REWE Group Sustainability Report 2017


GRI 401: EmploymentManagement Approach

Satisfied, hard-working employees form the foundation of REWE Group’s long-term business success. Understanding this, the company offers attractive and fair working conditions to its employees. To gain their loyalty, the company offers fair pay, additional company benefits that extend beyond the level of negotiated wages, flexible working models that can be adjusted to meet individual employee needs and tailored ways to achieve work-life balance.

During the reporting period, REWE Group received a large number of awards, including:

  • CSR Jobs Award in the category “Work-life balance”, Top Employer 2018 from the Top Employers Institute, Top 100 Employer in the trendence student barometer, HR Excellence Award 2017 for the project “Digital Paper Chase”, kununu Top Company, kununu Open Company, Trainee Award 2018 from Absolventa, Great Place to Work Berlin and Brandenburg 2017, Great Place to Work (Best Employer 2017 and special prize for Diversity & Inclusion) and the “True and Fair Trainee Programme 2017” award (both for REWE International AG), Trainer of the Year 2017 from the industry magazine “Lebensmittel Praxis” for the social recruiting concept.

Since 2009, REWE has been certified by berufundfamilie Service GmbH, an initiative of the non-profit Hertie Foundation, based on the “audit berufundfamilie”. About 2,400 REWE stores (1,700 chain stores and 700 partner stores) and six administration and logistic sites have been certified for several years. The company has been working on re-certifying the stores since June 2017. The new target agreement, which will be valid from 2018, was developed in numerous workshops and with the involvement of all interfaces. The stores, headquarters and the logistics sites of toom Baumarkt DIY stores have been certified since 31 October 2016.

During the reporting period, the foundations were laid so that in 2018 the “audit berufundfamilie” will also be carried out for PENNY Markt GmbH – in other words, for 27,000 employees in the stores, the regional centres and at the logistics sites.

More than 135,000 employees of REWE Group across Germany are being reached and can profit from more flexible working models as well as more family and life-phase-focused human resources policies. REWE is now the largest company in Germany to receive certification from “audit berufundfamilie”. In Austria, BILLA, MERKUR, BIPA, PENNY and REWE Int. Services have also been awarded a certification from “audit berufundfamilie”.

REWE Group offers an array of programmes that are designed to put its family-friendly and life-phase-focused human resources policies into practice. These policies have been added to a number of binding labour-management agreements. They cover such issues as flexibilisation of work schedules and locations. The support begins even before parental leave starts and continues once the leave begins. It includes information events and a programme for keeping in touch. To help employees as they return to work, the company’s own child-care support and cooperation agreements for kindergarten slots in some regions have been markedly expanded in recent years. For instance, in 2017 company daycare centres in Cologne and in Frankfurt were increased to 128 places. DER Touristik has 23 places for children under three years of age in a toddler group. In addition, in some regions cooperation agreements for kindergarten places exist.

The partnership set up in 2008 with awo lifebalance, a national initiative of AWO (formerly AWO ElternService), was expanded across Germany in 2016. The services are now available to all employees of headquarters and regional locations as well as stores and logistics sites. About 145,000 employees are reached with a broad range of programmes that offer counselling and facilitate the provision of services related to child care and nursing care. Specially furnished parent-child offices at all locations enable employees to bring their offspring to work in emergencies. As a result, employees can still perform their regular jobs while keeping an eye on their playing children.

A large number of support options related to child care are also available during holiday periods. REWE Group offers summer camps, health trips and free youth hostel membership to all employees across Germany. Regional locations are also increasingly focusing on the issue of child care. These activities include special regional programmes like child care during company events, emergency child care as well as toy boxes and high chairs in canteens. In Austria, too, returning to work is made easier for employees with programmes such as summer camps, where children are cared for professionally for one to two weeks.

Support with nursing-care situations is also becoming a higher priority. To supplement the new German Family Caregiver Leave Act (Familienpflegezeitgesetz), REWE Group completed a new labour-management agreement in 2015/2016 that offers many benefits to employees. These benefits include the following

  • REWE Group offers employees in all companies time off to care for family members.
  • Employees are permitted to take two paid hours off work on one occasion. They can use this time to visit government offices and prepare required applications for nursing care.
  • Employees return to their original jobs after completing their nursing-care and family caregiver leave, as long as no important company-related situations exclude this.
  • There are first-contact offices staffed by internal advisers to assist affected employees. They provide initial information and emotional support.

Employees also have the option of taking time off work as part of a sabbatical. During such a sabbatical, employees can take up to six months off work within a period of 12 months without giving any reasons. During this period, employees receive an adjusted salary to ensure that social insurance coverage is maintained.

Within the scope of its appreciative HR management, REWE Group carries out regular employee surveys. They reflect company morale and identify problem areas. During the reporting period, REWE Group wrote to almost 80,000 employees in selected business units (including almost 5,000 employees in the Cologne headquarters, about 15,000 employees of toom Baumarkt DIY stores, 20,000 employees of BILLA in CEE), covering about 25 per cent of all employees. More than half of them (54 per cent) responded to the survey. The evaluation of responses found that employees of REWE Group are in principle satisfied with their jobs. The best grades were given for work environment, transparency and clarity. The individual business units were provided with differentiated evaluations so that in the individual store or department specific actions could be derived based on the results of the survey (483 reports were drafted alone for the Retail Germany headquarters).

REWE Group welcomes the statutory minimum wage approved by the German government in 2014. In its work with contractors, REWE Group focuses on compliance with minimum social standards. In 2011, REWE Group introduced the “Guideline on Minimum Standards for the Use of Contractor Employees” on a national level. The guideline applies to the use of both temporary employment agencies and to work and service agreements. The company will work only with contract partners who pledge to apply minimum social standards and to pay any minimum negotiated wages as well as the statutory minimum wage for their employees. To ensure that the contract partners comply with the standards, REWE Group has worked with TÜV Rheinland, a leading international technical service provider in Germany, to develop an auditing process. The audits are conducted in the areas of product replenishment, picking and cleaning personnel. During the reporting period, audits were conducted in all strategic business units that work with contract partners.

Other Measures

Working from home and new work schedule rules for the REWE headquarters organisation, REWE Markt GmbH Cologne and REWE Systems Including:
  • Expansion of working hour windows
  • Elimination of core time
  • Flexible reduction of overtime (several consecutive comp-time days, also before or after holiday days)
Valid since 1 January 2015
Expansion of day-care centres
  • 2017: ten places
  • eKITA REWE minis in Munich-Schwabing, Region South of REWE Headquarters Full-Range Stores
  • 95 day-care places in the Cologne headquarters
  • 23 places for children under three in the toddler group
  • Expansion of cooperation agreements for kindergarten slots in some regions
toom Baumarkt DIY stores: Tutoring for employees’ children
  • Objective: to make homework help affordable through financial support and to ease worries about grades
  • A salary supplement of 100 euros gross is paid each month for a period of six months to support tutoring for an employee’s child. A total of 250 slots for employee children are available at the provider Studienkreis.
February 2015

GRI 401-1: New employee hires and employee turnover

New Employee Hires and Employee Turnover

The turnover rate among REWE Group employees has been relatively stable between 14 per cent and 16 per cent for many years. In 2017, the fluctuation rate rose slightly to 16.2 per cent from 15.3 per cent (2016). During the same period, the hiring rate of new employees rose from 16.7 per cent (2016) to 17.1 per cent in 2017. The industry average in Germany was 27.9 per cent in both 2014 and 2015.*

* Information reported by the Cologne Institute of Economic Research, 20th edition. Period: Third quarter of 2014 to second quarter of 2015. Key figure includes the industries of trade, maintenance and repair of vehicles.

New hiring and resignations


2017 ✓
Up to 30 years old 31–50 years old Older than 50 years Female Male Germany Austria
New hirings 14197 9380 1687 15247 10017 14914 10350
Resignation -11333 -8868 -3786 -14659 -9328 -14266 -9721
Up to 30 years old 31–50 years old Older than 50 years Female Male Germany Austria
New hirings 13605 8745 1517 14700 9167 13959 9908
Resignation -10670 -7768 -3477 -13629 -8286 -13227 -8688
Up to 30 years old 31–50 years old Older than 50 years Female Male Germany Austria
New hirings 13344 7830 1324 13667 8831 13243 9255
Resignation -10119 -7492 -3617 -13388 -7840 -12612 -8616


Personal turnover based on sales line (per cent)
National Full-Range Stores International Full-Range Stores (Austria) National Discount Stores Discount Stores Austria National Specialist Stores National Travel and Tourism Other Total (scope of application of the sustainability report)
2015 11.2 20.4 14.7 42.4 11.4 10.3 24.3 15.1
2016 11.0 20.4 15.7 36.9 11.0 11.2 27.4 15.3
2017 ✓ 11.9 23.0 15.3 34.8 11.5 10.7 29.3 16.2
2015 2016 2017
Total turnover 15.1 15.3 16.2
Turnover female 13.7 13.8 14.4
Turnover male 18.3 18.7 20.2
Turnover age group up to 30 29.9 31.1 32.6
Turnover age group 31 to 50 10.9 11.2 12.6
Turnover age group over 50 9.6 8.8 8.9

GRI 401-3: Parental leave

Return to Work after Parental Leave

REWE Group is an advocate of work-life balance and makes it as easy as possible for employees to return to their jobs following parental leave. In 2017, 8,928 employees in Germany and Austria took parental leave. The group consisted of 774 male and 8,154 female employees. During the reporting period, 3,100 employees returned to the workplace. 89.1 per cent of employees who returned from parental leave in 2016 were still employed by REWE Group as of 31 December 2017. The right to parental leave is legally regulated in Germany and Austria.

Number of employees who have taken parental leave

2015 2016 2017
Female 7,517 7,906 8,154
Male 485 638 774
Total (scope of application of the sustainability report) 8,002 8,544 8,928

Number of employees who returned to work following parental leave*

2015 2016 2017
Female 2,013 2,313 2,425
Male 406 537 675
Total (scope of application of the sustainability report) 2,419 2,850 3,100

*Full time, part time or marginally employed during parental leave

Number of workers who continued to be employed at the company 12 months after returning from parental leave (end of parental leave)

Total Percentage of all male and female employees who returned from parental leave in 2015 Total Percentage of all male and female employees who returned from parental leave in 2016
Female Resignation within 12 months 233 12.4% 227 10.5%
Still employed at the company after 12 months 1,652 87.6% 1,931 89.5%
Total number of women 1,885 2,158
Male Resignation within 12 months 67 16.8% 67 12.5%
Still employed at the company after 12 months 332 83.2% 470 87.5%
Total number of men 399 537
Total Resignation within 12 months 300 13.1% 294 10.9%
Still employed at the company after 12 months 1,984 86.9% 2,401 89.1%
Total 2,284 2,695

More topics:

GRI 402

Labor/Management Relations

GRI 403

Occupational Health and Safety

GRI 404

Education and Training Programmes

GRI 405

Diversity and Equal Opportunity

GRI 406