Employee involvement

Employee empowerment and participation play an important role in managing employee relations within the adidas Group. Our employees are free to join organisations of their choice to represent them, consistent with local organising laws. These organisations may, if recognised as the appropriate agent, engage in collective bargaining according to the applicable legal regulations.

Employee representatives at Supervisory Board

The Group has established Works Councils at adidas in Germany and other European subsidiaries. The members of the Works Councils are elected by the workforce.

Currently, three representatives of the German Works Council are also members of the Supervisory Board. The Supervisory Board advises and supervises the Executive Board in the management of the adidas Group. It is involved in all decisions of fundamental importance to the Group and is responsible for appointing and dismissing members of the Executive Board. This so-called 'co-determination' structure is mandatory under German law.

Works Council Germany

In 2010, elections took place for the local Works Councils at all German locations: Scheinfeld (production and warehouse), Uffenheim (warehouse) and Herzogenaurach (headquarters and German subsidiary). Two out of those three Works Councils increased the number of their members in keeping with the growing number of employees.

The Works Council offers an intranet platform to post questions anonymously. Questions addressed in 2010 mainly referred to HR tools, remuneration, equal treatment of employees and basic information on the elections.

Central Works Council

This Works Council represents all our sites in Germany, including our headquarters in Herzogenaurach. Elections for this Council took place based on the results of the elections of the local Works Councils.

In 2010, the Central Works Council was actively involved in a range of staff-related projects. Depending on the type and subject, the Works Council played a critical role in exercising its development, support, feedback, consultation and approval function. The Works Council paid special attention to the following initiatives:

  • Implementation and alignment of revised remuneration structures
  • Revision of bonus schemes for management levels and implementation of bonus schemes for professional levels
  • Implementation of work-life accounts (long-term accounts) to optimise life-time working hour flexibility.

European Works Council

The European Works Council (EWC) currently consists of eight delegates from six European countries. Germany, as the country with the largest number of employees, has three delegates on the Council. The fruitful collaboration between the European and headquarters Works Council and the Group Social and Environmental Affairs (SEA) team continued in 2010.

In 2010, at the annual EWC summit, the main topics discussed included:

  • HR tools implemented and HR projects run at European locations
  • Updates on risk management and data protection
  • Review of updates provided by Group SEA on 2009/10 social and environmental programmes and initiatives
  • Update on the Code of Conduct and review of cases of non-compliance
  • Revision of the Company Agreement on the Establishment of the European Works Council, according to the new EU guidelines
  • Concepts to facilitate EWC participation of non-EU locations.

Works Council engagements in 2010

Works Council representatives participated in various local and international stakeholder meetings as well as in several conferences and seminars where the general topic was Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

Works Council members also regularly meet representatives of the Hans-Böckler Foundation (affiliated to the German Trade Union Federation) to discuss general CSR-related topics, exchange information and experiences and share best practice.

Reading this report

Performance counts and reporting is about making performance clear to readers.

So in this year's report each page identifies which Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) indicators it addresses, complementing the GRI Index.