Our employees

Our employees are our most important asset. They create the dynamics that characterize our international corporate culture.

Employee related data

At year-end 2015 Bekaert had 27 149 employees on the payroll (G4-10)
  Region TOTAL
  EMEA North America Latin America Asia Pacific  
Blue collars 5 2971 169 5 704 8 268 20 438
Male 4 705 1 1225 573 7948 19 348
Female 592 47 131 3201 090
White collars 1 391 247 1 858 1 669 5 165
Male 933 163 1 322 1 199 3 617
Female 458 84 536 470 1 548
Management 616 152 269 509 1 546
Male 529 130 231 396 1 286
Female 87 22 38 113 260
TOTAL Male 6 167 1 415 7 126 9 543 24 251
TOTAL female 1 137 153 705 903 2 898
GRAND TOTAL 7 304 1 568 7 83110 446 27 149

Breakdown by employment type

Headcount versus FTE broken down by region

Region Headcount  FTE
EMEA 7 304 7 242
North America 1 568 1 541
Latin America  7 831 7 831
Asia Pacific 10 446 10 427

Breakdown by contract type (permanent/temporary): in most cases employees with a temporary contract are not on our payroll, but are on the payroll of external organizations (Special Economic Zones, Employment agencies)

Attracting and retaining talent

We support the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the conventions and the recommendations of its International Labor Organization. (G4-15)

We are committed to provide equal opportunity in employment and to respect the rights and dignity of each employee. We recognize and appreciate the cultural identity in the countries in which we operate and do business. We promote equal opportunity and do not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of age, race, nationality, social or ethnic descent, gender, physical disability, sexual preference, religion, political preference, or union membership.

The recruitment, remuneration, application of employment conditions, training, promotion and career development of our employees are based on professional qualifications only.

Our hiring policy states that every new employee receives a copy of our Code of Conduct which explains our policies and procedures with regard to business ethics. All new managers are required to sign a compliance statement. (G4-56)

Our Code of Conduct covers key areas regarding human rights, child labor and forced labor (G4-HR5, G4-HR6).
  • Management: 100% of managers received the Bekaert Code of Conduct and are trained through specific management training programs. Annual renewal of acceptance of the Code of Conduct and training will be implemented in 2016 and will be monitored in the central "My Learning Tool" on the Bekaert Intranet. 
  • White & blue collars: 100% of employees received Code of Conduct, Code of Conduct integrated in labor contract. 

All policies are available to all employees through the Bekaert Intranet.
We offer competitive salaries and benefits designed to enhance the financial, physical and well-being of our employees and their families. While our offerings differ from country to country and are often integrated with local social security, we provide a wide range of employee benefits that may include retirement benefits, healthcare plans, service awards, labor accident disability coverage and paid leave. For more detailed information on employee benefits we refer to section 6.15 of the annual report


Benefits provided to full-time and part-time employees that are not provided to temporary employees (as "interim workers"), by significant locations of operation (> 1000 employees) (G4 LA2).
  Belgium  China Slovakia US
 Life insurance   yes yes yes yes
 Health care  yes yes no yes
 Disability and invalidity coverage  yes yes yes yes
 Parental leave  yes  yes yes yes
 Retirement provision  yes no yes yes
 Stock ownership  no no no no


Communicating with our people (G4-26-G4-27)

We recognize the right of any employee to join or to refrain from joining a trade union. 82% of our employees worldwide are covered by collective bargaining agreements. (G4-11, G4-HR4)

All agreements with trade unions are at a local level and include the following (G4-LA8):
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Joint management-employee health and safety committees
  • Participation of worker representatives in health and safety 
  • Inspections, audits, and accident investigations
  • Training and education
  • Complaints mechanism
  • Right to refuse unsafe work 
  • Periodic inspections
We encourage communication with our employees and their representatives.
  • Direct information meetings are held in all plants worldwide, regular information meetings are scheduled with Unions in all unionized plants worldwide.
  • Annually, we hold 4 interactive teleconferences/webcasts with all managers worldwide.
  • We organize 1 International Management Conference worldwide per year.
  • In 2015 we launched a new intranet that aims at stimulating information sharing, conversation and engagement.

Learning and development

In order to drive high performance and a continuous development of all employees, the company’s group targets are deployed into team and personal targets for everyone. All employees received a performance review. Bekaert’s performance management system enables the evaluation of teams and individuals as they relate to the set targets, as well as their way of working. In 2015 we started a program to innovate our performance management approach to further stimulate frequent performance and coaching dialogues and to increase the level of empowerment. This will further be implemented in the organization in the years to come. Bekaert attaches great importance to provide challenging career and personal development opportunities to its employees. Training programs not only include technical and function specific training, but also leadership modules that help our people develop and cooperate in a global business environment.

Percentage of employees who received a performance review (G4-LA11):

Average hour of training per employee category & per gender (G4-LA9): On average 27 hours of training.

2015 Training hours World

The above data are excluding China, as the information by gender was not available. However, this will be monitored as of 2016.

2015 training hours China

Sustainable support tools

In 2014 Bekaert launched an internal Learning & Development portal and continued the implementation in 2015. In a first phase, the web based tool was rolled out for all managers worldwide. It provides an overview of all available trainings, both traditional classroom courses and e-learning modules. The portal also serves as a monitoring tool since it keeps track of each manager’s training history.