Our Corporate Governance

HR Management

Recruitment policy

Employee recruitment

As in 2016, in 2017 PKP CARGO S.A. implemented internal and external recruitment processes. In addition to standard recruitment activities aimed at acquiring experts and specialists with theoretical knowledge supported by experience, it intensified activities aimed at recruiting candidates without experience or with a relatively short employment history.

In 2017, 633 recruitments were launched, of which over 10% were internal recruitments. The share of recruitment ended with employment vs. total recruitments is over 72%.

Focusing its recruitment processes around people with a short employment history, PKP CARGO provided the opportunity for realistic development of competences and building a career path by gaining initial professional experience and shaping attitudes and behaviors consistent with the expectations that PKP CARGO S.A. lays down for its employees.

In 2017, as part of the activities promoting employment with the Company, PKP CARGO S.A. participated in the Career Day organized during the International TRAKO Fair. This meant a return to employer’s promotion within the school and academic environment. Those activities will be continued.

Adaptation program

In 2017, works related to creating friendly and optimal conditions for each new employee of our company were continued.

Adaptation programs for new employees are adapted to the uniqueness of the work, different in the Head Office and different in the Company's Units.

In the Head Office, the “CARGO WITA” [‘WELCOME TO CARGO’] adaptation program is implemented, aiming to organize the process of hiring and adapting new employees. Thanks to the program, new employees get to know the organization, its strategy, mission and vision, structure and principles of operation.

In addition to adaptation training and a welcome letter, new employees are invited for training courses focused on the rules of conduct. In addition, under the program employees participated in e-learning training on “Environmental protection”.

In 2017, the “CARGO WITA” adaptation program was extended to include support for employees. An Intranet site dedicated in particular to new employees contains all necessary contacts to competent people from different areas.

The Units implement vocational preparation programs based on the qualifications required from the candidates. A vocational training program covering practical and theoretical training is developed for this group of new employees. The above-mentioned training courses end with a practical and theoretical exam. In order to systematically improve professional knowledge, periodic and ad hoc trainings are also carried out.

Scholarship and internship programs

As a result of identification of the risk of difficulties in hiring appropriate personnel to perform the operating tasks,
the works on implementation of systemic solutions supporting employment of new staff begun in 2017. These activities are included in the scope of the three main programs:

  • Internship program: a program dedicated to graduates of secondary schools and universities as well as extramural students. Its purpose is to hire staff with no or only a limited professional experience (up to 1 year) who, following a completion of a 3-month internship, will be able to start work on the basis of an employment contract. They will ultimately take over the tasks performed by the retiring employees. 
  • Scholarship program: this program provides for the future relationships with secondary technical schools and vocational schools of the 2nd degree specialized in railway professions. Last years’ students who meet the required criteria will receive scholarships financed by PKP CARGO, and will be employed by the Company following completion of their education and acquisition of appropriate qualifications.
  • Cooperation with the local employment offices: thanks to this program the candidates will acquire the basic qualifications required in connection with the work in the field of railway traffic management and safety, as well as in the maintenance-related positions. 

The first two programs will be implemented in 2018.

Also, cooperation with the Polish Ministry of Education was started in 2017 in the area of reactivation of vocational education thanks to drafting new core curricula for the purposes of railway profession teaching.

Number of commenced internships and interns accepted in the Group in 2016-2017

Number of started internships [units]3110
Number of accepted interns [persons]64

Source: Proprietary material

Training and Development


The rail transport industry and in particular the positions connected with the rail transport safety require ongoing updates of knowledge and skill training. Personnel’s rights and qualifications are updated thanks to the obligatory character of training activities, such as periodic updates, tutorials, and examinations. Moreover, training in the form of e-learning is provided.

PKP CARGO Group aims to obtain the status of a learning organization, knowledge- and experience-based management and the use of various forms of professional development appropriate for the accomplishment of business goals.

In 2017, the Company continued activities aimed at professional development of employees by enabling their participation in post-graduate studies, organized in cooperation with the Association of Railway Employers (ZPK), embedded in the area of railway company operations. In addition, the management personnel participated in post-graduate MBA studies organized for employees employed with railway companies. This form of supporting the employees in developing their skills enjoys high recognition and interest among them, which is why we will continue cooperation with ZPK in this area next year.

Furthermore, seeing the large interest of employees and the organizational need, in 2017 a foreign language course in the form of individual and group classes was launched. As part of the course, the participants took classes with a teacher and were given access to a dedicated e-learning platform, thanks to which they could consolidate the acquired skills. In 2017, the course was carried out in the form of a pilot program which was positively evaluated upon completion. Therefore, next year we will continue development activities involving learning foreign languages, expanding the course to include more groups.

In previous years, support for foreign language learning consisted in subsidizing the costs of the course incurred by the employees, according to individual applications submitted with the Employers.

In 2017, to ensure occupational safety and health, work safety and first aid training was provided.

Knowledge sharing in the form of e-learning courses, developed entirely by the employees of the Company, was also continued.

The Company’s employees participated in specialist trainings, in accordance with the reported needs. In 2017, the total number of training hours per person was 82 hours compare to 63 hours per person in 2016.

PKP CARGO S.A. enabled its employees to develop their education by participating in costs related to tuition fees, of which:

  • 81% related to higher education, 19% to post-graduate studies
  • 90% of employees using the support financing are employees employed in non-managerial positions, including 19% blue-collar workers
  • 54% of employees using the support financing are men, and 46% are women.

Women's education in the PKP CARGO Group (as at 31 December 2017)

Women's education in the PKP CARGO Group (as at 31 December 2016)

Men's education in the PKP CARGO Group (as at 31 December 2017)

Men's education in the PKP CARGO Group (as at 31 December 2016)


Annual employee appraisal system

At the PKP CARGO S.A. Head Office, an annual employee appraisal system is in force, aiming to support business processes by shaping optimal personnel skills allowing for adaptation to the changing economic situation.

The appraisal system is based on precisely defined skills of key importance for the entire company, which an employee should possess. The foundation for the appraisal system was to be able to assess those skills, and – consequently – for the participants to be able to learn about their strengths and weaknesses and to build development plans taking into account the expectations of employees and the company.

In 2018, PKP CARGO S.A. plans to update the appraisal system. The new system will focus on building and shaping optimal skills, and the appraisal results will be the basis for planning employee development, training and other personnel decisions.

Social dialog and welfare benefits

Social dialog, trade unions

Social dialogue in PKP CARGO S.A. is based on the rules resulting from generally applicable legal regulations, Company-Level Collective Bargaining Agreement and agreements determining the mutual obligations of the parties to the social dialogue. The Company respects and improves the rules of cooperation of social partners, which is conducive to the implementation of modern, pro-development solutions to improve the Company’s competitiveness and efficiency.

Formalizing the rules of cooperation with the trade unions through implementation of internal regulations, among which the key one is the Agreement on mutual undertakings of the parties to the Company Collective Bargaining Agreement for the employees employed by PKP CARGO units, concluded on 14 February 2005, has made it possible to sort out and improving the social dialog area. The systematic meetings following from the arrangements of the parties to the dialog, held separately on the Company and unit level, and mutual information of social partners about matters important for the employer and the crew, prevent conflicting situations and disputes, ensuring execution of business processes in a social peace environment. The functioning of the social dialog procedures is monitored and, depending on the assessment, modification of the joint provisions is proposed to the social side.

The employee representatives sitting on PKP CARGO corporate bodies, on the one hand creates a risk in the area of information security, but on the other hand has positive impact on the functioning of the Group. Being an important form of employee participation in the management process, it transfers some of the responsibility for the fate of the company to the social side, increases the level of the economic awareness of the staff and assessment of the possibility to satisfy trade union demands, if any.

Trade unions in the Group in 2016-2017

Number of trade unions in the Group [items]173171
Number of employees who are members of trade unions17,62816,926
trade union membership percentage ratio75.8%73.1%

Source: Proprietary material

Social activity and travel benefits

The Company Social Benefits Fund (ZFŚS) has been created at PKP CARGO S.A., based on the rules following from generally applicable regulations and the Company's Collective Bargaining Agreement. The social activity is conducted separately by employers forming the Company on the basis of a given company's ZFŚS Regulations, taking into account the local needs and preferences of the staff. The Fund, depending on its capabilities, satisfies the living, social and cultural needs of the Company's employees and former employees. In particular, employees, old age and disability pensioners and members of their families are entitled to use the Company Social Benefits Fund.

Decisions on granting aid and its amount are taken by social committees consisting of the representatives of employers and company trade union organizations, guided by statutory criteria, i.e. the life, family and material situation of persons entitled to receive fund benefits.

The funds from the Company Social Benefits Fund are intended mainly for subsidizing holidays, self-arranged countryside holidays, trips, camps, winter camps, ‘green schools’, school trips, short-term rest, trekking trips, sports competitions, cultural and educational events, children’s stay in a nursery, children’s club or kindergarten, as well as sports club cards, thanks to which employees can use various sports and recreational activities. Aid is also provided in the form of in-kind and hardship benefits, which can be obtained by persons in a particularly difficult life situation. Eligible persons may also use loans for housing purposes.

In 2017, the Company has made a ZFŚS charge for 42,468 eligible persons, including 17,233 employees and 25,245 old age and disability pensioners, and the amount of benefits was similar to the previous year.

Employees and members of their families, as well as old age and disability pensioners are eligible for reduced travel services in the form of reduced tariffs in trains operated throughout the country. The cost of employees purchasing a reduced travel service for the second class is entirely covered by the employer. The benefits are offered pursuant to the Agreement on Reduced Travel Benefits between ZPK and carriers operating passenger railway transport of 27 November 2013 and the Company’s internal regulations.

In 2017, a total of 28,507 of the aforementioned benefits were purchased, including:

  • for employees – 13,429 (78%),
  • for members of employees’ families – 2,283,
  • for old age and disability pensioners from the railway sector – 12,795.

Every year several hundred people (322 applications in 2016, 265 applications in 2017) decide to purchase an international ticket, which for a token fee allows them to travel around Europe and selected countries in Asia.

Establishing a Company Social Benefit Fund and managing its assets independently by the Group company employers, in cooperation with the crew representatives, creates optimum conditions for satisfying the social and welfare needs of the employee and former employees and their family members, guaranteeing that the support will be routed in accordance with the prevailing regulations and local needs and uniqueness of the unit.

The entitlements to discounted transport services are one of the basic, historically established non-salary stimuli for the Company’s employees, that continues to play an important role in the process of recruitment and integration of employees with the company.

Safety of the work environment

A Social Labor Inspector (SIP) is a social function discharged by employees in order to ensure safe and healthy working conditions. Social Labor Inspectors support Employees by monitoring the place of work on a daily basis in the context of compliance with safety standards. Employees may contact directly Social Labor Inspectors in any case an Employee notifies a change or improvement necessary to ensure safe performance of duties. Ensuring safety at work is a common goal of Social Labor Inspectors, OHS and all Employees.

Number of accidents and accident ratio in the Group in 2016-2017

Number of accidents at work [cases]236205
Accident ratio [‰]10,18,7

Źródło: Opracowanie własne

“POST-ACCIDENT PSYCHOLOGICAL SUPPORT for employees of train crews, other employees directly associated with conducting the rail traffic and rail traffic safety, and members of permanent rail commissions”

The Program provides the interested PKP CARGO employees with an opportunity to use the special hotline staffed by specialized psychologists, or a direct conversation with a psychologist, aid with health problems and private life issues, as well as participation in training devoted to coping with stress situations.

PKP CARGO S.A. received a distinction in the Second edition of the “Safety Culture in Rail Transport” contest organized by the Office of Rail Transport for “promoting the Post-Accident Psychological Support program as part of which comprehensive psychological support is provided to employees directly associated with conducting the rail traffic and rail traffic safety”.

The purpose of the project is to increase rail traffic safety through psychological support of the human factor.

The project is carried out in all organizational units and covers more than 7000 employees. It is dedicated to members of train crews and other employees directly associated with conducting the rail traffic and rail traffic safety, and members of permanent rail commissions.

The project’s main deliverables include:

  • Psychological Support Hotline staffed by specialist psychologists. It is accessible to the key employees who are directly responsible for regulating rail traffic intensity. The hotline is free of charge for callers (toll free number) and offers a conversation with an experienced psychologist, help in occupational issues and daily life problems, confidentiality and security of conversation and, most importantly, no professional consequences for the caller.
  • Meeting with a psychologist – in justified cases, during a telephone conversation with a Psychological Support Hotline specialist, one may make an appointment with a psychologist in the psychologist’s office.
  • Cascade training on psychological aspects of rail accidents – the area of psychological aspects of rail accidents, including Acute Stress Disorder (ASD) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Training sessions on occupational stress were carried out during the periodic instructions in the period from July to December 2017. Training is conducted by internal trainers, i.e. the employees whose duties include conducting training for the employees working on the positions related directly to conducting rail traffic and rail traffic security, and coordinators of the teams of permanent rail commissions. The participants gave very high marks to the training for internal trainers. The average grade was 4.7 on the one-to-five scale. 99% of respondents would recommend the Post-Accident Psychological Support project to other persons and encourage to take advantage of such initiatives.

Positive feedback and recommendations of the employees who participated in the project were an important voice in supporting the decision to carry out the project in the long run.

Through performance of the Post-Accident Psychological Support project, PKP CARGO increases rail traffic safety. PKP CARGO received a distinction from the Office of Rail Transport in the second edition of the Safety Culture in Rail Transport Contest.

Number of training hours for employees of train crews, other employees directly associated with conducting the rail traffic and rail traffic safety, and members of permanent rail commissions

PositionNumber of training hours during the yearNumber of training participants during the year
Operator of rail vehicles on rail sidings, Traction vehicle operator, Traction vehicle operator assistant244,1354,112
Operator of special rail vehicles which are not intended to move using their own propelling mechanism on actively used rail tracks81814
Rail traffic controller167792
Control room employee162336
Train conductor16151198
Rolling stock auditor161,0721,115
Shunting master161,2271,251
Track supervisor16910
Points operator166859

Source: Proprietary material

Ethics as an element of organizational culture

Code of Ethics

On 26 February 2018, the PKP CARGO S.A. Management Board adopted an updated version of the PKP CARGO S.A. Code of Ethics, which is one of the basic elements supporting the process of building and developing the organizational culture in the Company. The values and standards of conduct it contains are desirable in any organization. The main goal of the Code of Ethics is to recommend attitudes and rules of behavior during work, irrespective of the position held or the scope of duties. The Code of Ethics should serve as a guideline for the actions undertaken in the Company in relations with the Company’s stakeholders, i.e. Employees, Clients, Suppliers, Competitors and with the social and natural environment.  The Code of Ethics sets out the basic rules of conduct developed by the representatives of PKP CARGO S.A. with the participation of its employees and customers, such as reliability, cooperation, good management, safety, professionalism, modernity, transparency, responsibility and respect.

PKP CARGO S.A. employees may submit reports of breaches of the Code of Ethics directly to the Ethics Officer or by means of additional instruments, such as: a dedicated telephone line, e-mail address or mail box. An employee using this solution is guaranteed absolute anonymity, since these channels are operated by an external entity. The Ethics Officer guarantees social oversight over compliance with the Code of Ethics and anonymity of the reporting person during the entire procedure.

The Ethics Officer is supported in the Company’s units by Value Leaders, i.e. individuals appointed by the director of the Company’s Head Office department responsible for security, in consultation with directors of the Company’s units. Value Leaders do not accept any reports of violation of the values set forth in the Code of Ethics. Their role is to support the Ethics Officer in promoting and improving awareness of the Code of Ethics.

PKP CARGO S.A.’s policy related to preventing corruption and bribery

As of 1 January 2018 the Decision of President of the PKP CARGO S.A. Management Board dated 31 October 2017 entitled “Procedure of Dealing with Corruption Risks in PKP CARGO S.A.” entered into effect. This procedure regulates:

  • manner of reporting cases of corruption or suspected corruption;
  • registration of corruption events;
  • dealing with identified cases of corruption;
  • dealing with persons reporting cases of corruption;
  • informing the Management Board about cases of corruption;
  • reporting cases of corruption to law enforcement agencies and cooperation with such agencies;
  • analyzing cases of corruption;
  • preventing the recurrence of cases of corruption;
  • cooperation with the stakeholders, partners, business partners and administration institutions;
  • cooperation with PKP CARGO S.A.’s internal units. 

The procedure applies to all PKP CARGO S.A. employees and persons sitting on the Management Board. In addition, the procedure regulates the status of the Whistleblower, as well as the gift acceptance and offering policy.

The anticorruption policy is implemented through the “Procedure for Dealing with Corruption Risks at PKP CARGO S.A.”

To guarantee economic security it is recommended to conduct business interviews aimed at protecting PKP CARGO against loss of image and financial losses. Minimizing the risk through introduction of a Procedure for handling corruption risks and through introduction of the whistleblower status and appointment of a Compliance Officer responsible for clarifying irregularities. Whistleblowers may be both employees of PKP CARGO and persons/entities outside the Company which cooperate with it (customers, business partners, suppliers etc.).

Anti-mobbing policy

Given the statutory duty to counteract mobbing, resulting from the Labor Code, as well as in recognition of the need to combat all discriminatory practices and to ensure every employee’s compliance with ethical principles, and to shape appropriate interpersonal relations in the work environment, PKP CARGO S.A. has implemented anti-mobbing policies. Based on internal regulations, a number of organizational, legal, informational and cultural activities have been implemented, creating the basis for the Company’s internal anti-mobbing policy. The duty to counteract mobbing has been included in the labor bylaws in force at employers being members of PKP CARGO S.A. In all plants and at the Head Office, the Anti-mobbing Committees and Trustees have been appointed, thus creating conditions for the free and confidential lodging of complaints by any employees who believe they are being mobbed, or who have noticed signs of mobbing, and for subsequent efficient and objective examination of each of the notified cases and formulation of appropriate conclusions.

Further to continuous improvement of the Company’s anti-mobbing procedures, special emphasis in the implementation
of anti-mobbing policy is placed on preventive actions, especially in the sphere of education and information, consisting in raising mobbing awareness and increasing the personnel’s awareness in broader perspective, including ethical attitudes, organizational culture and conflict resolution skills preferred in the company.

This goal is achieved by, among other things:

  • employee training, with special focus on managerial positions,
  • providing employees with Intranet access to information on mobbing,
  • highlighting the issue of mobbing-protection by the employer during occupational health and safety training,
  • providing an e-mail address for reporting mobbing cases.

Depending on the assessment of the effectiveness of the solutions applied by the Company and current needs, the methods of counteracting the symptoms of mobbing and the preventive measures applied in this respect are constantly being developed..

The anti-mobbing regulations introduced create a foundation for the whole package of efforts aimed at minimizing the phenomenon of mobbing. Creating institutional grounds for fighting mobbing in the form of an employee-elected Trustee and Anti-mobbing Commission appointed by the decision of the President of the Management Board, combined with the activity of these bodies and oversight exercised by the Director of the HR Management Department, allows for efficient functioning of the complaint procedure and conducting effective prevention actions.