Ethical employment and labour relations
The Ethical Employment Partnership which was signed with the GMB and UNI, a global union federation, in 2008 offers an additional layer of review and escalation in the event that serious matters come to light which cannot easily be resolved at a local level. As such it serves as an early warning system and also offers a structured mechanism for handling disputes which may have a significant business impact.
Many of the environments in which the company operates do not have robust labour laws or a history of social dialogue. Within the IFA, the company commits to respecting the rights established through the core labour conventions of the ILO. Having the IFA in place with regular review processes helps reassure all our stakeholders that the Company is serious about ethical employment practices and will ensure international labour laws are respected, even in countries where these may not be well established.
Our union and employee representative forums at global level are via the global union UNI. At a European level we have a well-established European Works Council and at a local level there are a number of union recognition agreements in place. Working together with our recognised unions helps us raise standards both internally and, where appropriate, across the wider industry and identify potential problems early and address them constructively.