Human Resources

Human resources are our most important resource that we strive to nurture. Our goal is to create a safe and good working environment so that work can contribute to an increased quality of life for employees.

Well-Being in the Workplace Increases the Quality of Life

Human resources are our most important resource that we strive to nurture. Our goal is to create a safe and good working environment so that work can contribute to an increased quality of life for employees. The Human Resources Policy and other policies in support of it ensure a common vision of the employees and management of Ósar and its subsidiaries as a workplace. The policies define the companies’ key priorities when it comes to building a solid and progressive workplace and have the common goal of attracting, retaining and strengthening outstanding employees and supporting them in professional and personal growth.

The Group has adopted a Policy against Bullying, Harassment and Violence stating that bullying, gender-based or sexual harassment, as well as other violence, are under no circumstances tolerated. The Group’s Human Resources Manager is responsible for policy, procedures and education in this area.

Respect for Employees’ Personal Life

It is clear that many factors, – physical, social as well as mental – affect how employees feel in and out of the workplace. We focus on creating a positive and encouraging work environment where communication is characterised by mutual respect and empathy. We also respect the personal life of employees by offering flexibility in the organisation of work and working hours so that everyone is able to reconcile their work responsibilities and responsibilities towards their family.

Opportunities to Grow and Prosper in Life and Work

The Education Policy of Ósar and its subsidiaries aims to enable employees to increase their skills and make full use of their talents at work at any given time. With a results-driven culture, we want to create opportunities for employees to grow and prosper in life and work, and therefore, the emphasis is on offering a variety of education and training that is suitable for a diverse group of employees. We use new knowledge in our work, share it with others and thus ensure the results of the training and education that is invested in.

Solveig H. Sigurðardóttir

Solveig is the Group’s Human Resources Manager.She has been training as a weightlifter since 2011, participating in tournaments and winning prizes in the sport, in addition to which she is a certified referee and judges regularly at powerlifting tournaments in Iceland.

Our Year in 2021

The Year of Changes and Opportunities

The year 2021 was certainly a unique year and informative, but also full of opportunities and progress. The pandemic continued to make its mark on the work environment with associated challenges, but the results are a sign that the employees were not discouraged and showed, as before, what they are made of.

In the first half of the year, organisational changes were announced with the establishment of the parent company Ósar – the Lifeline of Health hf. At the end of the year, eighteen employees of the subsidiaries were transferred to the parent company, where they provide support services for the subsidiaries. These are support services in the fields of finance, quality control, human resources and information technology. The canteen, phonelines and reception for the Group were also combined in one place. During the year, five new employees were recruited directly to the newly established parent company. In other respects, the changes had little or no effect on the majority of employees and their daily work. Changes, however, are always accompanied by a new vision of opportunities and development, and we therefore welcome the exciting times ahead.

During the year, the Group established a Remote Working Policy to meet the circumstances we faced, but also to respond to employees’ calls for increased flexibility and a more diverse work environment. One of the goals of the Remote Working Policy is precisely to save valuable time and reduce the carbon footprint resulting from travel to and from work.

With the new organisation, there was a need for an increased flow of information and a new approach to communication. It was decided to implement Workplace as a means of communication, where all employees have equal access to information and announcements, whether it is the menu of the week, announcement of new staff, registration of events or presentation of new products. This has worked well, and there is a lot of activity and feedback on the medium, which in turn is indicative of good morale and people’s interest in each other and each other’s work.

We are very proud of our canteen, Brasserie Ósar as we call it. Not only does it offer healthy and good, beautiful and varied food for lunch, but it’s also somewhere where we get together daily to take a break from work and enjoy the company of each other. We all leave the Brasserie Ósar fuller and happier than we went in!

For the first time last year, an equal pay audit was carried out for the Group as a whole and Ósar’s Equal Pay Policy was implemented, whereas previously the subsidiaries Parlogis and Icepharma had received equal pay certification separately. At the same time, the Equality Plan was revised and adapted to the operations. From now on, one equal pay system will be operated for the Group, which is in the spirit of strengthening support services, for the benefit of the subsidiaries.

Job satisfaction is one of the most important aspects of any workplace. Icepharma has used HR Monitor’s workplace analyses to measure and monitor employees’ experiences of their own work, the work environment and well-being in the workplace. Through the years, the results have shown that Icepharma’s employees generally feel good at work, are happy with the work environment and are proud of the workplace. It is our experience that regular human resources measurements help to increase employee efficiency and support management skills, but these are key factors in maintaining a good work ethic and reducing employee turnover. In accordance with the organisational changes, the first employee survey of the new year will be sent out to all employees of the Group. In our opinion, measurements like these are a very important tool, especially in times of change, where employees can use the survey as a voice to convey suggestions quickly and easily. The results are then presented to staff and used as an opportunity for improvement.

It is safe to say that 2021 was a challenging year, but with a concerted effort and solidarity, we met the challenges vigorously and managed to complete many important tasks. It is our staff’s ingenuity, daring, knowledge, ability and diligence that brings us success day after day, and we are looking forward to the new year, ready to accept all the tasks and opportunities that it will have to offer.

Diversity and Equal Opportunities 

The Group employs a dynamic group of people with varied education with diverse backgrounds and extensive experience and knowledge of various areas of society. At the end of 2021, the total number of full-time equivalent positions was 186, compared to an average of 182 during the year. The average age of employees is 45 years.

Average age of employees
individuals who received a salary during the year (2021)
individuals who received a salary during the year and were permanent (2021)

Employees have a choice as to whether and in which union they pay, and 95% of employees are members of a union. Most are members of VR, or 62% of the Group’s employees, 10% are members of the Icelandic Pharmaceutical Association, 6% of Efling and 5% of Félag íslenskra náttúrufræðinga.

Gender Division of Employees

At the end of 2021, the gender division of employees was as follows:




Gender Division of Managers

At the end of 2021, the gender division of employees was as follows:

Ósar’s Executive Committee

Icepharma Executive Committee

Parlogis Executive Committee

Ósar’s Staff Council

Each company within the Group has its own staff association, which regularly organises events for employees and their families. At the beginning of 2022, a joint Staff Council for the Group will be established, consisting of members of the three staff associations as well as the CEO, Deputy CEO, Human Resources Manager and a Human Resources Specialist. The purpose of the Staff Council is to be a forum for discussion between employees and management on various issues concerning employees, e.g. Human Resources Policies, information and education. In addition, the Council will be responsible for larger joint events such as the annual festival and preparation working days.

Human Resources, Equal Rights and Equal Pay Policies

The Group’s emphasis on equality supports the United Nations’ fifth Global Goal of gender equality. Parlogis has had an equal pay system and equal pay certification since 2013, and Icepharma received an equal pay certification at the end of 2020.

In accordance with the organisational changes, the Group issued a three-year Equality Action Plan at the end of 2021, along with an Equal Pay Policy. The Equality Plan for Ósar and its subsidiaries emphasises equal rights and the equal status of employees, regardless of gender. The Equality Plan reminds managers and other employees that within the company, everyone should receive the same treatment, regardless of gender, religion, beliefs, ethnic origin, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, age and other status.

The goal of the Equal Pay Policy is to guarantee all employees equal salary and the same terms for the same or equal job, so that there is no wage gap. If there is an unexplained wage gap, efforts must be made to eliminate it. At the end of 2021, the subsidiaries underwent a maintenance audit where the results of the wage analysis showed the following:

The results of the Icepharma 2021 equal pay analysis

Gender pay gap in favour of men

Results of the Parlogis 2021 equal pay analysis

Gender pay gap in favour of men

Our goal is for the gender pay gap to be below 2%, so we are very proud of the results in this area. In 2022, an integrated equal pay analysis will be carried out for the Group as a whole.

Health-Promoting Workplace

Good health and ways to promote health are at the forefront of all our work. The Group has established a Health and Safety Policythat supports the Group’s Human Resources Policy and is seen as a guiding light for an improved working environment, better health and an increased quality of life for employees.

The year was in many ways unusual, with associated remote working and restrictions on gatherings, but in such times, health promotion is even more important. Employees are encouraged to take good care of their own health and lead a healthy lifestyle, and the Group contributes in this regard. Employees are i.a. provided with grants for fitness and other health promotion and are offered the purchase of a wide range of health-related products on special terms.

Ósar’s Health Week

In November 2021, Ósar’s Health Week was held, where the goal was to mobilise staff to take care of their health together. Every day of the week, a varied health-promoting programme was offered, where employees either shared their knowledge with colleagues, such as in the form of health goal training and product presentations, or encouraged each other to promote healthy activities, such as swimming and hiking. The Health Week was a great success despite having been marked by various restrictions, and the aim is for it to be an annual event from now on.

María Bragadóttir

Here, María Bragadóttir, CFO of Ósar, talks about how the health and safety and health promotion of the Group’s employees are promoted.

María Bragadóttir

María has trained in the martial art of Taekwondo for many years, is a multiple Icelandic Champion in the sport and works as a coach in the Taekwondo division of KR. During Ósar’s health week, María held a short course in self-defense for the Group’s female employees and their daughters.