Employee matters

Employee engagement

HUGO BOSS relies on a corporate culture that promotes the active involvement of employees. Employee engagement is an important prerequisite for the Company in increasing the motivation and commitment as well as the loyalty of employees to the Company. Employee engagement also promotes the employees’ identification with the Company’s objectives and thus contributes to their achievement.

HUGO BOSS is working for an active transformation of its corporate culture. The Company encourages its employees to embrace change in order to realize their own potential and create additional customer value. This requires the abandonment of complex organizational and reporting structures and the establishment of an environment that encourages innovation and forgives mistakes. The responsibility lies above all with the managers and the central HR department of the Company. Group Strategy


The target of HUGO BOSS is the Group-wide strengthening of employee engagement. Various communication measures are intended to promote information exchange among employees, to enable them to make autonomous decisions more often and thus to remove barriers to creativity and innovation.


A transparent flow of information and the consideration of individual needs are important prerequisites for strengthening employee engagement. The Managing Board and the managerial staff regularly inform the employees about current developments, mostly in the form of e-mails, articles in the Group-wide intranet or in regular departmental meetings. An essential element for determining the needs of employees is the Group-wide employee survey that takes place annually.

By means of modern training programs, the Company intends to enable its employees to apply agile working methods, greater self-reflection and an open feedback culture. One successful example of autonomous working is the corporate project “New Ways of Working,” which is managed by self-organized teams and tries out agile working methods in practice. Employees

Performance indicators

HUGO BOSS determines the satisfaction and the needs of its employees as part of an employee survey conducted annually since 2015 in cooperation with Great Place to Work® Germany. With a Group-wide participation rate of 66%, overall satisfaction of 68% was measured in 2018 (2017: overall satisfaction of 70% with a participation rate of 66%). At HUGO BOSS AG, an overall satisfaction of 74% was recorded (2017: 77%). The knowledge gained provides the Company with an important impetus for the further development of its human resources work and the corporate culture.

Human rights and labor standards

HUGO BOSS considers respect for human rights and compliance with applicable labor standards to be an integral part of its corporate culture. The aim is to ensure the wellbeing of employees in all areas of its global business activity – in administration, its own production sites, logistics and in its own retail business.

Any violations will be investigated, sanctions imposed, and action taken under the primary responsibility of the central Compliance department, jointly with the local HR departments and relevant managers if necessary. Anonymous complaints are initially received by the external ombudsman, who forwards them to the Compliance department to handle. As part of Compliance reporting the department provides the Managing Board with regular reports of any compliance violations.


The target of HUGO BOSS is strict compliance throughout the Group with statutory and internal company rules concerning human rights and labor standards.


Given the high standards that already exist at all the Company’s own sites and the high importance of the Company’s own production site in Izmir (Turkey), HUGO BOSS has focused its activities concerning human rights and labor standards on the issue of freedom of association and the principle of non-discrimination. Freedom of association for HUGO BOSS includes granting staff the right to join employee representative committees and works councils and enabling them to participate in collective bargaining in accordance with the relevant national law. A working environment that is free from discrimination is as axiomatic for HUGO BOSS as recognizing and promoting diversity and equal opportunity for all employees, regardless of nationality, gender, age or disability.

The HUGO BOSS Social Standards, which are based on internationally accepted standards of the United Nations and the International Labor Organization (ILO), are the key regulatory framework for compliance and improvement of social issues in the Company. With regard to freedom of association and the principle of non-discrimination, the standards are supplemented by the Company’s own Code of Conduct and its internal Social Compliance Policy. There are also regular training courses aimed at educating staff about social compliance issues. As part of social audits, the Company arranges for external auditors to perform regular audits on compliance with the Social Standards in the Company’s own production sites.

Performance indicators

As of December 31, 2018, three of the Company’s four production sites had a valid social audit, meaning that a (follow-up) audit was performed in those production facilities according to a results-based audit frequency of within 24 months. The audit for the production site at the headquarters in Metzingen will be performed for organizational reasons in early 2019. Combined Non-Financial Statement, Respect for Human Rights

During the reporting year, eleven discrimination cases were reported within the Group, including two cases in HUGO BOSS AG (2017: ten discrimination cases, none of which were in HUGO BOSS AG). Corresponding action was initiated in all reported cases. Six cases have already been closed, one of them in HUGO BOSS AG.

Fair compensation

A fair compensation system has equal opportunity and freedom from discrimination at its core and contributes to employee motivation and respect for employee rights. HUGO BOSS also sees the issue of fair compensation as an opportunity to foster staff retention and make the Company more competitive.

The compensation system at HUGO BOSS includes fixed and variable salary components, bonuses above the collective bargaining scale, non-cash compensation and other intangible benefits. It complies with industry and collective bargaining agreements and incorporates national and regional benchmarks. The relevant amount of compensation is based on job-dependent qualification and performance indicators without regard to gender or other diversity factors. This principle is also set forth in the HUGO BOSS Code of Conduct, which is available online. There are also works agreements for HUGO BOSS AG that govern compensation components such as the employee performance bonus. They are available to all employees on the Company’s intranet.

The ongoing review and further development of the Group-wide compensation system is the responsibility of the central Human Resources department in close cooperation with the managers of the central divisions and the HR departments and managers of the Group companies. The HR department is also in close contact with the Managing Board regarding this aspect.


The target of HUGO BOSS is to further improve the fairness and competitiveness of the compensation system.


The central HR department, in close dialog with the managers of the central divisions and the Group companies, is currently working on a Group-wide job grading system that rates jobs according to standardized criteria and allocates them to corresponding salary bands. The aim is to make the Group-wide compensation system more transparent, and easier to understand and accept. External salary benchmarks are also used in this process to further improve the competitiveness of the compensation system as it continues to be developed. The Company is proceeding on the assumption that the project can be completed in 2019.

Occupational health and safety

As a responsible employer, HUGO BOSS attaches great importance to the occupational health and safety of its employees. This is reflected in high standards of health and safety at work. These apply to all the Company’s sites, ranging from production and logistics sites to administration and the Company’s own retail stores. The Health and Safety Commitment published on the Company’s website emphasizes how much of a priority the issue is for the Company. The commitment is shown in the HUGO BOSS Code of Conduct and supplements the rules set forth there. group.hugoboss.com

Responsibility for occupational health and safety is decentralized at HUGO BOSS. Clear responsibilities are defined both in the respective Group companies and in the Group’s own retail stores. The relevant staff report to the central HR department at regular intervals and also when the occasion demands it. That department is also in close contact with the Managing Board regarding occupational health and safety matters.


The target of HUGO BOSS is to prevent accidents at work and safeguard the health of staff. High occupation health and safety standards should play a major part in achieving this goal.


HUGO BOSS has defined Group-wide standards for achieving additional improvements in occupational health and safety. In-house occupational safety specialists, managers, and, where needed, also external experts, are involved in health and safety inspections and risk assessments. This allows potential risks to be identified and assessed early and solutions developed. There is an in-house medical service at the headquarters in Metzingen and at other international sites.

Face-to-face training sessions and workplace orientations are an integral part of initiating industrial staff at the Company’s own production and logistics sites. Administrative and retail staff regularly undergo online training courses on the topics of occupational health and safety.

HUGO BOSS is currently revising its Occupational Health and Safety Strategy. By 2020, the corresponding processes and structures are to be aligned across the entire Group, particularly in its own retail business. The first step taken was the implementation of standardized health and safety inspections and risk assessments for the Group’s own retail business in Germany and Austria. In the next step, local managers will ensure that the standards that have been developed are implemented in the relevant markets. Employees

Performance indicators

In 2018, the HUGO BOSS Group had 250 work accidents, resulting in 4,248 lost days (2017: 183 accidents and 2,312 lost days). Of these, 57 work accidents and 888 lost days were attributable to HUGO BOSS AG (2017: 49 accidents and 560 lost days).