Photo de groupe pour les 10 ans de la maroquinerie Hermès de Sayat

Ethics, Human Rights and Diversities

"Hermès is a mosaic of men and women working daily for its development all over the world. Beyond their uniqueness, the people who bring the group to life have a common desire to share certain unifying and founding values of the spirit that has characterised Hermès since 1837."

Henri-Louis Bauer President of the Executive Management Board of Émile Hermès SARL
Axel Dumas, Executive Chairman



Driven by its humanist values, the Hermès group’s approach to ethics is aligned with the universal framework of major international principles, standards and agreements. The group has a two-fold requirement: zero tolerance for breaches of probity and a determined commitment to an ethical culture.

Specific systems, supported at the highest level of the organisation, are in place, with tools that formalise our commitments and a policy concerning training, monitoring and alert.


The Executive Committee oversees all ethical issues. It is supported by an Ethics Committee, set up in 2018. Chaired by a member of the Executive Committee, it is composed of the group legal director, the human resources director and the legal compliance director.

The committee oversees actions in relation to ethics and has two main missions: advising and making recommendations on the group’s ethical stance and handling internal alerts.


Hermès values and commitments are formally laid out ind :

These charters and codes, available in the “Find out more” section, are in line with fundamental principles, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ILO and OECD rules and the United Nations Global Compact on sustainable development.

Hermès also requires its suppliers to adhere to an ethical, social and environmental policy by signing a dedicated charter called the supplier “Handbook 2”.

Training, inspection and alert policy

The group has set up training courses on ethics and integrity. This training is provided locally, or at seminars, such as the buyers’ seminar. In addition, it has set up a group e-learning system dedicated to ethics and anti-corruption, in place since 2021 and mandatory for all persons considered to be exposed to the risk of corruption, in accordance with the group corruption risk map.

A network of compliance officers has been set up in the métiers and subsidiaries to ensure the dissemination of good practices and as a second line of control, to complement the work of the internal audit teams.

“H-Alert”, ethics alert system

“H-Alert”, ethics alert system

A secure and confidential professional alert system called “H-Alert!” was set up in 2019. It is used to collect reports from employees concerning, in particular, a violation of a legal standard or the group’s codes, procedures or ethical standards, and the existence of risks or serious infringements concerning human rights and fundamental freedoms, the health and safety of individuals or the environment resulting from the activities of the group or its suppliers and subcontractors. Employees are encouraged to report any of the above irregularities or shortcomings as soon as possible through the following information channels:

  • To their direct or indirect line manager, human resources or the Ethics Committee;
  •  Via a secure, anonymous and independent intranet platform or by voicemail, both operated by an external service provider.

“H-Alert” is available in 18 languages and accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

In addition, in the event of a breach or situation that is contrary to ethical, social and environmental principles, the Hermès group has set up an alert mechanism for its suppliers and subcontractors in the form of a generic e-mail address. These alerts are analysed confidentially by the legal compliance department and the purchasing department.


  • 100%

    of the Hermès group’s French companies have integrated the anti-corruption code of conduct and the “H-Alert!” guidance in their internal rules

  • 85%

    of direct suppliers have signed handbooks 1 and 2 (CSR policy)

  • 100%

    of the Hermès group’s French companies have integrated the anti-corruption code of conduct and the “H-Alert!” guidance in their internal rules

  • 9,000

    employees (and more) have received ethics training since 2017

Human rights


Sustainable development at Hermès rests on the ability of its partners and suppliers to develop in a sustainable manner with respect to social, environmental and ethical issues, particularly human rights, fundamental freedoms, employment conditions and respect for nature and biodiversity.

More broadly, Hermès contributes to the implementation of responsible sustainable development practices by supporting its partners and exercising a rigorous duty of vigilance.

Due to the fact that more than 60% of products are manufactured internally, the majority of production operations (80%) are located in France, and the proportion of operations outside the group and outside Europe is low, the risks of non-compliant practices are easier to control. This is also helped by the company’s proximity to its suppliers.


The legal compliance department contributes to the identification of risks to human rights and fundamental freedoms and to the development of measures to prevent violations, particularly within supply chains.

To do so, it works with the group’s main support departments. In the context of respecting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, the Hermès group is committed to:

  • Defining frames of reference to identify these risks;
  • Designing and implementing prevention and monitoring actions;
  • Disseminating the culture of compliance and ethical practice to all the group’s employees.


Hermès is committed to promoting respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and the group’s ethical approach is in line with the universal framework of major international principles, standards and agreements. In particular, Hermès is committed to respecting:

  • the Universal Declaration of Human Rights ;
  • the European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights ;
  • the International Labour Organization (ILO) Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, which covers principles grouped under the following themes: freedom of association, forced labour, child labour, discrimination;
  • the OECD guidelines.

The Hermès group is also a signatory to initiatives including the UN Global Compact.

In addition, it is committed to acting to protect human rights as laid out in the Modern Slavery Act (in the UK) and the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act (in the US).

The management system

The vigilance plan

In accordance with Act 2017-399 of 27 March 2017 concerning duty of vigilance, the Hermès group has drawn up a vigilance plan to identify risks and prevent serious violations concerning human rights and fundamental freedoms, the health and safety of individuals and the environment resulting from its activities and those of its suppliers and subcontractors.

Regular audits of suppliers

Hermès has put in place procedures for carrying out regular assessments of its suppliers and subcontractors. These audits allow the company to verify the reality of the suppliers’ commitments in situ.

Hermès supports the UN Global Compact

Results 2020

  • 92%

    of purchasing categories were risks-mapped

  • 71

    in-depth audits of tier 1 and 2 suppliers took place

  • 55%

    of audits maintained despite the Covid-19 pandemic

Diversities and inclusion


Maintaining diversities among its people and talent is the foundation of the brand’s wealth and creativity. The group is highly committed to the principles of recognition, respect and equal opportunities. The group prohibits any situation of discrimination, as defined by French law or any other legislation depending on the country concerned. 


The diversity policy is overseen by a member of the Executive Committee in charge of organisational governance. It is based on the values and ethics of the House and on the actions overseen by the Group’s Human Resources Department. The Group’s Disability agreement team joined forces with a network of 14 advisors across all of the Group’s Métiers.


Diversity of talent is a source of wealth, creativity and innovation. The “Hermès, Responsible Employer” policy aims to facilitate the integration of all employees by developing concrete actions to promote:

  • ethics: respect for difference is presented to employees in the ethics charter, which guarantees objectivity, equal opportunities and the promotion of diversities and the absence of discrimination in recruitment, career development and daily management;
  • management of diversities: through the “Alterego” training programme, which demonstrates the benefits of difference for the company and thus reinforces fair and impartial management in access to employment and career management;
  • social diversity: to promote diversities, Hermès focuses its recruitment methods on greater inclusion, in particular by encouraging the hiring of long-term jobseekers and senior citizens and by using aptitude tests rather than CVs whenever possible;
  • gender equality: equality between men and women is one of the fundamental principles supported by the group. Particular attention is given to the provision of equal pay for equal work and equal opportunities at all levels of employment;
  • people with disabilities: Hermès has long been concerned with the integration of people with disabilities into its different métiers

Employee breakdown by gender

Gender breakdown

Employee breakdown by gender

The recruitment of employees respects the principle of diversity wherever Hermès operates. Gender equality is one of the fundamental principles of the Hermès group and is reflected in the fact that the majority of the group’s employees (67%) are women.
Particular attention is paid to ensure equal pay for equal work and equal opportunities at all levels of employment. Management receives training and the subject is specifically addressed in human resources department meetings.

Gender equality

Gender equality
French Gender Equality Index* 92/10
Proportion of female managers 60%
Proportion of women in senior management 54%
Proportion of women on the Supervisory Board 50%
* Measures the overall index of weighted averages of the gender pay gap, the gender gap in pay increases, the gender gap in promotions, the number of female employees receiving a pay rise after returning from maternity leave and parity among the top 10 highest earners.

People with disabilities

Hermès has chosen to implement a policy to integrate and retain workers with disabilities across its different métiers. In 2020, this became a long-term commitment with the signing of the second group disability agreement by all the union coordinators to address the following issues:

  • Promoting the employment and integration of people with disabilities ;
  • Creating a job retention policy ;
  • Reinforcing indirect employment through collaboration with organisations helping people with disabilities into work and self-employed disabled workers ;
  • Reinforcing the fight against decision-making biases induced by stereotypes or prejudices in relation to disability and changing attitudes within the company through information and communication.

Mission handicap

The Group Disability Agreement are led by a network of 14 disability advisors across all the group’s métiers. A significant training plan for recruiters and human resources on the recruitment of people with disabilities has been put in place, to ensure they feel at ease recruiting people with disabilities.

The Handi'Cap forum

The Handi'Cap forum is an annual highlight which has taken place for the last three years. In 2020, it exceptionally took place remotely and was focused on the theme “Achievements and inspirations!”. It brought together more than 250 committed managers and employees, all of whom are essential to the effective roll-out of the disability policy.

Hermès continued its three-year partnership with Sciences Po Paris on the “Accessible” programme, dedicated to students with disabilities. Students with disabilities had meetings for internships, sandwich courses and jobs.

Workers with disabilities

  • 5,71 %

    of employees had disabilities in 2020 (Direct employment rate, France)

  • 6

    The group’s Mission Handicap attended 6 dedicated job forums

  • 1st

    in the Capital ranking of the 500 best employers in France

  • 5th

    in the Financial Times Top 100 Diversity Leaders

An inspiring initiative

Our relationship with the Equiphoria institute has become a partnership in which our savoir-faire is used to the benefit of people with a disability.

The collaboration between Equiphoria and the Equestrian métier was born out of a need experienced by this equine therapy and hippotherapy centre (treatment using the movement of horses) based in Lozère in finding equipment that ensures the comfort of both the horse and the safety of their severely disabled patients. Using a scientific approach and a multidisciplinary team bringing together both therapists and horse specialists, Equiphoria works to improve the neurological function in people with motor or mental disabilities, using the horse’s gait: “The human brain has the impression of walking”.

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