Equality and diversity Supporting our greatest asset

We’re committed to making sure our workplaces and policies allow our employees to contribute their very best, fulfilling their potential and addressing customer needs. We will continue to find ways to support our employees and engage them as ambassadors of the C&A brand.

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After an extended period of growth, our sales have fallen in recent years, as has been the case with many other high-street retailers. We need to create a lean, efficient organisation – and that means that employee numbers have reduced this year in Europe, as well as the number of permanent employees. 

C&A employee gender distribution, C&A employees by gender and contract type

C&A employees by contract type, C&A employees by contract type and location

Supporting fairness and transparency

C&A is committed to equal opportunities for all employees, regardless of age, gender, ethnic origin, religion, ideology, sexual orientation, or disability. We support fairness and transparency in our way of working, with our employees and suppliers, and through our Fairness Channel – the tool we use to identify and address any issues that arise.

Our stores clearly display the names of C&A contacts for concerns or questions. We deal with any concerns rapidly, working to find the best solutions for all parties. Overall, we received a very low number of complaints in 2015, and investigated and resolved each case appropriately.

In 2016, the C&A Fairness Channel investigated:

  • 12 confirmed incidents of corruption.
  • 2 incidents when contracts with business partners were terminated or reduced due to violations related to corruption.
  • 8 incidents when C&A employees or employees of business partners were dismissed, and three incidents where employees resigned following an investigation.
  • 1 incident when a verbal warning was issued following a violation related to corruption.


Of course, we comply fully with anti-discrimination laws in the countries where we operate, and encourage diversity across all our departments. All job roles, promotions, and rewards are awarded purely on the basis of merit. Should any issue of potential discrimination be reported, the executive board takes appropriate measures to investigate and resolve it. 

Respecting others

Doing business ethically has been central to our company since it was established over 175 years ago. In line with our values, we have a deeply rooted respect for others, a passion for serving our customers, and a keen appreciation for trust and responsibility. Today, as a global company, maintaining our high ethical standards is an important way of meeting our customers’ expectations – and our own. Our global Code of Ethics outlines how employees should behave, what a good working environment should be, and what good leadership looks like.

Respecting human rights

C&A respects the human rights of everyone who contributes to our business. Our Code of Conduct and Code of Ethics – which is supported by e-learning in Brazil and China – are guided by the latest best practice on human rights, including the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights. Additionally, we conducted a human rights gap assessment and are determining how our sourcing practices could affect human rights issues in our supply chain, and if needed, how to address any issues. From this foundational work we are now conducting human rights due diligence of our supply chain, including our sourcing and buying practices. This ongoing process will also encompass our products, our employees, and the communities we serve. We will communicate our findings in our 2017 Sustainability Report.

Read more about sustainable supply
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Responsible marketing

C&A communicates with many different people around the world. We want to create products everyone can enjoy, regardless of age or size, and recognise the need to reflect this in our advertising campaigns and choice of models. Through our advertising, we aim to share our values and positive attitude to life. So when we’re developing new advertising campaigns, we will continue to avoid content that could be seen as discriminatory, defamatory, or hurtful. We apply the same rigour to complying with the laws and guidelines of national advertisers’ associations.

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