Commitment to Employees and Society

Creating Attractive Working Conditions

Competitive compensation and variable pay

Our compensation system combines a basic salary reflecting performance and responsibility with elements based on the company’s success, plus extensive additional benefits. Adjustments based on continuous benchmarking make our compensation internationally competitive.

We attach great importance to equal pay for men and women, providing fair compensation and informing our employees transparently about the overall structure of their compensation. Bayer voluntarily pays employees on both permanent and temporary employment contracts in excess of the statutory minimum wage in many of the countries in which we operate.

Binding and transparent compensation structures

At Bayer, individual salaries are based on each employee’s personal and professional abilities and the level of responsibility assigned to them. At the managerial level, this is based on uniform evaluation of all positions throughout the Group using the internationally recognized Hay method. This method will be successively applied to the managerial positions in the acquired agriculture business. In areas of the Group and jobs that fall within the scope of a binding collective bargaining agreement, there are no differences in pay based on gender either. In the Emerging Markets and developing countries, compensation levels are aligned to local market conditions. In the majority of cases, full- and part-time employees at our Significant locations of operation A selection of countries that accounted for more than 80% of total Bayer Group sales in 2018 (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States) receive the same rates of pay. Employees on temporary contracts are not entitled to long-term compensation components such as pension plans in some countries.

Our compensation concept also includes variable one-time payments. Approximately €1,100 million is earmarked for bonus awards to employees for 2018 under the Group-wide short-term incentive (STI) program and similar programs (2017: approximately €680 million for employees in continuing operations). In many countries, employee stock programs enable our staff to purchase Bayer shares at a discount. Starting in 2019, these programs will be extended to the employees of the acquired agriculture business as well. Senior managers throughout the Bayer Group are invited to participate in “Aspire,” a uniform long-term compensation program based on the development of the share price.

Our personnel expenses for continuing operations amounted to €11,548 million in 2018 (2017: €9,528 million). This change was largely due to the acquisition of the new agriculture business and the associated substantial increase in the number of Bayer employees.

Alongside attractive compensation for their work, Bayer contributes to the financial security of its present and former employees after their retirement. Retirement benefit plans are available to 80% (2017: 75%) of Bayer employees worldwide to complement national pension systems. The benefits provided depend on the legal, fiscal and economic conditions in each country, employee compensation and years of service. Personnel expenses in 2018 included pension expenses of €924 million. Payments of €1,123 million were made in 2018 to current retirees. The value of total pension obligations at the end of 2018 was €26,569 million.

Personnel Expenses and Pension Obligations








€ million


€ million


Present value of defined benefit obligations for pensions and other post-employment benefits as of December 31, 2018


2017 figure including Covestro until its deconsolidation

Personnel expenses





of which pension expenses





Pension obligations1





Pension benefits paid2





Vocational and ongoing training

Employees can take part in wide-ranging ongoing training opportunities. We bundle our Group-wide continuing education offerings in the Bayer Academy, which offers both continuous professional training and systematic development of managerial employees and has received numerous international awards. Since 2018, our employees have had access to a comprehensive eLearning library that supports learning tailored to individual development needs. These offerings are already available to employees of the acquired agriculture business. The acquired agriculture business additionally has its own vocational training and continuing education offerings, which will be integrated into Bayer’s program over the course of 2019.

In 2018, we determined the vocational and ongoing training hours for all employees worldwide (in 2017, those at our significant locations of operation only), including those of the acquired agriculture business. At the same time, the range of face-to-face training offered in the second half of 2018 was reduced. For this reason, vocational and ongoing training hours amounted to only 17.1 hours per employee in 2018. Once the integration of the training systems has progressed further, we will report on the average ongoing training costs, including those of the acquired agriculture business, in 2019.

Training Activities in Hours in 2018 by Employee Group and Gender









Bayer uses the Hay method to determine whether employees belong to junior or senior management. As the evaluation of positions in the acquired agriculture business is not yet complete, our reporting for the whole Group for 2018 refers to specialists and management (both junior and senior).

Employee group1





















Overall average







To meet the need for skilled employees, Bayer provides vocational training in Germany in more than 25 different occupations and offers more vocational training places than is required to meet its needs. In 2018, more than 700 young people started a vocational training course at Bayer in Germany. We employed nearly 2,000 trainees overall in 2018 (around 500 women and 1,500 men). Bayer also offers trainee programs in various areas for those embarking on a career and internships for students around the world.

Feedback on employee performance and wide-ranging career opportunities

Bayer encourages a culture of candid feedback. Our employees have the opportunity to receive feedback from their supervisors on fulfillment of their professional and behavioral objectives. This evaluation also helps to determine their variable compensation. In 2018, about 78% of our total workforce participated in these feedback discussions. Of the participants, 42% were female and 58% male.

Thanks to our wide-ranging business activities, we offer employees throughout the Bayer Group good opportunities for development. Regular development dialogues between employees and supervisors provide an opportunity to discuss the employees’ further career development perspectives. More than 53,000 development dialogues were held and documented in 2018. A total of 44% of employees participated in development dialogues.

Vacancies throughout the Bayer Group, from nonmanagerial right up to management level, are advertised via a globally accessible platform.

Work-life balance

We offer our employees flexible working hours and support in child care and caring for close relatives. In many countries, our commitment in this area goes beyond the statutory requirements. In 2018, part-time employees accounted for around 9% of the Bayer Group workforce, primarily in Europe.

Part-Time Employees by Gender





















Bayer enables both men and women to take parental leave. Since national parental leave regulations vary widely from country to country, we only compile data for our significant locations of operation. 1,980 women and 1,228 men at these locations took parental leave in 2018. By the end of the year, 2,486 employees on parental leave had returned to work.

Bayer has introduced uniform conditions for mobile working (home office) in Germany through a General Works Agreement with the Works Council. In addition, through the “BayZeit” long-term account in Germany, employees can convert part of their salary into free time, which they can later take off to care for children or close family members, or to take part in an advanced training course, for example.

Initiatives to promote health and ensure safe working conditions

In 2018, Bayer sustained its global framework concept to promote employee health and quality of life (BeWell@Bayer). It expands the core aspect of health into a comprehensive approach, targets further improvements in the daily work environment and is intended particularly to help balance employees’ professional and private lives. We aim to provide employees in all countries with access to affordable and targeted health offerings such as regular medical check-ups, sports programs, rehabilitation and on-site medical care. The acquired agriculture business has similar health promotion programs.

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