Working conditions at BASF

Basis for our actions: Compliance with international labor and social standards.

We are committed to international law and social standards. Our internal standards embrace this commitment and go beyond in many areas. Our commitment to respect internationally accepted work and social standards is anchored in our global Code of Conduct. Essential reference points are the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UN), the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and the ILO’s Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy.

To achieve worldwide compliance with these standards within BASF, we chose a management approach that consists of the following three elements:

  • Compliance Program (including external Compliance Hotlines)
  • Stakeholder dialogue (e.g. with employee representatives, international organizations, NGOs)
  • Management process derived from the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights that systematically fulfills our expectations regarding international labor standards


Compliance Program (“BASF’s Compliance Management System”)

BASF`s Compliance Program is a fundamental component of our value “responsible”. Important elements of this program include key internal policies and standards, leadership commitment, appropriate corrective measures (including discipline) to address violations or potential gaps, systematic compliance training for employees and management, and the availability of the Compliance Hotlines worldwide. Violations of applicable law or internal directives can have adverse effects on BASF. Violations can be avoided or stopped by employees seeking timely advice or raising concerns. For this reason, employees are required to speak up and seek advice in cases of doubt regarding their own conduct, the conduct of others, or BASF’s processes in the work environment. The Compliance Hotlines are open to all our employees to seek advice or raise concerns. These external Compliance Hotlines are supervised by trained compliance professionals and can be used anonymously and confidentially. BASF strictly prohibits retaliation against any person who raises a concern or complaint in “good faith.”


Stakeholder Dialog

Our value "open" reflects the commitment to fostering a dialog based on honesty, respect and mutual trust with our stakeholders. An open dialog helps to identify new developments at an early stage, to address open issues and to find solutions. For the area of employment conditions, our primary partners are our employees and their representatives. With the aim of promoting responsible action in the social market economy, we are involved in discussion platforms such as the "Wittenberg Process", a dialogue between the chemical industry's social partners, the result of which is, among other things, the establishment of a code of ethics for the chemical industry. In addition, we are in close contact with regional network meetings and local committees as well as with neighboring communities. We also engage in networks such as the UN Global Compact and seek dialog with organizations such as the ILO, the UN, and NGOs such as Transparency or Amnesty International.

Learn more about our Stakeholder Dialog.


Management Process

Based on a group-wide BASF guideline on the respect of international labor and social standards, the national law of all countries in which BASF operates is analyzed systematically on a regular basis. If national law contains no or lower requirements, action plans will be drawn up to close these gaps in a reasonable time frame. If conflicts arise with national law or national customs, we strive to act in accordance with our values and internationally recognized principles without violating the law of the respective country. When an internationally recognized right is restricted by law, an internal systematic dialogue with employees within the framework of national law can positively contribute to the value of social dialogue.