PALO ALTO, CA--(Marketwired - Nov 10, 2014) - HP (NYSE: HPQ) today took a major step forward in expanding its leading supply chain program on preventing exploitative labor practices and forced labor. HP is the first company in the IT industry to require direct employment of foreign migrant workers in its supply chain. The additional standard combines this direct employment requirement with rights relating to worker retention of passports and personal documentation and the elimination of worker-paid recruitment fees.
The HP Foreign Migrant Worker Standard was developed in consultation with Verité, an international nonprofit that promotes safe, fair, and legal working conditions, and has specific expertise in combatting forced labor in supply chains.
"Verité's focused assessments and independent research confirm that workers who are employed by labor agents are more at risk of forced labor than those employed directly," said Dan Viederman, CEO, Verité. "HP's standard requiring direct hiring will remove a key obstacle to ethical treatment of migrant workers. The standard sets a new bar and will likely result in substantial financial benefit to foreign migrant workers in HP's supply chain, and we hope other companies will adopt similar policies."
The standard builds on existing efforts to educate suppliers on best practices and is a part of HP's Supplier Code of Conduct, which already expressly forbids any forced, bonded, indentured, involuntary prison labor, slavery or trafficking of persons. It is the newest fortification in HP's leading Supply Chain Responsibility (SCR) program, which prioritizes the protection of vulnerable workers through advanced programs and standards such as the responsible management of student and dispatch workers, advancing the use of conflict free minerals and industry leading supply chain transparency.
The new standard addresses vulnerabilities that foreign migrant workers face in outsourced employment relationships and mandates the minimum requirements for suppliers for the recruitment, selection, hiring and management of foreign migrant workers.
"Conditions that contribute to any form of forced labor are unacceptable in our supply chain," said Stuart Pann, senior vice president, PPS Operations, HP. "This initiative underscores our commitment to continually improving our supply chain, one of the largest in the industry, and to demonstrating leadership that encourages other companies to advance their responsibility to protect vulnerable worker populations."
To ensure implementation of this standard, HP will complement its existing SCR program with specialized forced labor audits and regular monitoring. Suppliers that do not meet the standard will be required to correct their practices with urgency and may be subject to internal HP escalations, remediation programs and risk discontinuation of business with HP.
Additional information on HP's commitment to supply chain responsibility is available at http://www8.hp.com/us/en/hp-information/global-citizenship/society/supplychain.html.
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