A fair partner

A fair partner to all our colleagues

H&M has been expanding strongly for many years and with more than 161,000 employees in 66 markets, our responsibility is greater than ever. Our approach is shaped by a fundamental respect for the individual.

This applies to every aspect of employment, from fair wages, working hours and freedom of association to equal opportunities for growth and development within the company. Importantly, our approach to being a good employer includes those countries where laws and regulations fall short of our own requirements.

A values-driven workplace

The H&M culture is defined by a number of enduring values. No matter where we are in the world, our culture and spirit are instantly recognisable. Having a values-driven business has allowed us to build a nimble, proactive and lean organisation that can grow quickly. Having clear values can also help us to attract and retain the right people, further contributing to our success. We believe in our people and their ability to take their own initiative.

We encourage employees to test their boundaries and put forward new ideas. Being straightforward and showing team spirit is encouraged, as is common sense, cost-consciousness and not least, keeping it simple and avoiding unnecessary bureaucracy.

76% of our collegues are women. And so are 72% of our managers.

Diversity & equality

Being an ethical company includes taking a clear stand against discrimination wherever we operate. As we operate in 61 markets, cultural diversity is part of our daily work.

We see workforce diversity – in terms of age, gender and ethnicity – as an asset to the company at all levels. We seek to ensure equality of opportunity throughout the company. Some 76% of our colleagues are women, and so are 72 percent of our managers and 50 percent of our board members.

Not all the markets in which we operate have clear and comprehensive labour legislation. It is therefore important for us to have global guidelines on diversity and equality, based on the International Labour Organization convention (C111 Discrimination).

Training & development

One of our ambitions is to give our colleagues the opportunity to grow and develop within H&M, providing training wherever possible. We want our employees to feel that H&M is a place where they are valued and can develop. Development is supported by regular performance review dialogues.

Our rapid expansion requires us to ensure that all employees are welcomed into our organisation in a consistent, efficient and high quality manner. We offer a blended approach to training, whereby e-learning and classroom sessions are combined to create a teaching methodology that is easy to duplicate internationally.

Sustainability is part of our employees’ induction training, including for store employees. At the end of 2013 we rolled out a new E-learning on sustainability which is available for all H&M employees. Sustainability training is one of our mandatory training courses for all colleagues. Additional modules cater to rolespecific needs. 

Employee relations

We strive for good relations with employee associations and trade unions that represent them. Our employees have the right to collective bargaining.

We apply an "open door" principle, which gives every employee the right to discuss work-related issues directly with management. Our Employee Relations department is part of our Human Resources department. Employees are represented at Board level, with two of the nine Board members being employee representatives.

We underline our commitment to employee representation through our Global Framework Agreement with Union Network International (UNI). This declares that both the company and our employees regard the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work to be the cornerstone of our co-operation. Our main contact point for this agreement is Handels, the Swedish Commercial Employees’ Union, which is a member of UNI.

H&M first signed an agreement with the European Works Council (EWC) in 1997 and this was amended in 2007. H&M and UNI Europa are signatories to the agreement. Meetings are held between management and all representatives on an annual basis and with EWC’s select committee, twice a year. EWC comprises employee representatives from some of our largest sales countries including Germany, France and Sweden.

Conscious Actions

Get the full overview of our ethical efforts.

H&M Incentive program

In order to show our appreciation of our employees, H&M has started an incentive programme for all employees.

H&M uses cookies to give you the best experience on our website. If you continue to use our services, we'll assume that you're happy with this. Find out more about cookies