PALFINGER Global Leadership Program, we ensure that employees with management potential are prepared for their future positions in top management. Another important element in this regard is the Company Leadership Program with a focus on leadership and communications as a management tool.

Diversity and Equal Opportunity

PALFINGER offers work places for employees of 71 different nations. 2014 we launched the group-wide initiative PALversity in order to ensure the integration of diversity into our corporate culture. Our vision sounds like the following: “We want to approach the diversity within our Group with an open mind and see differences as sources of inspiration

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The diversity in regard to generations and gender is detected in terms of data at PALFINGER. The proportion of employees over 56 was at 10.0% in 2015. We have a group-wide generation management in place in order to take into account upcoming retirements and be able to retain know-how with the company. Our women proportion is at 12.6% and in management positions at 16.5%
. This proportion is typical low for the industry, but is expected to increase with further initiatives in the future. When recruiting new employees, no difference is made between men and women under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement. PALFINGER wants to offer its staff members with special needs a meaningful occupation and integration into teams. In the future, the percentage of employees with disabilities is also to be raised through several initiatives.


Are you interested to find out more? Then have a look into our Annual Integrated Report. Starting at page 77, you can learn more about PALFINGER being a responsible employer.

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