The Unilever Sustainable Living Plan for

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Fairness in the workplace

Fairness in the workplace is about respecting the rights of all those who work with us.

Unilever R&D employees in the lab

Business can only truly flourish in societies and economies where human rights are respected, upheld and advanced. This is a guiding principle for our business - in everything we do and everywhere we operate. 

Unilever wants to deliver both business growth and positive social impact. We are using the power of our brands to advocate for important social issues directly linked to our consumers, such as fairness in the workplace and equal opportunities. 

We believe in doing well while doing good.

Targets & performance

As part of the Fairness in the Workplace pillar of our Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, we have set ambitious targets on advancing human rights, paying fairly, improving employee health, nutrition and well-being, and reducing workplace injuries and accidents.

FAIRNESS IN THE WORKPLACE

OUR COMMITMENT

By 2020, we will drive fairness in the workplace by further building human rights across our operations and advancing human rights in our extended supply chain, developing a continuous improvement roadmap and promoting best practice. We will create a framework for fair compensation, and help employees take action to improve their health (physical and mental), nutrition and well-being. We will reduce workplace injuries and accidents in our factories and offices.

OUR PERFORMANCE

In 2015, we published our first human rights report and continued to raise internal and external awareness and build capacity in our extended supply chain. We further implemented our Responsible Sourcing Policy and in 2015, 54% of procurement spend was through suppliers meeting its mandatory requirements. We also created a Framework for Fair Compensation.

We rolled out a new mental well-being framework for employees. Partly due to a rise in travel incidents, our safety performance dipped in 2015. We enhanced our safe travel policy by banning mobile phone use whilst driving.

OUR PERSPECTIVE

In 2015 we launched our Unilever Responsible Sourcing Audit (URSA); published our first Human Rights Report and began mapping human rights risks in key commodities and sourcing countries. We also further strengthened our Policy Framework by creating new policies such as our Responsible Business Partner Policy, and created a Framework for Fair Compensation. 

We continued to raise awareness and build capacity on human rights issues. We are tackling the root causes of systemic human rights abuses by working through multi-stakeholder initiatives such as the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Human Rights and the Consumer Goods Forum. We are continuing to focus on grievance mechanisms both in our operations and our extended supply chain, as we consider these of vital importance to ensuring that human rights are respected and promoted. 

In 2015 we completed the two-year roll-out of Lamplighter’s module for mental well-being. Lamplighter is our employee health programme and mental health is one of the top three health risks we have identified across our business. 

We were disappointed to see our safety performance dip in 2015 and are working hard in 2016 to reinforce our Vision Zero strategy, ie zero: fatalities; injuries; motor vehicle incidents; process incidents; tolerance of unsafe behaviour and practices. Recognising travel incidents as an area of focus for the company, in July 2015 we implemented a mandatory global ban on the use of handheld and hands-free phones while driving on company business.

  • Achieved: 3
  • On-plan: 4
  • Off-plan: 0
  • %% of target achieved: 0

Our targets

Please see Independent Assurance (EN) for more details of our assurance programme across the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan.

IMPLEMENT UN GUIDING PRINCIPLES ON BUSINESS AND HUMAN RIGHTS

We will implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights throughout our operations and report on progress publicly.

New target 2014

In June 2015 we published our first Human Rights Report.

OUR PERSPECTIVE

We were one of the first companies to adopt the UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework and the first ever company to use the Framework comprehensively. The report describes our overall approach to human rights, our policies and processes and our priorities going forward.

SOURCE 100% OF PROCUREMENT SPEND IN LINE WITH OUR RESPONSIBLE SOURCING POLICY

We will source 100% of our procurement spend through suppliers who commit to promote fundamental human rights as specified in our Responsible Sourcing Policy.

New target 2014

54% of procurement spend through suppliers meeting the mandatory requirements of our Responsible Sourcing Policy in 2015.

OUR PERSPECTIVE

In 2015 we continued the implementation of our Responsible Sourcing Policy (RSP). This phased approach to implementation started with aligning 1,000 strategic suppliers with the mandatory requirements of the RSP. 54% of our procurement spend was through suppliers meeting these mandatory requirements.

CREATE A FRAMEWORK FOR FAIR COMPENSATION

  • We will create a framework for fair compensation, starting with an analysis in 180 countries by 2015.

We will work with external organisations, including our social partners, referring to approaches such as living wage methodologies.

New target 2014

We created a Framework for Fair Compensation in 2015. We also established a contractual relationship with an external authority - The Fair Wage Network - to provide a global database of relevant living wage benchmark data for each country in which we have operations. This enabled us to compare non-management employees’ lowest fixed earnings levels against relevant living wage benchmarks.

OUR PERSPECTIVE

Our Framework for Fair Compensation provides a structured way for Unilever to outline how the various elements of our compensation packages deliver fair compensation to our employees. 

We have established a contractual relationship with an external authority - The Fair Wage Network - to provide a global database of relevant living wage benchmark data for each country in which we have employees (111 countries in 2015). This provides an ongoing system and methodology to monitor our employees1 rewards against relevant living wage benchmarks.

We have also conducted the first global comparison of all our lowest paid employees1 fixed earnings levels against relevant living wages benchmarks using this Fair Wage Network database. This comparison was carried out for our Work Level 1 employees, (ie our non-management employees).

IMPROVE EMPLOYEE HEALTH, NUTRITION AND WELL-BEING

Our Lamplighter employee programme aims to improve the nutrition, fitness and mental resilience of employees. By 2010 it had already been implemented in 30 countries, reaching 35,000 people.

  • In 2011 we aimed to extend the reach of Lamplighter to a further eight countries. We will implement Lamplighter in an additional 30 countries between 2012 and 2015. Our longer-term goal is to extend it to all the countries where we operate with over 100 people.

New target 2014

  • We will implement a mental well-being framework globally.

Our Lamplighter programme reached 91,000 employees across 70 countries by 2014. In 2015, it reached 80,000 across 70 countries.

In 2015 we completed the two-year roll-out of our new module for mental well-being and established a global steering committee to monitor progress.

OUR PERSPECTIVE

Our Lamplighter employee health programme is key to addressing the top three health risks across our business: mental well-being; lifestyle factors (eg exercise, nutrition, smoking, obesity); and ergonomic factors (eg repetitive strain injury). 

Lamplighter helps to safeguard employees’ health, improve productivity and reduce costs. It reached 91,000 employees across 70 countries in 2014, fulfilling our target to reach 68 countries a year early. In 2015, there were 80,000 employees enrolled on the programme (this number fluctuates from year to year as we do not cover every employee on a yearly basis). 

In 2015 we rolled out Lamplighter’s mental well-being module. This helps people manage their pressures, offering practical advice on how to focus and practise mindfulness techniques, to feel more empowered and to work in an agile manner. The module contributes to what we call “holistic well-being” and enables people to realise their potential and make positive contributions at work and home.

REDUCE WORKPLACE INJURIES AND ACCIDENTS

We aim for zero workplace injuries. By 2020 we will reduce the Total Recordable Frequency Rate (TRFR) for accidents in our factories and offices by 50% versus 2008.

Over 50% reduction in TRFR achieved by end 2013, down to 1.03 from 2.10 accidents per 1 million hours worked in 2008, reaching our target seven years early. However in 2015 TRFR increased to 1.12 accidents per million hours worked.

OUR PERSPECTIVE

Our Total Recordable Frequency Rate (TRFR) increased to 1.12 accidents per 1 million hours worked (measured October 2014-September 2015), meaning we slipped back from our previously achieved target status in 2013 and 2014. 

There were three main reasons for this: travel incidents, which remain an area of focus following the introduction of our global Safe Travel standard; our acquisition of new companies with different safety cultures; and a major transformation project that involved the closing down of sites in the United States. 

We take this lapse very seriously and are working hard in 2016 to reinforce our Vision Zero strategy, ie zero: fatalities; injuries; motor vehicle incidents; process incidents; tolerance of unsafe behaviour and practices. Recognising travel incidents as an area of focus for the company, in July 2015 we implemented a mandatory global ban on the use of handheld and hands-free phones while driving on company business.

† Independently assured by PwC

Key

  • Achieved
  • On-Plan
  • Off-Plan
  • Of target achieved
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