HOURS, WAGES AND LEAVE

HU.2.a. Working hours

Does the company ensure that the workweek is limited to 48 hours; that overtime is infrequent and limited; and that workers are given reasonable breaks and rest periods?

ABOUT THIS QUESTION

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) sets a 48 hour workweek for commercial and industrial occupations – with a daily maximum of 10 and 8 hours respectively – to ensure time for rest and leisure. For work processes that must be conducted continuously on a shift basis a maximum workweek of 56 hours is permitted. Overtime should be voluntary, infrequent and should not exceed 12 hours per week or 36 hours per month. Specific rules may apply to various types of work (such as shift work, offshore work, long-distance transport, cargo work, seasonal work etc.) where unfixed working hours may be permitted. Overtime hours must be compensated by leave time or pay at a premium rate over and above the normal rate of pay. According to international minimum standards, the rate should be not less than 1.25 times the basic pay or wages per hour.

 

The question applies to workers directly engaged by the company and workers engaged through third parties to perform work related to core business processes for a substantial duration (contracted workers operating within company premises).

 

The question relates to the right to work and just and favourable conditions of work. It is based on general principles contained in the following: Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), Articles 23, 24 and 25; International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966), Article 7 (d); ILO Hours of Work (Commerce and Offices) Convention (C30, 1930), Articles 3 and 4; ILO Hours of Work (Industry) Convention (C1, 1919); ILO Weekly Rest (Industry) Convention (C14, 1921), Article 2(1); ILO Weekly Rest (Commerce and Offices) Convention (C106, 1957), Article 6 (1); ILO Forty-Hour Week Convention (C47 1935). IFC Performance Standard 2: Labor and Working Conditions.

 

ANSWER THIS QUESTION

First answer the following indicators (step 1) and then the main question (step 2).

Step 1. Answer the following indicators:

Normal company working hours are limited to 48 per week by both company policy and practice, or fewer if provided by national law, collective agreement or industry standards.

Overtime is infrequent, remunerated at premium rate, and does not exceed 12 hours in any one week, or 36 hours per month.

The company has a system to plan, record and monitor hours worked by each employee, and regularly evaluates whether the number of workers is sufficient to meet production targets without resorting to overtime.

Where overtime per worker systematically exceeds 12 hours per week, the company increases its workforce to correspond to production targets, or puts in place measures to increase worker productivity and reduce overtime.

Workers are allowed at least 24 consecutive hours of rest (or more if provided by national law or industry standards) in every seven day period.

The company ensures that workers have no less than a 30-minute break for every 4 hours of work (or more if provided by national law or industry standards) and that workers are allowed to use toilet facilities whenever necessary and not just during designated breaks.

Step 2. Answer the main question:

Does the company ensure that the workweek is limited to 48 hours; that overtime is infrequent and limited; and that workers are given reasonable breaks and rest periods?

 

HU.2.b. Wages

Does the company provide a living wage that enables workers to meet the basic needs of themselves and their dependents?

ABOUT THIS QUESTION

Wages must be paid on time and enable workers to meet their basic needs and provide some disposable income. Minimum wages may be fixed by law or collective agreement but are in many countries not sufficient to meet employees' basic needs. If the company has piece-rate payment structures, these must also meet living wage requirements. Where the national minimum wage level does not meet workers' basic needs, companies should calculate a ‘living wage' corresponding to the income needed in light of local prices to support the worker and his or her immediate family to a reasonable standard of living. In making this calculation, it is necessary to include not only the costs of housing, food, water, clothing and transport, but also dependents, education, disposable income and social benefits such as health care, national insurance and pension.

 

The question applies to workers directly engaged by the company and workers engaged through third parties to perform work related to core business processes for a substantial duration (contracted workers operating within company premises).

 

The question relates to the right to an adequate standard of living and the right to work and just and favourable conditions of work. It is based on general principles contained in the following: Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), Article  25; International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966), Article 7(a) and 11(1); International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 23; Convention on the Elimination of All Discrimination Against Women (1979), Article 11; Convention on the Protection of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (1990), Article 25; ILO Minimum Wage Fixing Convention (C131, 1970), Article 3; ILO Social Policy (Basic Aims and Standards) Convention (C117, 1962), Article 5; ILO Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy (1977), Article 34. IFC Performance Standard 2: Labor and Working Conditions.

 

ANSWER THIS QUESTION

First answer the following indicators (step 1) and then the main question (step 2).

Step 1. Answer the following indicators:

It is company policy to provide workers with a living wage sufficient to meet basic food, clothing and housing needs and provide some discretionary income for themselves and their dependents.

The company is aware of whether the legal minimum wage in the country of operation meets the requirement for a living wage.

If no national minimum wage is established, or if national minimum wage standards are insufficient to meet the basic needs of workers and their dependents, the company calculates a living wage based on the cost of living in its area of operation.

Part-time workers receive wages and benefits that are proportionate to those of full-time workers, and receive overtime compensation at a minimum of 1.25 times their hourly salary.

The company pays wages at regular intervals and does not take deductions from wages for disciplinary measures or other deductions not authorised by national law.

Bonus and piece-rate payment systems are monitored to ensure that the total salary paid meets living wage requirements without resort to overtime.

Step 2. Answer the main question:

Does the company provide a living wage that enables workers to meet the basic needs of themselves and their dependents?

 

HU.2.c. Leave

Does the company ensure that workers are paid holiday leave, sick leave, and parental leave in accordance with international minimum standards?

ABOUT THIS QUESTION

The company must ensure that all workers are granted paid annual holiday and sick leave for the period determined by the competent authority in the country of operation. International Labour Organisation standards require all workers to be granted a minimum of no less than three weeks of holiday per year. Moreover, a minimum of 14 weeks, or more if provided by law, should be granted for paid maternity leave.

 

The question applies to workers directly engaged by the company and workers engaged through third parties to perform work related to core business processes for a substantial duration (contracted workers operating within company premises).

 

The question relates to the right to work and just and favourable conditions of work, the right to family life and the right to health, right to social security. It is based on general principles contained in the following: Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), Articles 16, 23 and 24; International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966), Article 7(d) and 10(2); Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (1979), Article 11(2b and 2c); Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 5; ILO Holidays with Pay (Revised) Convention (C132, 1970), Article 4(2); ILO Maternity Protection Convention (C183, 2000), Article 4. IFC Performance Standard 2: Labor and Working Conditions.

 

ANSWER THIS QUESTION

First answer the following indicators (step 1) and then the main question (step 2).

Step 1. Answer the following indicators:

Workers are granted at least three weeks of paid holiday leave per year or more if required by national law or collective agreements. Part-time and short-term workers are provided with paid holiday leave proportionate to the number of hours worked, at a rate equal to that of permanent full time employees.

Workers are entitled to paid sick leave in accordance with the applicable national law. If sick leave is not provided for in national law, the company consults with union or worker representatives to establish alternative means of protection in case of illness or injury.

The company ensures that sick leave is not deducted from workers' vacation time.

Female workers are entitled to no less than fourteen weeks of paid maternity leave per child.

The company grants compassionate or parental leave to workers who have recently adopted a child or children, or have taken on the responsibility to care for foster children or other dependent children.

Step 2. Answer the main question:

Does the company ensure that workers are paid holiday leave, sick leave, and parental leave in accordance with international minimum standards?

 

HU.2.d. Employment status

Does the company ensure that all workers have an official employment status?

ABOUT THIS QUESTION

All workers are entitled to know their employment status with the company and the working conditions. The risk of exploitative labour practices increases when a company exploits an individual without recognizing or acknowledging his or her employment status within the company (either as an employee, a hired labourer or otherwise) and without providing him/her with the same employment benefits and protections as the other workers. To avoid this, the company should ensure that personnel policies and procedures empower all workers with some form of independent status, title or position within the company.

 

The question relates to the right to work and just and favourable conditions of work. It is based on general principles contained in the following:  Declaration of Human Rights (1948), Article 4; International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966), Article 8

ANSWER THIS QUESTION

First answer the following indicators (step 1) and then the main question (step 2).

Step 1. Answer the following indicators:

The company ensures that all employees receive employment contracts prior to starting work for the company, and that contracts are understood by each employee.

Contracts detail each employee's rights and obligations of employment, including clear job description, bonus and salary systems, and reasonable notice periods.

Reference to company handbooks or other relevant documents on employment terms are integrated into the contract.

The company ensures that contractors provide workers operating within company premises with an official employment status in line with company standards.

Step 2. Answer the main question:

Does the company ensure that all workers have an official employment status?

 
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