The good practice example at the Polish sugar company Pfeifer & Langen is twofold:
“The mentoring programme”
During the last two years prior to their retirement, older employees are working with the younger, newly-employed ones who are going to replace them in the future. This allows to take the physical burden off the older employees, which is important given the difficulties they are often facing with meeting tasks. Such a system (mentoring programme) also helps them to feel needed and motivated until the end, at the same time not exposing the company to the loss of valuable competences.
Adjusting the nature of work to the possibilities
Employees who carry out heavy physical work, work in difficult conditions or are no longer in a position to fulfil their current duties due to their age or health condition may request to change their position to a less demanding and cumbersome one. There is also a possibility of being released from the system of shift work.
Outcome and achievements
Employee representatives at Pfeifer & Langen and the trade union NSZZ Solidarnosc are planning to spread the initiatives throughout the entire sugar sector in Poland. In September 2015, employee representatives of Pfeifer & Langen and sugar companies in Poland met and explored potential grounds for future cooperation and discussion. This is considered as an important milestone towards establishing social dialogue on the sectoral level for the Polish sugar industry.