DFGE– the Institute for Energy, Ecology and Economy is releasing its third press release in the form of a checklist. Companies can use such questions to assess the current state of their CSR program. This checklist focuses on Labor Practices.
Greifenberg/Munich, 12 August 2016 – DFGE – Institute for Energy, Ecology and Economy – was founded in 1999 as a spin-off of the Technical University of Munich and offers complete consulting, software and audit solutions in the field of sustainability. In this sense, DFGE has at heart to tackle all related CSR themes: after addressing the program in general and having focused on environment, DFGE provides a list for Labor practices. Labor practices can be defined as all policies and practices relating to work performed within, by or on behalf of the organization, including subcontracted work. (ISO 26000).
1 – Is the program structured?
To make sure that the labor practices part of the CSR program will work, companies need to structure it
- Is the management engaged, with roles defined?
- Are stakeholders, especially employees and subcontractors working onsite, engaged?
- Is the program part of an overall strategy?
- Are there targets? Are they followed by KPIs and reviewed?
- Are the successes communicated?
- Have the relevant topics been identified? (Health and Safety, Career management, working conditions …)
- Is the program certified (like OHSAS 18001 or SA8000 for instance)?
- Are KPIs publicly published (like in a social or a CSR report?)
2 – Health and Safety
Without a sound occupational health and safety program, workers are likely to suffer more injuries and occupational diseases. Such accidents or diseases lead also to business disruptions risks and reputational risks, even legal risks in case of trials. To avoid them and ensure healthy working conditions to your employees (and any workers present in your sites), consult this checklist:
- Have you identified health and safety risks and mapped them/prioritize them?
- Have you formalized a prevention plan?
- Have you purchased ergonomic materials?
- Do you provide Personal Protective Equipment? Have you trained workers on how to use it?
- Is there an emergency procedure in place?
- Have you appointed responsible for health and safety?
- Do you have health and safety audits?
- Is there a mechanism/process to review existing accidents in order to avoid them?
- Is there a stress prevention plan? Does it include a hotline where employees can communicate?
- Do you follow related KPIs like absenteeism rate, lost-time rate, injury rate?
3 – Conditions of work and social protection
Conditions of work include wages and other forms of compensation, working time, rest periods, holidays, disciplinary and dismissal practices, maternity protection and welfare matters such as safe drinking water, sanitation, canteens and access to medical services. (ISO 26000). Providing interesting working conditions to your employees is one way to motivate them and keep them. Failing to do so can lead to tensions and to people leaving the company. It can also harm the reputation of the company as a whole.
- Does the company grant additional social security access than the ones set by law?
- Is overtime regulated and compensated?
- Are there rules for working hours following the ILO standards? Are they communicated?
- Are employees entitled to more vacations than the ones set by law?
- Is there a grid for wages, to ensure consistency in the group?
- Are there measures for life/work balance (flexible hours, home office,…?)
- Are employees entitled to benefits (vouchers, computers, cars,…)?
- Do employees receive incentives? Is the incentive system formalized/show clear rules?
- Is the company equipped with proper infrastructures (bathroom, eating room…)?
4 – Career Management
Career management can be defined as the process that plans and shapes the progression of individuals within an organization in accordance with the organizational needs and objectives. The interest of having a sound career management process is to make sure that employees are motivated and want to stay in the company. How can you ensure such practices?
- Are career goals set?
- Are employees trained?
- Can employees ask for dedicated time off to learn new skills?
- Are employees assessed on a yearly basis? Is the interview process set by the company?
- Is there a transparent hiring procedure?
- Are there rules for employee promotion at group level?
5 – Social dialogue
The CSR standard ISO 26000 defines social dialogue as “negotiation, consultation or simply exchange of information between or among representatives of governments, employers and workers, on matters of common interest relating to economic and social policy. Workers and employers, have the right to establish and, subject only to the rules of the organization concerned, to join organizations of their own choosing without previous authorization. Representative organizations formed or joined by workers should be recognized for purposes of collective bargaining. Workers’ representatives should be given appropriate facilities that will enable them to do their work effectively and allow them to perform their role without interference.” Such practices foster communication between management and employees to reach agreements acceptable for both parties.
- Can employee elect employee representatives?
- Which mechanism ensure that employees can report suggestions to management?
- Is there a works council?
- Does the management often meet with employee representatives?
- How often are employee representatives elected?
- Are the representatives provided with appropriate facilities?
- Are there collective agreements?
- Which process ensure that dialogue exist between employees and management?
This non-exhaustive list will give your company an overview of how sound your labor practices are. Managing employees’ expectations is important to ensure their well-being, which leads overall to a heathier environment and a healthier company. If you want more information please contact DFGE at
If you also want to read the recent 2 check lists – please see
- No 1 – A checklist to easily improve sustainability programs
- No 2 – A checklist to easily improve your environmental program
DFGE – institute for energy, ecology and economy – was founded in 1999 as spin-off of the Technical University of Munich and offers complete consulting, software and audit solutions in the field of CSR. Our offer SustainabilityIntelligence features management and reporting solutions related to CSR and sustainability topics (among them being greenhouse gas emissions), and refers to international norms in this field. Our clients comprise international companies (DAX and fortune 500), SMEs, governmental organizations or territorial authorities. For more information, contact us: or visit our website www.dfge.de
The DFGE disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy or completeness of the given information. All opinions and estimates included in this report constitute DFGE’s judgment as of the date of this report and are subject to change without notice. DFGE shall have no liability for errors, omissions, or inadequacies in the information contained herein or for interpretations thereof. All trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
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