Our ethos is based upon fairness and respect for human rights. We are proud of the role G4S and its employees play in society and the positive contribution that they make each day to the protection of human rights around the world. We are also clear that we have a responsibility to ensure that we are not at risk of violating human rights through the services we provide, the customers with whom we work, the suppliers we use, or through the treatment of our colleagues and others in our care. Everyone at G4S has a responsibility to respect and protect human rights and any abuse is completely unacceptable under any circumstances.
G4S’s human rights policy and its related framework are based upon the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights. In parallel with our values, the framework reinforces the continued development of a business which supports the realisation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals through the creation of decent employment, the global improvement of industry standards and by helping to create secure and stable communities around the world.
In 2018, we reviewed our human rights heat-map, identifying countries in which human rights may be at higher risk. Informed by this review, we have carried out 23 human rights control self-assessments during 2019. The feedback from these assessments highlights areas where more guidance or support may be required and is incorporated into our internal audit programme.
Respecting human rights in the supply chain
During 2019, we partnered with EcoVadis, a sustainability ratings agency, to design an international programme which will help us to ensure that our suppliers in high-risk categories, such as uniform manufacture, are meeting the ethical standards of our Supplier Code of Conduct.
The programme requires in-scope suppliers to complete an EcoVadis assessment tailored to their industry, size and location. EcoVadis analyses the assessment, providing both the supplier and G4S with a detailed report setting out the supplier’s CSR performance. Where their performance does not meet the required levels, a corrective action plan must be submitted to address the shortcoming. The programme has been implemented across our UK businesses, with 73 EcoVadis assessments being completed by December 2019. We aim to utilise this experience to apply the process internationally between 2020 and 2023, focussing on our top 15 highest spending businesses to cover 85% of G4S’s total procurement spend.
Enhancing the protection of migrant workers
We have utilised a range of information sources to help us identify potential modern slavery risk areas, and as a result have focused our efforts on mitigating these risks in our supply chain and the employment of migrant workers. In May 2019, we published our third slavery and human trafficking statement, setting out the actions we have taken to help reduce these risks. Since then, as well as implementing our supply chain due-diligence programme, we have taken additional steps to enhance our protection of migrant workers in the Middle East and Asia.
- Continuing to improve our migrant worker policy and code of conduct for migrant worker recruitment agencies:
- Among the standards set by this policy and code is the prohibition of withholding an employee’s passport or placing other restrictionsnon their freedom of movement that may prevent them from moving to another employer or returning home
- The policy and code also set out G4S’s requirements that all employees be provided with clear terms and conditions, in a language they understand, prior to employment
- We have concluded detailed analysis of migrant worker recruitment fees and associated costs. Following this, G4S has committed to applying the standards adopted by the Leadership Group for Responsible Recruitment, including the ‘Employer Pays’ principle, in all group companies
- Created a new team of migrant worker coordinators to conduct a range of checks in both candidates’ home and destination countries. By March 2020, they had completed more than 1,600 direct surveys with staff in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, to confirm their experience during the recruitment process was consistent with our standards
- Appointed new health and safety officers and welfare officers
- Launched modern slavery training for senior management and key functional roles, such as HR and Procurement departments
- Continued our engagement with the Council on Ethics for the Norwegian Government Pension Fund and other interested stakeholders, such as UNI, the global union federation, under our EEP to improve collective representation in the Middle East
- And, in the past two years, we have reviewed accommodation for migrant workers and made a number of changes to enhance the facilities
- To ensure we are proactive and support commitments to prevent modern slavery, we are establishing a Modern Slavery Steering Group. Comprised of a cross-functional team of subject matter experts from G4S, the Steering Group will be charged with advising the Group Executive on best practices to combat all forms of modern slavery.
Actions for 2020
Respecting human rights
- Commence the implementation of the Employer Pays Principle throughout G4S businesses and migrant worker recruitment supply chain
- Establish a Modern Slavery Steering Group to advise members of the Group Executive Committee on best practices to combat all forms of modern slavery
- Embed an improved approach to risk assessment and due-diligence of suppliers across our global top 15 businesses, in partnership with EcoVadis
- Continue to build awareness of human rights responsibilities
- Conduct human rights control self-assessments in all businesses operating in high-risk countries and continue with our programme of internal audits
Our approach to human rights