Human rights

HR1 Significant investment agreements that include human rights

Our Code of Conduct, which covers aspects of human rights, is applicable to our whole business and all our subsidiaries.

HR2 Screening of suppliers on human rights

The Group does not yet have social performance criteria, including human rights performance, as part of its suppliers’ evaluation processes.

Initiated in 2010 and implemented in 2011, the Global Procurement department is progressively rolling out new guidelines related to CSR, which our top 15 countries will implement.

These guidelines cover human rights (compliance with UN Global Compact principles), environment (effort to at least measure the carbon footprint induced by using a given product or service). Further initiatives are currently being assessed to mutualise efforts at global level (e.g. - Guidelines on Procurement’s position on sustainability, sustainable procurement action plan, active participation to the Group’s international Corporate Social Responsibility community).

HR3 Employee training on policies and procedures, concerning aspects of human rights

All our internal colleagues must do an online training course on our Code of Conduct, and on business ethics. See page 30.

HR4 Total number of incidents of discrimination and actions taken

In 2001, the ‘Parquet’, the State Office of Public Prosecution in Brussels, started enquiring at the Head Office of Adecco in Brussels and at two of its branches in the Brussel’s area upon an anonymous testimony of discrimination placed with the NGO “SOS-Racisme”.

On September 2, 2009, this case had reached prescription (legal expiration). Therefore the appeals was dismissed in application to the procedural law.

On September 1, 2009, SOS Racism and FGTB (Fédération Générale du Travail de Belgique) – both parties in the criminal procedure – have initiated a separate and new civil procedure before the civil judge requesting the following indemnities for the alleged damages: EUR 25,000 to SOS Racisme and a symbolic fine of EUR 1 to FGTB for racist practices in employment by using the ‘Belgian only’ (Blanc, Bleu, Belge) wording. The court hearing and pleadings took place on February 10, 2011. The judgment was announced on May 31, 2011 by the Civil Court, finding Adecco Belgium to be guilty of discriminatory hiring practice in some of its branches. The company was condemned to a fine of EUR 25,000 and EUR 1. Adecco has taken notice of the decision. Adecco has not committed any wrong-doings and has therefore appealed against the decision.

HR5–HR7 Operations identified as having significant risk for incidents of denial of freedom of association and collective bargaining (HR5), child labour (HR6), and forced or compulsory labour (HR7) – and measures taken

In most countries and territories where the Adecco Group operates, human rights are generally accepted and respected in both national law and general business practices. However, a few subsidiaries are operating in some so-called ‘countries of concern’: The current list of 43 ‘countries of concern’ by EIRIS is based on the Freedom House list (see, amended in light of further information, including the annual reports from Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. This list (FTSE4Good inclusion criteria, p. 5) contains three countries where the Adecco Group operates: China, Colombia and Russia. The subsidiaries in these countries represent about 0.77% of the Adecco Group’s employees and associates. See also pages 39 and 46 regarding the issue of child labour.