Personnel Matters

WACKER’s success is a team effort, involving the whole workforce. That is why WACKER – in the spirit of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth – encourages its employees to realize their potential, assume responsibility and contribute their own ideas. We support their endeavors by providing basic and advanced training opportunities. We want our employees to have secure jobs, generous employee benefits and a work culture that facilitates a positive work-life balance. It is important to us that they all enjoy equality of opportunity. Further, our aim is to ensure that any employees who are disabled or have chronic health issues are integrated in the workplace over the long term. Vocational training has always been a focus of WACKER’s personnel-development activities. We offer our employees attractive compensation, good promotion prospects and a share in our company’s success. And all key personnel matters are dealt with by the corresponding Executive Board committees.

In our Code of Conduct, we explicitly commit ourselves to the UN Global Compact’s Ten Principles. They include the principles on labor standards, namely upholding the freedom of association (Principle 3), eliminating all forms of forced labor (Principle 4), abolishing child labor (Principle 5) and eliminating discrimination (Principle 6). We also make commitments to our customers to uphold these same labor standards.

The sanctions we impose for any proven misconduct in personnel matters are determined by the seriousness of the incident. There were no incidents of note in the reporting year.

Basic and Advanced Training at High Levels

WACKER has made vocational training a focus of its personnel-development activities. In 2018, 191 young people began apprenticeships at WACKER or at the Burghausen Vocational Training Center (BBiW). With a total of 599 apprentices, the company employed almost as many as the year before (2017: 601). The percentage of apprentices (ratio of apprentices to Group employees in Germany) was 5.5 percent, marginally lower than the prior-year figure (5.7 percent). In 2018, WACKER kept on virtually all suitably qualified apprentices -157 graduates – hiring 130 on permanent contracts and 27 on temporary contracts. The Burghausen Vocational Training Center also provides training for partner companies outside the WACKER Group.

To keep abreast of demographic trends and offer young people long-term prospects, WACKER and the council of employee representatives agreed a new regulation about hiring qualified apprentices. The new company agreement provides that apprentices, if suitable, receive a job offer after graduating. If the offer is for a long-term position, hiring is permanent. For a temporary position, hiring is limited accordingly.

In 2018, WACKER invested a total of €8.7 million in personnel-development activities and advanced training (2017: €7.9 million).

Workplace Safety

Workplace and plant safety are vitally important for WACKER. That is why WACKER defines safety targets together with its executives in Germany (in upper and middle management) during its annual target-setting process.

WACKER’s processes and standards for workplace safety are aligned with the international OHSAS 18001 standard. Systematic workplace safety includes regular evaluation of hazards and work-area monitoring.

All our employees are given safety training tailored to their own work areas. WACKER Germany, for example, offers a total of 42 online courses on occupational safety issues. Topics range from general safety guidelines for office and laboratory workers to instruction on safe behavior in potentially explosive atmospheres and the classification of hazardous materials.

In the reporting year, we processed the findings concerning the 2017 explosion at Charleston (USA) in a safety program. All our units worldwide have to check their protection strategy for compressors and retrofit them by year-end 2019 if necessary.

We also significantly improved the safety of pipe bridges in 2018. A groupwide initiative for pipe bridges involves reviewing and adjusting technical designs, corrosion protection, organizational rules and emergency planning.

Workplace accident performance is one of the most important non-financial performance indicators. One of our workplace safety goals is to ensure that the number of workplace accidents per 1 million hours worked does not exceed 1.7 groupwide in 2020. In terms of reportable accidents (accidents with more than three workdays missed), WACKER’s numbers are far better than the German chemical industry average. The reportable accident rate at WACKER in 2018 was 1.3 per 1 million hours worked. In contrast, Germany’s Social Accident Insurance Institution for the raw materials and chemical industry (BG RCI) registered 9.3 reportable accidents per 1 million hours worked in chemical companies in 2017. In the reporting period, WACKER again had no fatal workplace accidents in its workforce.

Very few accidents at WACKER involve chemicals. The most common causes are tripping, slipping, falling and lack of care when performing manual activities. We are not satisfied with our accident rate and are stepping up our safety efforts. In 2018, we reviewed how effectively our German sites implement key safety regulations, for example those about the safety of partner-company employees or about working safely on ladders.

We are continuing to implement our WACKER Safety Plus (WSP) program, which looks at sites with particularly low accident rates and makes use of their successful safety measures, such as safety patrols, emergency drills and holding discussions with the workforce. The goal of WACKER Safety Plus is to recognize and avoid unsafe behavior.

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Accident rate across Group:
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Diversity and Equal Opportunity

Equal opportunity: we view human diversity as an asset. We oppose discriminatory or derogatory treatment on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity, religion, ideology, disability, sexual orientation or age. These principles are valid across the WACKER Group and, as part of our corporate culture, are embodied in our Code of Teamwork & Leadership. Employees can notify their supervisors, even anonymously, of any potential discrimination or report it to a compliance officer, employee representative or designated HR contact person. Complaints are investigated and the reporting party informed of the outcome. Cases of potential discrimination are included in the monthly compliance report submitted to the Executive Board. In addition, they are listed in the regular reports submitted to the Supervisory Board. We require all employees at our German sites to complete an e-learning course to familiarize themselves with the country’s General Equal Treatment Act (AGG).

Promoting diversity: in 2015, WACKER launched a groupwide initiative to promote diversity and inclusion in its workforce, and also signed Germany’s nationwide Diversity Charter. Ever since then, WACKER has set yearly priorities to sensitize employees to the opportunities and challenges of a diverse workforce. Our focus in 2018 was on inclusion, a topic that Germany’s Diversity Day also highlighted from multiple perspectives.

In the reporting year, the Bavarian Ministry of Social Affairs awarded Wacker Chemie AG its “Inclusion in Bavaria – We Work Together” emblem. This Bavarian government citation recognizes employers who contribute significantly to the inclusion of persons with disabilities into working life. WACKER’s goal is a prejudice-free work environment, where every employee can contribute to the company’s success – and where employees with severe disabilities or with an equivalent status are integrated over the long term.

At WACKER, special arrangements are in place for anyone who has severe disabilities, who is of equivalent status or whose health is impaired. To provide targeted support in line with local laws, WACKER’s workplace integration management involves close cooperation between supervisors, employees, Human Resources, employee representatives, representatives of employees with disabilities and Health Services.

Alongside inclusion, diversity management at WACKER is focusing on the issues of gender and cultural background. People from 67 different nations work for WACKER. At the end of 2018, 37 out of a total of 172 senior executives groupwide were of non-German nationality – which corresponds to 21.5 percent of the total. Overall, 15 nationalities were represented at the senior executive level.

Proportion of Women in Executive Positions

We have set a goal to significantly increase the proportion of women in middle and upper management positions in the medium to long term. WACKER’s talent-management process helps systematically identify and nurture women with management potential. The corporate governance report contains additional information about the proportion of women in management and, in particular, about how WACKER is implementing the German statute on equal opportunity for women and men in management that came into force on May 1, 2015.

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Diversity, Inclusion and Equal Opportunity
















Number of senior executives (OFKs) excludes inactive employment contracts and the Executive Board of Wacker Chemie AG








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Commended as Family-Friendly Company

The Bavarian government, in its “Successful. Family-Friendly” corporate competition, commended 20 companies, including WACKER, for their exemplary support in reconciling family life and work. 227 Bavarian companies from all industries and of all sizes participated in the competition.

WACKER won in the categories “family-oriented work conditions,” “service and support offers,” “personnel development and sustainability,” “information and communications” and “corporate and leadership culture.” WACKER offers its employees extensive opportunities to balance their private and professional lives. These range from multiple work-time models, childcare assistance, and school-vacation support at Burghausen (our largest site) through to one week of “family time” for parents of children under eight and support for employees caring for relatives.

In 2018, WACKER joined the “Familienpakt Bayern” network (Family Pact Bavaria) of the Bavarian government and Bavarian industry, a move that highlights our goal to foster a family-friendly corporate culture. About 600 companies have joined the Pact.

Global Employee Survey

After the 2015 employee survey in Germany, WACKER conducted its first worldwide survey in 2018, asking employees about the company’s culture and performance. The outcome showed that WACKER’s employees around the world identify strongly with their work and their employer. Globally, workforce engagement was 82 percent – calculated as an average approval rating for questions about work enjoyment, coping with workloads, pride in the company, and commitment. That was a very positive result, especially when compared with the external provider’s benchmark, an industry average based on numerous surveys. In Germany, the score for the questions above beat the 2015 survey’s strong 74 percent by 6 percentage points.

Employee Turnover

Good social benefits, competitive compensation and motivating tasks make WACKER an attractive employer. That is evident in our employees’ long-standing allegiance to the company. The average length of service in Germany (permanent staff) was 18.1 years (2017: 18.3 years). The average length of service of WACKER’s executive personnel was 21.6 years.

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Employee Turnover Rate











































Employee Representation

Our employees in Germany also make use of their option to unionize. Every WACKER site in Germany has employee representatives. Elections are held regularly, most recently in 2018. WACKER actively nurtures social partnership. In the interests of the company’s employees, relations between management and employee representatives are close and constructive. Innovative and feasible company agreements are one result of this dialogue.

Internationally, employees are also free to unionize. If non-German sites have no (statutory or voluntary) employee representation, HR staff members are the contacts for employee interests.

todo Vorjahresvergleich