Dialogue with employees

Essity regularly carries out employee surveys. Employees are the company’s main asset and an employee survey was held in 2018 that covered 31 statements at five levels. The statements were updated to reflect Essity’s focus on hygiene and health and the company’s new Beliefs & Behaviors.  

To achieve greater efficiency, the survey was carried out digitally for the first time. The results are expressed as indexes for Care, Committed, Courage, Collaboration and Engagement, as well as an overall Essity index.  

The response rate was 80% (88% in 2015). Essity’s index var 75 (72 in 2015) on a scale of 1–100. Based on the outcome of the employee survey, all teams will develop and implement action plans to further strengthen Essity and make the company an even better place to work.

Employee relations and union activities

Transparent communication is fundamental to the trust between Essity and its employees, as well as their representatives. Employees are encouraged to raise issues relating to employment and health and safety with their line manager. Our company recognizes the right of all employees to join unions and to partake in union activities. Union involvement varies among Essity’s countries of operation, but on average 63% (61, 54) of Essity’s employees are covered by collective agreements. 

Global Framework Agreement

In 2013, we signed a new agreement with IndustriALL Global Union. IndustriALL represents 50 million employees in 140 countries in the mining, energy and manufacturing sectors. It was formed in June 2012, combining several union organizations, including the International Federation of Chemical,Energy, Mine and General Workers’ Unions(ICEM), which previously represented Essity employees. The content of the new agreement largely coincides with the previous arrangement with ICEM, although there are now clearer references to ILO conventions. The Swedish Paper Workers Union is also encompassed by the agreement with EWC and IndustriALL.


Diversity and non-discrimination in the workplace are cornerstones of our Code of Conduct. Essity has a system in place for reporting and investigating discrimination incidents and applies procedures to avoid similar incidents in the future.


We offer employees a market-tested total remuneration package. Levels vary in each local market in which the company operates.

Organizational changes

The notice period in connection with organizational changes in the Group varies, but averages about five weeks. In connection with organizational changes, Essity works to support the employees affected. This is done through discussions with labor unions at an early stage and by preparing a social action plan that is adjusted to local conditions. The action plan normally includes assistance in seeking employment and/or education. Other tools include severance pay, early retirement and financial incentives for those who find new jobs before the end of the period of notice. Support services may comprise individual career counseling or administrative support.

Leadership and talent management

One prioritized area is to develop the potential of all employees and Essity’s strategy is that most of this development should take place in daily work. Essity offers a global leadership platform, and approximately 700 managers took part in 2018. 290 people participated in the mandatory one-day onboarding program for all newly appointed managers. 240 participated in Core 1, a six-day program to develop managers who have been in their role for six to 12 months with a focus on leadership skills. Core 2 is conducted for more experienced managers, which is a leadership program to develop people’s capabilities to lead in a complex environment, engage people and manage change. Creating Value is another course to further strengthen participants’ capabilities in strategic leadership areas. In 2018, a total of 70 people took part in this program. 

During 2018, great emphasis was put on managing change and more than 100 managers took part in training about change management. Other programs include the Hygiene Academy, which offers training in brand activities, digital marketing and innovation. 490 people in total took part in these programs. Essity has also established a training program in sustainability with the aim of improving understanding of sustainability’s impact on products and services, customers and consumers. 

The average number of training hours per employee was 15. 

A global performance management review system

We have a global system for performance review and development planning (GPS) in place. The reviews identify the skills and abilities necessary for employees to achieve the stated targets and whether the individual needs to develop in any specific areas. The objective is to follow up the performance of every employee twice a year.  In 2018, 88% (92, 90) of white-collar employees participated in performance management reviews. The corresponding number for blue-collar employees is 78% (80, 85).