Contracts, remuneration and additional benefits

Collective bargaining agreements

Collective bargaining agreements govern pay and working conditions for 84.5 % of employees in Germany (previous year: 86.4 %). The proportion of employment contracts of indefinite duration (excluding apprenticeship contracts) was 96.5 % (previous year: 96.4 %).

In June, the parties to the collective bargaining agreement – the Association of German Seaport Operators (Zentralverband der deutschen Seehafenbetriebe e.V., or ZDS) and the trade union ver.di – agreed wage table increases of 3.0 % from 1 June 2021 with a twelve-month term for port workers at companies that operate at German seaports. Similar deals have been reached for further wage agreements of the HHLA Group in Germany.

Collective bargaining agreements govern pay and working conditions for 28.4 % (previous year: 26.3 %) of employees in the foreign subsidiaries. 91.7 % of all employment contracts are of indefinite duration (previous year: 92.6 %).

Appraisal and remuneration systems

The appraisal systems at the German companies contain both bottom-up and top-down components. Some of them are laid out in collective bargaining agreements, comprise variable remuneration components and are linked with training requirements for the company and staff.

The management assessment system at HHLA was realigned in 2020, transferred to a performance management system and applied for the first time during the reporting period. In addition to the existing variable remuneration components, such as (return on capital employed) and , department- and company-specific parameters were adopted as new target categories. The assessment of the individual performance of executives was also expanded to include newly defined leadership principles.

The aim of the realignment of the variable remuneration system is to promote cross-functional cooperation alongside increased networking and interdepartmental process orientation in order to provide long-term support for the cultural shift at HHLA.

Flexible working models

HHLA employees working part-time in Germany

as of 31.12, part-time share in %

Developments in HHLA’s part-time employees in Germany (bar chart)

A growing number of people across all employee groups and hierarchy levels in Germany are taking up the option of working part-time to tailor their working hours to different life stages. Offering part-time work is therefore an important way of retaining staff at the company. Allowing staff to adapt their working hours helps them to reconcile their professional and family commitments, look after close relatives or do charity work.

In 2021, a total of 287 employees took up the option of working part-time (previous year: 254). At the end of 2021, the ratio of part-time workers at HHLA in Germany increased to 7.8 % (31 December 2020: 7.0 %). The percentage of men in part-time employment rose to 38.0 % (previous year: 35.8 %). At the holding company, where most roles are clerical, the ratio of part-time workers (excluding apprentices) was 18.0 % (previous year: 17.8 %). At HHLA’s foreign subsidiaries, the ratio of part-time work was 0.7 % during the reporting period (previous year: 1.0 %).

Company pension scheme

Since the complete reorganisation and development of company pension schemes in 2018, employees in Germany now have even more flexibility in terms of shaping their working lifetimes. Both individual early retirement solutions and various options for lump-sum payouts upon retirement boost the appeal of company pension schemes for employees.

Existing claims from models such as the working lifetime account and the so-called “port pension” have been transferred to the HHLA capital plan. By pooling these provisions within a single system, HHLA is also more closely aligned with rising employee needs with regard to transparency. In 2021, 64.9 % of entitled employees were already benefiting from this pension system.

More detailed information about the workforce can be found in the Employees section of the combined group management report.

ROCE (return on capital employed before taxes)

EBIT / Average operating assets.


Earnings before interest and taxes.