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Why This Matters

Every company has a responsibility to protect the health, safety and wellbeing1 of its employees. We put millions of people to work each year so we know that when people feel safe, engagement is higher, they stay longer and develop more skills and experience that benefit everyone. Social media also means that employee experience is more transparent than ever, so maintaining high standards helps position us as a great company to work for and attract the best talent.

Since the health crisis caused by COVID-19, it’s more imperative than ever for people to feel safe and secure in a healthy work environment. That’s why in March 2020 we founded the Safely Back to Work Alliance with other leading HR services companies to help organizations, policy makers and governments prepare for the new normal in the workplace. As the world’s largest private sector employer, our industry has a leading role to play in driving healthy labor markets and protecting individuals. We shared safety protocols from across 26 countries and many industries and are proud that we have been a part in scaling this important initiative, to now be led by our industry association, the World Employment Confederation.

Our Impact


  • Co-Founded the Safely Back to Work Alliance, now convened by the World Employment Confederation, an industry collaboration to provide employers with best practices for a safe return to work
  • Supported our 26,000 global employees through the pandemic by enhancing our suite of wellness programs, including the launch of our OneLife Wellbeing Platform, with carefully curated content for our People & Culture teams to adapt in-country
  • Introduced virtual TeamsBuddy peer to peer connection program engaging 500+ employees in 40+ countries
  • Achieved all-time high employee engagement of 63%
See more on our latest progress in our 2021 ESG Report, Working to Change the World.


Our global Health and Safety Policy outlines our commitment to provide a safe working environment for all our internal staff, as well as the associates and consultants we place on assignment with clients. The policy is included in our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, and all employees are trained and certified annually.

Aligned with our global commitment, and in compliance with applicable local and national regulations, our operations around the world maintain local health and safety standards. Using custom designed work environment surveys, we ensure our workplaces are safe while assessing the health and safety risk of client worksites and roles and educating clients on ways they can improve their own practices.


We provide training on safe and healthy work practices for all employees, associates and consultants globally via powerYOU, our digital learning platform, with additional role- and site-specific training where client locations require it.

We have designed tailored training for industries where workplaces present additional safety challenges. In France, our largest market, our virtual reality training prepares associates to navigate potential hazards safely before they ever set foot on site. In Belgium and the Netherlands, we have developed logistics academies where we train and certify the safe operation of forklifts and other equipment in actual warehouse environments. Our targeted training reaches over 20,000 people annually in these three countries alone.


We have 600,000 people working across thousands of client sites every day, and take all possible measures to prevent injuries at work and keep our accident rates low. We also look to ensure that if any of our people do sustain an injury, they can get back to work safely and quickly. If they cannot return immediately to their previous role we aim to find alternative assignments that support their path to recovery. In Canada, we’re partnering with Habitat for Humanity to place associates in roles at ReStores, enabling people to work through recovery while supporting Habitat’s mission to create safe and affordable housing for families across the country. This innovative solution contributed to Manpower Canada winning several ACSESS Health and Safety Awards over the past five years.


The health crisis created by COVID-19 also allowed us to activate our well-developed business continuity plans across the globe, supported by proven issues management communications to navigate emergency situations. Our first priority is always ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of our staff and associates. Then we can focus on helping as many people as possible to continue working safely, carrying out essential roles and continuing to provide for their families and communities. In less than 10 days, we migrated 80% of our staff to remote working and enabled thousands of associates to work safely from home. We reassigned associates from disrupted industries like hospitality to roles supporting essential work.

As workplaces begin to reopen, we have rolled out client and associate communications around a Safe Return To Work and Safe Restart and also require inspections, certification and training on Safely Back to Work protocols across our locations.

We are also well-accustomed to mobilizing our teams to support disaster response efforts, partnering with governments and non-profit organizations, for example, the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency, to train and place hundreds of our associates on 24/7 standby to support residents impacted by hurricanes, floods and other natural disasters.


Several of our largest operations have obtained formal certification for their health and safety management systems, including ISO 45001, OHSAS 18001, VCU, MASE, and AS/NZS 4801. These operations represent approximately 50% of our 2019 revenues and 40% of worldwide employees.

Performance Data


Markets with health & safety certification1 43% 50% 50%
Employee absentee rate2 1.9 2.9 4.6
Number of recordable injury events among employees per million hours worked3, 4 3.7 3.8 4.7
Number of lost-time injury events among employees per million hours worked5 2.8 3.9
Number of recordable injury events among associates on assignment per million hours worked4, 5 24 23.9 23.3
Number of lost-time injury events among associates on assignment per million hours worked5 22.3 21.6


1 Percentage of worldwide revenues in countries with certified management systems.
2 In key markets where data is tracked. 2019 data represents approximately 50% of worldwide employees, reduced from 60% in 2018 due to lack of data availability at the time of reporting. Absenteeism rates vary significantly between countries, ranging from a low of 0.2 to a high of 8. Absenteeism data is not tracked in some markets, including the US, where our Paid Time Off policy enables employees to take scheduled or unscheduled time off as needed for any reason.
3 Data was unavailable in several countries heavily impacted by COVID-19 at the time of reporting, resulting in a reduction in coverage from 80% of worldwide employees in 2018 to 67% in 2019. Incident rates vary widely between countries, ranging from a low of 0 to a high of 10 events per million hours worked.
4 Not tracked globally prior to 2018.
5 In key markets representing approximately 60% of associates on assignment.

1 details on ManpowerGroup’s approach to wellbeing, see our Human Capital disclosure