Working Conditions and Human Resources Strategy

  • Material topic: Working conditions
  • GRI 401

United Internet aims to be a fair and attractive employer. Its goal is to recruit managers and employees with specialist skills and technological know-how, to support their continuing development, and to retain them at the Company.

One core principle of our human resources work is always to see our staff as individuals first, and not just as employees. We create a high-performance corporate culture by ensuring our Corporate Values are reflected in material strategic human resources issues such as compensation, continuing education and training, and occupational safety. Our Management Board liaises regularly on these issues.

In addition to our general, overarching strategy, our Access and Applications divisions and the individual segments within them require specific human resources strategies. We have established centralized, topic-specific centers of competence to regulate overarching HR governance issues and offer Group-wide services, allowing requirements and staffing levels to be coordinated at Group and divisional level. This ensures an overarching approach and equal treatment, while freeing up the segments to focus squarely on their operational business.

Responsibility for key elements of human resources development, recruitment, and HR marketing has been transferred to the segments concerned so as to guarantee this operational focus and to ensure that the HR strategy in the segments is as close to the business as possible. By contrast, the core “UI Learning and Organizational Development” center of competence promotes topics such as continuous professional development and learning on a Group-wide basis so as to provide a framework for creativity and productivity. This helps leverage new ideas and innovative potential, enhances our Company’s competitiveness, and offers opportunities for all.

  • GRI 401-1

We aim to offer tailored staff development formats, recruit managers from within the organization, and retain employees for the long term. Metrics used to track effectiveness include the management positions that have been filled internally (2022: 66.2%; 2021: 65.7%; 2020: 73.7 %) (1) and the staff turnover rate (2022: 9.8%; 2021: 11.2%, 2020: 6.7% ) (2) . In addition, we have set ourselves the goal of appointing more women to management positions.

(1) Active core employees, i.e., employees including apprentices and trainees, but not including staff with inactive employment contracts (mainly employees on parental leave), interns, student workers, school students, thesis students, and temporary staff.

(2) Annual average headcount (active core employees).

The following tables give a breakdown of the workforce by location (Germany or abroad) and segment:

In Germany








Total employees




Employees by location (1)




(1) Figures refer to our active employees as of December 31 of the fiscal year concerned.

Consumer Access




Business Access




Consumer Applications




Business Applications




Corporate HQ




Total employees




Employees by segment (1)




(1) Figures refer to our active employees as of December 31 of the fiscal year concerned.

Our Values and Corporate Culture

Our Corporate Values and Leadership Principles make up our Company’s system of values. Our Code of Conduct shows how we act in line with them. All employees receive documentation on our system of values and the Code of Conduct when they join United Internet, and these are also discussed during the onboarding process.

We prepare our managers for their responsibility as role models and have also anchored this as a core element of our Leadership Principles, so to ensure we are walking the talk with our values in our daily work. These principles are currently being broken down in greater detail in individual segments, for example in IONOS’s Business Principles. Our two-monthly (virtual) manager onboarding meetings are used by small groups of managers to discuss our values and leadership principles, and to derive an understanding of what they mean for their day-to-day work from this. Management Board members from the individual segments kick off and introduce the topic, and actively reach out to our new managers on it. It is then discussed in more detail and put in an operational context in the obligatory three-part “Leadership Training – Leadership Foundations” course, which all new managers have been required to take since the first quarter of 2020.

To obtain as objective a view of ourselves as possible, we evaluate assessments by external institutions and independent sector rankings in addition to our internal surveys. In 2022, the Top Employers Institute again recognized us as a “Top Employer” – an accolade we have held for more than 10 years. This certification is awarded to companies that offer their employees attractive working conditions. Criteria used in the evaluation are career opportunities, employer benefits, working conditions, and training and development opportunities.

Fair Remuneration

Paying our employees fairly and in line with performance is an important part of our human resources strategy. We aim to provide staff with market-driven, fair, and transparent compensation and benefits that are aligned with our corporate strategy. Our internal compensation guidelines form the basis for our comparable, fair, and legally compliant compensation system. They clearly define the rules and procedures to be observed throughout the Group when making salary adjustments.

Some positions and levels of responsibility offer performance-based variable compensation components. In addition, the United Internet Group offers employees a number of benefits above and beyond the financial compensation it pays; these include a company pension, capital formation benefits, prevention programs forming part of our occupational health system, and discounts on our products.

The salaries we pay, and the way in which these progress over time, are independent of employees’ gender or other factors that are not related to the position in question or the skills required. We compare positions internally every six months, keep up to date with market developments and analyses, and track external benchmarks in order to guarantee fair, appropriate compensation. To do this, the salaries for more than 7,000 staff in 6 countries are compared with benchmark data on normal market remuneration from a well-known survey provider, which is updated every year. The results of the comparison are made available to the HR business partners and are incorporated in the salary formation process for both regular salary reviews and extraordinary salary adjustments.

Civil society organizations and NGOs have noted that companies in the Philippines frequently do not pay the minimum wage. Regular salary reviews are intended to ensure that the Company’s staff in Cebu are paid more than the minimum wage.