Our employees make a significant contribution to BASF’s success. We want to attract and retain talented people for our company and support them in their development. To do so, we cultivate a working environment that inspires and connects people. It is founded on inclusive leadership based on mutual trust, respect and dedication to top performance.

Our employees are key to the successful implementation of BASF’s strategy. That is why we rely on our employees and leaders. We give them the tools and skills necessary to be able to offer our customers products and services tailored to their needs. We promote a working atmosphere based on mutual trust with attractive working conditions, in which employees can develop their individual skills and potential. We want to further strengthen our innovative power through the inclusion of diversity. This also positions us to meet the challenges of an increasingly rapidly changing environment, demographic change and the digital workplace. Continuous learning and individual development lay the foundation for this. Compensation and benefits as well as our commitment to supporting a balance between personal and professional life complete our comprehensive package. In order to attract and retain talented people for our company in the future, we work continuously on BASF’s attractiveness as an employer. Our employees play an important role here as ambassadors for BASF.

For us, diversity means, among other things, having people from different backgrounds working at our company who can draw on their individual perspectives and skills to grow our business. As a global company, we serve many different customer needs. We also want to reflect this diversity in our workforce. By valuing and promoting employee diversity, we boost our teams’ performance and power of innovation, and increase creativity, motivation and employee identification with the company.

We also promote diversity in the selection and development of our leaders. We have set a global target to promote female leadership and aim to increase the proportion of women in leadership positions to 30% by 2030. We have made important progress toward this target. In the BASF Group, the global proportion of female leaders with disciplinary responsibility was 27.2% at the end of 2022 (2021: 25.6%).

BASF can rely on the engagement of its employees. Employee surveys and pulse checks are used as feedback tools to actively involve employees in shaping their working environment. As part of the BASF strategy, we set ourselves the following goal in 2018: More than 80% of our employees feel that at BASF, they can thrive and perform at their best. We regularly calculate the employee engagement level as an index score based on five questions on set topics in our employee surveys. The most recent survey from 2022 revealed an engagement index of 81% (2020: 82%).

Our aim of acting responsibly toward our employees is embedded in our global Code of Conduct through our voluntary commitment to respecting international labor and social standards. This encompasses internationally recognized labor norms as stipulated in the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, and the Tripartite Declaration of Principles Concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy of the International Labour Organization (ILO).

As of December 31, 2022, the number of employees increased to 111,481 employees compared with 111,047 employees as of December 31, 2021. The rise was primarily due to staff increases in Asia Pacific, especially for the new Verbund site in Zhanjiang, China. The divestiture of the kaolin minerals business and the cessation of business activities in Russia had an offsetting impact. We employed 3,049 apprentices1 (2021: 3,028). 2,468 employees were on temporary contracts.

BASF Group employees by region

  December 31, 2021 %




of which Germany



Asia Pacific



North America



South America, Africa, Middle East






The BASF Group hired 10,893 new employees in 2022. The percentage of employees who resigned during their first three years of employment – the early turnover rate – was 1.9% worldwide in 2022. This turnover rate was 0.8% in Europe, 4.0% in North America, 3.8% in Asia Pacific and 2.8% in South America, Africa, Middle East.

1 At BASF, the apprenticeship program trains students for technical, scientific and business vocations as well as for trade and craft professions.

We want to attract and retain engaged and qualified employees and motivate them to achieve top performance with a total offer package that includes market-oriented compensation, individual development opportunities and a good working environment. Our employees’ compensation is based on global compensation principles according to position, market and performance. As a rule, compensation comprises fixed and variable components as well as benefits that often exceed legal requirements. In many countries, these benefits include company pension benefits, supplementary health insurance and share programs. We regularly review our compensation systems at the global and local levels.

We want our employees to contribute to the company’s success. This is why the compensation paid to the vast majority of our employees includes variable compensation components, with which they participate in the success of the BASF Group as a whole and are recognized for their individual performance. We use the BASF Group’s return on capital employed (ROCE) to measure economic success for the purposes of variable compensation. This links variable compensation to our ROCE target.1 Individual performance is assessed as part of a globally consistent performance management process.

BASF Group personnel expenses

Million € 2022 2021 +/-

Wages and salaries




Social security contributions and assistance expenses


1,519 +5.2%

Pension expenses


732 -4.2%

Total personnel expenses




1 In calculating compensation-relevant ROCE, adjustments are made for negative and positive special items resulting from acquisitions and divestitures (for example, integration costs in connection with acquisitions and gains or losses from the divestiture of businesses) when these exceed a corridor of +/–1% of the average cost of capital basis. An adjustment of the compensation-relevant ROCE (in the first 12 months after closing) therefore only occurs in cases of exceptionally high special items resulting from acquisitions and divestitures.

BASF’s Compliance Program is based on our corporate values and our voluntary commitments, as well as international standards. It describes our commitment to responsible conduct and expectations around how all BASF employees interact with business partners, officials, coworkers and the community.

At the core of our Compliance Program is the global, standardized Code of Conduct. All employees and managers are obligated to adhere to its guidelines, which cover topics ranging from corruption and antitrust laws to human rights, labor and social standards, conflicts of interest and trade control, and protection of data privacy.

The online version of our Code of Conduct is aimed at our employees and also offers user-friendly features such as case studies, FAQs and additional references. The internal online platform and app provide our employees worldwide with up-to-date content such as videos and links to specialist units and guidelines as well as direct contact to subject specialists.

The structure of BASF’s Code of Conduct


Abiding by compliance standards is the foundation of responsible leadership. This has also been embedded in our values. We are convinced that compliance with these standards will play a key role in securing our company’s long-term success. Our efforts are principally aimed at preventing violations from the outset.

We perform a systematic risk assessment to identify the risk of compliance violations, including corruption risks. These are conducted at divisional and Group company level. The regular compliance audits performed by the Corporate Audit department are another source of information for the systematic identification of risks. These risks are documented in the relevant risk or audit report. The same applies to specific risk minimization measures as well as the time frame for their implementation.

One key element in violation prevention is compulsory training and workshops held as classroom or online courses. All employees are required within a prescribed time frame to take part in basic compliance training, refresher courses and special tutorials dealing with, for example, antitrust legislation, taxes or trade control regulations. Newly appointed senior executives also receive special training on leading with integrity. Course materials and formats are constantly updated, taking into account the specific risks of individual target groups and business areas. In total, more than 30,000 participants worldwide received over 50,000 hours of compliance training in 2022.

For more information on the BASF Code of Conduct, see basf.com/code_of_conduct

Code of Conduct

is the core of our Compliance Program


More than 30,000

participants in compliance training


47 internal audits

conducted on adherence to our compliance standards


Last Update May 26, 2023