2023 was marked by significant developments in supply chain and human rights regulations, including the implementation of the German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act (SCDDA, or LkSG) and the European Parliament's agreement on the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD), as well as several countries' laws on modern slavery and forced labor (amongst other key issues). A shift in expectations on buyers for risks throughout their value chains has companies globally reexamining their supply chain relationships, human rights policies, practices, and compliance programs.
Many leading global companies with complex supply chains have turned to Labor Solutions to help design programs to meet these new regulations at scale. In 2023, Labor Solutions introduced new tools, made improvements to existing ones, and saw our tools bring about a significant impact while reaching more workers and suppliers than ever. We also launched 20 new eLearning lessons for workers, managers, and practitioners. Labor Solutions’ thought leadership continued to push forward for better worker rights and working conditions through publications and speaking engagements.
Improving the Lives of More Workers than Ever
Labor Solutions’ mission is to improve the lives of workers. In 2023, we ensured more workers than ever had access to the tools needed to protect their rights and improve their livelihoods.
We reached over 300,000 more workers last year—now WOVO is in the hands of more than 1.8 million workers globally.
Expanded tools and services to 3 new countries and added 2 new languages. We now offer support in 30 countries and 26 languages.
More Workers Know Their Rights + Responsibilities. More Managers + Leaders are Equipped with Knowledge of Worker Rights
Workers who know their rights are more likely to speak up. WOVO’s Educate tool continues to be key to implementing a successful human rights due diligence program.
200,000+ lessons on rights + responsibilities were completed in 2023, helping to ensure workers are safer.
20 new lessons for both workers and practitioners launched, including Inclusive Leadership, Access to Remedy, Responsible Recruitment, Child + Forced Labor and more to help ensure safer and more respectful workplaces.
Increased worker productivity, engagement, and safety are clear outcomes for companies that launch WOVO Educate for workers.
A Trusted, Scalable + Effective Grievance Mechanism for Workers
Safe and anonymous grievance lines have been mandated by almost all the new HRDD regulations. Workers must have a way to speak up about unfair treatment and ask questions about their rights. Labor Solutions continues to manage the most effective operational grievance mechanism in the market.
730,000+ workers were given direct access to their employers to communicate and provide feedback – improving working conditions and business outcomes.
42,000+ cases were resolved by the employers with the help of WOVO – ensuring workers’ grievances were settled.
When workers have direct and anonymous access to management, issues are addressed more quickly, workplaces are safer, and businesses do better.
Engaging Workers + Suppliers Directly to Gather Transparent and Reliable Data
Collecting responses from workers directly through a system embedded in their workplace, and engaging suppliers in the process to build accountability and trust provides an unique understanding of workers’ reality and perceptions of conditions in their workplace. WOVO Engage surveys provide real-time, structured data from workers, providing insights to suppliers and buyers to drive social change.
320,000+ workers responded to our surveys in 2023, providing an accurate and actionable representation of their experiences and perspectives.
Social & Labor Convergence Program (SLCP) WE Tech Survey added WOVO as an approved worker engagement tech (WE Tech) provider. Adding worker surveys to social compliance audits can lead to more representative audit results and enhanced worker safety.
WOVO Ecosystem Advancements: Simpler to Expand, Easier to Manage
Given the scope of the new human rights due diligence regulations, scalability is key for multinational companies with complex supply chains. In 2023, we focused on reinforcing and enhancing our architecture to improve WOVO’s reliability, speed, and data management, and to support the needs of our growing client base for timely, actionable insights.
Our innovation and product teams focused on creating easy-to-use features and tools to reduce barriers to initiating due diligence programs globally and at scale, including:
WOVO Improve: an automated corrective action and improvement module based on survey and grievance results to help suppliers quickly identify the next steps, access needed tools and resources, and track and share their progress, with brand support.
HRDD Starter Kit: an easy-to-start + swiftly scalable toolkit for brands impacted by new legislation to get suppliers quickly up to date on HR(E)DD requirements and have access to key basic due diligence tools.
Our client advisors focused on helping clients expand their coverage to ensure more workers have access to the tools needed to protect rights and improve livelihoods.
87% of our clients expanded their projects – reaching more regions and utilizing a greater variety of WOVO tools. Our leading clients have hundreds of suppliers using WOVO regularly as part of their sustainability and human rights monitoring and reporting system.
Thought Leadership in Action: Webinars, Blogs + eBooks
The Labor Solutions team continued to be seen as a leading voice on social sustainability. Our unique approach to improving human rights within supply chains by engaging and supporting suppliers and workers has resulted in an increased demand for speaking engagements and consulting services across a wide range of industries and member organizations globally.
Labor Solutions’ leaders shared insights from a decade of experience at UN Responsible Business & Human Rights Forum Asia-Pacific, Bloomberg’s Sustainable Business Summit, Asia Institute of Management’s Asia Forum on Enterprise for Society, OECD side sessions, Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s Manufacturer Forums, EuroCham events + more.
Published insights on our blogs + introduced two publications: an eBook on “Strategies for Effective Human Rights Due Diligence in Your Supply Chain” and a guide on “Practical Tips on Leveraging Worker Voices for Improvements.” These free guides provide more depth and explanation of our methodology and approach, as well as recommendations from our decade of worker engagement.
What’s Ahead for 2024 – Celebrating 10 Years of Improving the Lives of Workers
In 2024, Labor Solutions will celebrate 10 years of improving the lives of workers. We continue to be thankful to our clients and partners who have enabled and supported our growth over the last decade, and we are excited to be able to continue our work and ensure workers remain at the center of due diligence and sustainability.
In 2024, Labor Solutions will continue its unwavering commitment to improving supply chain risk management through education, connection, and engagement of suppliers and workers. Recognizing the integral roles that buyers, suppliers, and workers play, we will continue to improve our tools to ensure we meet the needs of all stakeholders.
2024 will see a continued focus on automation and scalability. Labor Solutions continues to believe that tech tools alone are insufficient for creating change—people must act on results to drive long-term improvements. So, in 2024, our innovation and product teams are working on tools to make understanding and acting on reports easier, more responsive, and more intuitive. We will continue to automate reports, as well as provide real-time recommendations + improvement plans to ensure workers’ voices are not only heard but also provide insights that drive strategy and organizational change. From sharing graphs and data visualization to signing in, we want to make it as easy to interact with our tools as possible!
Innovative thought leadership on social impact and sustainability in ESG is key to the growth of our industry. Labor Solutions is committed to driving the industry forward by ensuring investors, executives, and boards have the language and frameworks necessary to talk about their business and value chain’s impact on humans and the actions necessary to reduce risk and harm.
We will also continue to assist businesses engaged in international trade in understanding worker engagement and navigating supply chain regulations through our free Resources and public engagements. As our footprint grows so will our Programs + Kits – making value chain sustainability projects more accessible and easier to start.
We are proud of the work we have done and look forward to another year of shared impact, engagement, and improvement!