Alignment with Sustainable Development Goals
SDG 8 - PROMOTE INCLUSIVE AND SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC GROWTH, EMPLOYMENT AND DECENT WORK FOR ALL
We have put in place several improvements in labour practices in our upstream operations over the past year. In December 2017, we published a progress report detailing the extensive range of actions we have taken to strengthen our labour practices. Despite challenges, we have made meaningful progress with the support from stakeholders, especially our employees.
We conducted internal reviews as well as regular assessments by external parties including the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC), RSPO, Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) and Verité Southeast Asia (Verité). Improvements were made in three main areas:
- Wages and Employment
- Reduced the dependency on temporary workers in our plantations by converting temporary contract holders to permanent contract workers
- Standardised payslips to provide greater clarity to workers on their pay, incentives and deductions such as social security payments
- Abolished informal volunteer work arrangements and established a policy for formal application for overtime work on official rest days
- Caring for Children in our Plantations
- Launched the Child Protection Policy, which supersedes our longstanding No Child Labour Policy, to address issues of children’s rights and welfare more holistically
- Enhanced access to quality education for the children of our workers and local communities through the school redevelopment programme
- Health and Safety
- Better allocation and efficacy of Personal Protective Equipment
- Clearer explanation of workers’ health screening results by doctors in our estate clinics
In the last 12 months, we have taken a more proactive approach to working with labour unions in Indonesia and have built a good rapport with key unions. We have also engaged with our suppliers through trainings involving speakers from the government, unions and civil society organisations.
A collective effort involving industry partners and stakeholders is needed to mitigate and address labour issues that still occur in the palm oil industry. We are actively participating in various multi-stakeholder collaborations, such as within the RSPO, to find lasting solutions to these issues.
We launched the Child Protection Policy (CPP) in November 2017 to enhance the welfare of children living in oil palm plantations where their parents work. The CPP applies to the Group’s global operations including joint ventures, third-party suppliers and contractors, making it the first in the palm oil industry that explicitly covers external parties.
The CPP is developed based on the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and seeks to protect and safeguard all children within our premises, operations and the associated services provided by the Group such as nurseries, schools and school buses.