The focus on aligning the office human resources processes with those of Truworths continued during the reporting period.






Total employees
10 395
(2022: 9 843)
increased by 5.6%
(1% through the acquisition of Bonwit)
Turnover of permanent employees
(2022: 11.9%)
In South Africa black employees comprise
of total employees (2022: 94%)
Female employees comprise
of total employees
(2022: 74%)
Investment in skills development
R122 million
(2022: R116 million)

The human resource focus areas continue to be:

  • ensuring employees understand our Business Philosophy and interact according to the Truworths Values;
  • maintaining investment in ongoing training and development despite the challenging macroeconomic environment;
  • investing in employees financial and broader well-being to ensure improved performance and engagement levels;
  • managing employee retention in an environment where employee expectations have shifted; and
  • recruiting and driving internal succession in a globally competitive scarce skills environment.

The Truworths workforce comprises a core component of full-time employees and a smaller component of flexi-time employees whose working hours are dependent on business requirements. There has been an increase in human capital headcount since emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, as a result of the filling of vacancies as well as the acquisition of two design centres. Management responsible for human capital has ensured that Truworths remains a stable employer for the many loyal and high-performing employees in the business. Recruitment from the flexi-time pool of employees to core full-time positions, as these become available, ensures continuity of skills in stores.

Truworths human capital at a glance 2023 2022
Total employees (South Africa and rest of Africa) 10 395 9 843
    Full-time employees 5 243 5 084
    Contract employees* 203 146
    Flexi-time employees 4 949 4 613
Skills development expenditure (excluding W&R SETA levies paid) (Rm) 122 116
Skills development spend per employee trained (R 000) 11.0 11.0
Total employees trained (including those who left employment during the period) 11 523 10 541
Employees trained in South Africa (including those who left employment during the period) 11 267 10 272
Black employees as a % of employees trained in South Africa (%) 96 98
* Contract employees include interns, fixed-term and post-retirement contracted employees.


The Truworths Business Philosophy, comprising our Purpose, our Values and our Vision, permeates the corporate culture, underpins the human capital management strategy and supports the goal to be the South African retail employer of choice. These elements have been central in guiding the business through the challenging trading environment and assisted in navigating the complex social and economic environment following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Management endeavours to foster a culture of innovation and high performance by encouraging employees at all levels to passionately contribute, invest in the future potential of each other by encouraging learning and sharing of talents, embracing the power of inclusive teams, abundantly sharing ideas and recognising and rewarding excellence in contribution. Truworths also aims to embed a culture of inclusivity in line with its values, with programmes to create awareness and enable diverse teams to work effectively to achieve the Truworths Purpose.

The business strives to continually invest in attracting, developing and retaining talented employees who live by our Values and are ambassadors of our brand.

The Values are incorporated into everyday working life at Truworths through employee engagement, recognition programmes, performance reviews and employee development. We remained focused on embedding and reinforcing our Values throughout the business during the period, to ensure that there is continuity and common understanding of how each employee can contribute to the success of the business by living our Values.


Truworths remuneration strategies aim to reward employees who consistently focus on their contribution and achieve the goals of our various business strategies and targets. These rewards consider financial and strategic performance, alignment to our values, individual contribution as well as the performance of inclusive teams and individuals. All management and specialised full-time employees are remunerated on total guaranteed packages, enabling these employees to tailor their cash and benefits to suit their personal needs. In addition, incentives are aimed at driving reward for performance in all areas across the business. Rewarding and retaining high performing employees is critical as there is a strong demand for talent and scarce skills in the marketplace.

Currently 65% of employees are members of retirement fund schemes and 66% are members of healthcare schemes.

The well-being of employees is a priority for Truworths. Employees on the healthcare plans have 24/7 access to telephonic medical advice. The Employee Assistance Programme has been in place for over a year and enables employees and their dependants in South Africa to access telephonic counselling services, including trauma support, general mental health support as well as financial wellness and legal assistance.

Flexi-time employees with more than two years service receive funeral benefits which are paid by Truworths.

There have been no material changes to remuneration practices in the reporting period.

Owing to changes in business operations and trading patterns, 14 stores in South Africa were closed during the reporting period, with no resultant retrenchments.


Truworths is committed to transformation and meeting the objectives of the South African Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Act and Codes.

To ensure the company remains focused on transformation the responsibility for each pillar in the B-BBEE scorecard has been allocated to a director. In addition to this the Joint Deputy CEO Emanuel Cristaudo has assumed chairmanship of the Transformation Committee. The committee meets quarterly to review strategy and measure general transformation activity and progress relative to the B-BBEE scorecard. The committee continues to seek advice from external consultants on opportunities to improve the B-BBEE score and to highlight associated risks.

A registered independent rating agency independently reviewed and verified the Group's B-BBEE rating in accordance with the Act.

The heightened focus of the committee on each element has contributed to the B-BBEE scorecard rating improving from level 8 in 2021 to level 6 in 2022 and now to level 5 in 2023, through improving our points from 63.68 to 75.56 and achieving the sub-minimum points on the three priority elements (namely ownership, preferential procurement and skills development) of the B-BBEE scorecard. Truworths remains committed to steadily improving the B-BBEE score in the 2024 period.

Truworths B-BBEE scorecard 2023 2022
Ownership 15.33 14.39
Management control (including employment equity) 7.76 7.68
Skills development 17.86 17.82
Enterprise and supplier development (including preferential procurement) 29.61 28.80
Socio-economic development 5.00 5.00
Total points 75.56 73.69
Level 5 6

The improvement in the preferential procurement pillar reflects the continued progress in engaging with suppliers on enhancing their B-BBEE credentials as well as an increased focus on procurement from black-owned micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.

Truworths has consistently achieved its socio-economic development target through meaningful CSI initiatives. Transformation of the economic and business environment is influenced by a number of factors including societal factors. Truworths has partnered with several non-profit organisations to ensure a sustainable and meaningful contribution to meeting the needs of the most vulnerable while meeting socio-economic development targets.


An employment equity plan for the South African businesses was implemented in 2019 and is scheduled to run until June 2024. Quantitative and qualitative analyses were undertaken in developing the plan, including an employee survey to identify affirmative action barriers in the workplace. The process included consultation with the Employment Equity Forums, the Truworths International Social and Ethics Committee and the Truworths Transformation Committee as well as communication to all employees regarding the process of developing and adopting the new plan.

As the plan is not predicated on a growth in headcount, opportunities to transform the workplace profile to be more representative of South Africa's demographic and economically active population will arise from resignations and retirements.

Employment Equity Plan
2019 2024: Targets
Black* representivity
Top management 18.2 18.2 27.3  
Senior management 20.5 15.5 23.0  
Middle management 41.6 41.9 44.3  
Junior management 88.9 90.0 90.5  
Female representivity
Top management 27.3 27.3 27.3  
Senior management 50.7 50.7 52.7  
Middle management 66.6 66.6 67.0  
Junior management 77.8 77.7 76.2  
* Black comprises persons classified as African, Indian and Coloured
^ Goals for 2024 have been adjusted from the original Employment Equity Plan based on a review of the grading of certain roles as well as taking into account the current workplace profile.

The employment equity plan was subject to a Director General review by the Department of Employment and Labour in the reporting period. The review resulted in several recommendations being made to Truworths and a formal response has been submitted to the Department detailing how Truworths has complied with the recommendations.


Truworths Values encourage employees to learn and share, and there is a strong culture of guiding, coaching and mentoring, throughout the business. In 2023, 11 523 employees participated in 238 training programmes.

Despite the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, online training will continue where it has benefit. The response to an increased focus on in-person training and the value gained from shared learning has been welcomed by both trainers and employees being trained.

E-learning initiatives have doubled in the past year, with over 160 training interventions being offered. This is a particularly successful platform for the store environment or for high volume training interventions. Over 8 800 employees registered on the TRU Learning process. The high rate of completion, measured by those employees who pass the assessment that forms part of every intervention, reflects employees living the Truworths Values and embracing the opportunity to learn and contribute more effectively. The e-learning content is developed internally, allowing for quick response interventions that are targeted, fit for purpose and cost effective.

The merchant graduate training programme is crucial to succession planning in key scarce skill areas in the retail industry. This training programme uses a blended learning approach, combining theoretical, practical and on-the-job training, supported by individual mentorship and coaching for trainees. Over 80% of merchant vacancies are filled by graduates of this programme.

The pressure on the apparel manufacturing sector in South Africa has resulted in a significant loss of key skills in the industry as skilled employees retire and the number of new people entering the sector continues to decline. Given the importance of local manufacturing as a source of supply, and the growth in Truworths in-house design capability, the Group has commenced a process to establish a training programme in the manufacturing design area, which focuses on scarce core skills.

Opportunities have been created for unemployed learners and youth through the implementation of learnerships and internships, in entry-level positions. The Internship Programme provides opportunities for unemployed graduates to gain workplace experience and become workplace ready. It has become a talent pool for recruiting flexi-time and full-time entry-level roles and is targeted at previously disadvantaged groups.

The bursary programme further demonstrates Truworths commitment to its employees as it provides mentorship and financial support to those who plan to enrol for tertiary academic studies linked to supporting skills to achieve organisational succession and productivity goals.

Truworths continues to offer leadership-focused development programmes for managers and future managers to ensure succession in merchandise, operations and support departments. In 2023, 1 544 employees attended these leadership development programmes (2022: 1 344).


Our human rights policies and practices are embedded in our Business Ethics and Integrity Code and our Truworths Supplier Code of Ethics and Good Business Practice, as well as several other supporting policies such as our Anti-bullying and Harassment Policy and our Health and Safety Policy.

Freedom of association

All employees are made aware of their rights to freedom of association. Managers are trained on the right to freedom of association during the course of the employee relations training programme. Truworths has a policy against unfair discrimination or victimisation of employees exercising any right to freedom of association. The right to freedom of association is extended to the Group's operations globally.

Over the last year, Truworths experienced an increase in union membership of employees in Lesotho. Out of a total number of 14 employees, nine joined the National Union of Commerce, Catering and Allied Workers (NUCCAW) in Lesotho. As a result, NUCCAW has requested to negotiate on the conclusion of a relationship and wage agreement.

There is no material union membership in any other African operations and therefore Truworths only has a relationship agreement with the South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union (SACCAWU) in South Africa. Membership of SACCAWU remains unchanged at 7% of all South African employees. Following the acquisition of the Barrie Cline and Bonwit design centres, there are 11 employees who are members of the South African Clothing & Textile Workers Union (SACTWU).

Truworths did not experience any incidents of industrial action in the reporting period.

Labour standards

Truworths is committed to valuing the rights of children as outlined in section 28 of the Constitution of South Africa, specifically designed for South African citizens under the age of 18. Truworths is furthermore committed to the legislative and moral principles relating to the prohibition of work by children under the age of 15 and forced labour. In this regard, Truworths complies with laws within South Africa and other countries in which it operates.

The principles in respect of the employment of children aged 15 to 18 are equally adhered to by Truworths, and no child of such age may be required to do work that is inappropriate for their age or work that places at risk the child's well-being, education, physical or mental health, or spiritual, moral or social development.

In addition to the rights of children and forced labour, Truworths adheres to international labour standards in relation to equal remuneration, collective bargaining and anti-discrimination conventions and legislation.