GRI 407: Freedom of association and collective bargaining
Explanation of the material topic and its boundary
Our global workforce operates in an international market and must be capable of adapting to rapid change. We try to cultivate an environment where the employer and the employee can better understand each other’s challenges and find ways of resolving them. This is done by establishing genuine dialogue with freely chosen employee representatives. We respect every employee’s right to freedom of association and collective bargaining, and at Givaudan we address this through our approach to the material topic of Human rights.
Respect for human rights is an essential guide to the right way to do business. A commitment to high ethical standards, as well as transparency and honesty in our dealings with employees enable us to grow responsibly and share our success. We ensure that Givaudan respects human rights by acting with due diligence, as defined in the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights.
We strive for harmony in employee and management relations and follow commonly recognised best practices for all of our workplaces worldwide. Going beyond our direct areas of business, our Responsible Sourcing Policy calls on suppliers to respect their employees’ right to freedom of association and collective bargaining as well, and we check on this aspect through our responsible sourcing assessment programme.
We protect employee rights and support the freedom of individuals to join trade unions or other employee representative bodies. Givaudan does not discriminate based on employee membership of, or association with, these bodies and seeks to enter into constructive discussions when issues arise. Givaudan regularly consults with employee representatives.
For example, we continue to hold regular Union/Works Council consultations with a group of employees who represent Union/Works Council members at all applicable sites around the world, including for all European Union member states where we have operations. The purpose is to inform and consult employees about significant changes in the organisation, ensure that the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining is not put at risk, and to report any feedback to the Executive Committee so that it may take suitable action if required.
We also call on suppliers, including smallholders, to make continuous improvements in regard to our Responsible Sourcing Policy. The policy, published in 2016, sets out high standards in terms of health and safety as well as social and environmental responsibility and business integrity. We emphasise our respect for human rights and social aspects: all workers must be allowed to exercise their rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining. We ask our suppliers for collaboration in supporting the policy and disclosing information that could help drive improvements.
Our positions concerning fair employment practices, a respectful work environment, freedom of association and fair wages for our workforce are highlighted in our Principles of Conduct, a document available on our website.