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10 March 2020
Great Britain: financial sector still failing to narrow the gender pay gap
While companies with more than 250 staff have until 05 April to comply with the legal requirement to publish their third annual gender pay gap data (c.f. article No. 11073), initial indications from roughly a quarter of these businesses have already started to leak through to the press. One thing standing out from the leaks is that the UK’s dominant financial sector continues to be a laggard. The BBC has calculated that the average salary gap in this sector based on these preliminary numbers has risen to 23.1%...
3 February 2020
L’Oréal: ‘employee human rights policy’ addresses issue of living wage
On Friday 31 January, French cosmetics group L’Oréal announced the launch of a new employee human rights policy, with which the firm pledges that “every employee’s human rights must be respected, regardless of their job or location”. The policy complements the group’s existing global human rights policy, launched in 2017, and addresses the emerging topic of the living wage and contains a paragraph on employee freedom of expression.
25 November 2019
United States: Intel includes diversity as criteria for selecting legal service providers
In a statement published on 21 November, the US tech corporation Intel called on its corporate law departments, located in the US, to consider performance on diversity when using external law firms. In concrete terms, as of 1 January 2021, Intel says it will only use external legal service providers that “meet two diversity criteria: at least 21% of the firm’s US equity partners are women and at least 10% of the firm’s US equity partners are underrepresented minorities (which, for this purpose, we define as...
19 November 2019
ACT: freedom of association guideline adopted by Myanmar textiles industry
On 13 November 2019, after eight months of negotiations, and along with the IndustriALL affiliate, Industrial Workers’ Federation of Myanmar (IWFM), garment and textiles factories in Myanmar, which produce for some twenty brands that are members of the Action, Collaboration, Transformation (ACT) agreement that aims to develop sector based collective bargaining within the large garment producing countries, adopted the Myanmar Freedom of Association (FoA) Guideline. In addition to international guidelines on...
8 November 2019
Germany: companies showing little concern for human rights
The School of Management and Law at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) and the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre, a British NGO, have probed the practices and actions of 20 large German companies in terms of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and respect of human rights. The results (here) are rather gloomy. Although all the companies claim to adhere to high human and ecological standards, not one completely complies with the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Right, decreed by the...
22 October 2019
The European Trade Union confederation (ETUC) and the central US AFL-CIO trade union criticize the double standards of European corporates operating within the Southern States of the US
In a joint statement (here) on 21 October, the ETUC and the AFL-CIO denounced the ‘double standards’ of European corporates that do not uphold freedom of association and overall workers’ rights for their employees working in the American south. The basis for the statement is an AFL-CIO report (here) that affirms multinationals ‘which boast top quality social dialogue in Western...
11 October 2019
Amazon sets out its ‘positions’ on a range of social and societal topics
Faced with ever more questions about its practices, especially from its own employees, as the Amazon Employees for Climate Justice group demonstrated, the tech giant decided on 10 October to publish a statement “to provide customers, investors, policymakers, employees, and others our views on certain issues”, underlining in the introduction that “there is much room for healthy debate and differing opinions”. Amazon, which employs 630,000 people across the globe, has taken a stance on various issues –...
6 September 2019
Great Britain : SME punishes staff for bringing single-use plastic into the office in bid to reduce environmental impact
This unprecedented case was initially flagged by the HR-focused press in the UK. Intelligent Hand Dryers, based in Sheffield, in northern England, has attracted attention for having banned its dozen or so employees from bringing single-use plastic into the office. Whether it’s a coffee cup, plastic bottle or a sandwich pack, employees that bring in any single-use items containing plastic will get a warning from the company’s management. After three warnings, repeat offenders will be fired. The measure was...
4 September 2019
Australia: companies are encouraging staff to participate in the Global Climate Strike
Some forty companies across the tech, health, and finance sectors have joined the ‘Not Business as Usual’ alliance in a bid to voice their support for the global climate strike. In concrete terms the business leaders are encouraging their staff to participate in the global climate strike set for 20 September 2019 and they are also encouraging other Australian companies to join them because, “Businesses and individuals must also play their part and this responsibility is even more urgent when governments...
30 August 2019
CSR : pilot programme launched to combat gender violence at sub-contractor of big clothing brands in Lesotho
Three trade unions – the IDUL, UNITE and NACTWU – and two women’s rights organisations – FIDA and WLSA – based in Lesotho have joined forces with the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC), the US independent labour rights organisation, to reach a series of agreements with the brands Levi Strauss, The Children’s Place and Kontoor Brands, as well as their international clothing supplier Nien Hsing Textile, based in Taiwan. The agreements cover a comprehensive pilot programme intended to prevent gender-based...