The number of refugees employed by large German companies is slowly increasing. Overall, however, it is still at a very low level. The proportion is higher for smaller companies.

Overall, the large German stock corporations only employ a small number of refugees. Deutsche Post is an exception here, as the results of a survey by the media service Integration among the 40 Dax companies show.

Since companies often do not know which of their employees are refugees, the survey asked about employees from the eight most common non-European countries of origin for asylum seekers – Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Eritrea, Somalia, Nigeria and Pakistan.

Deutsche Post has announced that it is currently employing 5,700 refugees, the media service said. The chemical and pharmaceutical company Bayer counted 81 refugees. According to the information, 50 refugees were employed at Henkel. The pharmaceutical supplier Sartorius gave the number of employees who are refugees or come from one of the eight countries at 28. At RWE there were 26 employees, at Adidas 25, at Puma 21, at Allianz 20 and five at Brenntag.

Numerous announcements from Dax companies

32 of the 40 DAX companies responded to the request from the media service Integration. Of these, 22 companies stated that they could not provide any figures. Of the ten companies that provided information, one company said it did not employ any refugees.

The lion’s share – 290 trainees – of the total of around 380 trainees from asylum countries of origin who were specified by the Dax companies in the survey also came from Deutsche Post.

Numerous DAX companies announced in 2015 that they wanted to hire refugees. “We are ready to give all asylum seekers with legitimate chances of a right to stay quick and secure access to education and jobs,” said the then President of the Federation of German Industries (BDI), Ulrich Grillo.

The Institute for Labor Market and Vocational Research has determined that small and medium-sized companies employ a disproportionately high proportion of refugees in relation to their share of total employment. One reason for the low number of refugees in DAX companies is the high proportion of jobs for highly qualified people in these companies, the media service Integration found.

signaled readiness

Since the Russian attack on Ukraine began on February 24, several German companies have signaled their willingness to hire war refugees from there. In some cases, there are special, shortened application procedures for Ukrainian refugees. Unlike during the so-called refugee crisis in 2015 and 2016, the majority of refugees from Ukraine are women. Many of them are mothers with children of kindergarten or primary school age, so that the question of schooling or childcare also plays a role here.

In the survey, Infineon stated that it would continue to employ employees who had fled to Germany from the Ukraine. The sporting goods manufacturer Puma has employed 20 people from the Ukraine since February, some of whom were also working for the company before they fled. Sartorius stated that he was employing a war refugee from the Ukraine.

The state-owned company Deutsche Bahn has hired more than two dozen Ukraine refugees, according to Martin Seiler, head of Human Resources at Deutsche Bahn. Federal Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) announced on Tuesday that the federal government and the federal states would continue to make efforts to facilitate the recognition of Ukrainian qualifications in Germany.