Photo Courtesy of Adidas-group.com
The report from UK-based think tank Business and Human Rights Resource Centre’s KnowTheChain initiative highlighted the slow rate of progress on due diligence by the world’s largest companies operating in the highest-risk sectors for forced labor. Only adidas and Canadian-based athletics brand Lululemon met the report’s standards.
Many evaluated companies aren’t meeting even minimum requirements for mandatory human rights due diligence legislation pending or passed in the EU, US, and Canada. Labor Solutions can apply what we are doing with companies like adidas to help your company respond to the two biggest challenges from the report, setting your company up for success: Challenge #1:
Over 1/3 of businesses don't use risk assessments in supply chains.
Biggest Obstacles to Success: Collecting live, accurate, actionable & transparent data on working conditions + human rights directly from workers is difficult for companies to manage on their own and at scale. Companies might not have adequate legacy systems in place and struggle to get supplier buy-in.
Our Solutions: Labor Solutions has been developing risk assessment technology for major multinational companies and SMEs for over eight years. Our WOVO tool and its combination of eLearnings, surveys, and grievance options can be customized to meet corporate needs, supplier realities, and worker accessibility. But tech-first or tech-exclusive approaches are just one part of proactively remediating risks before they arise. Every company and context is different. Effective risk management systems are an ecosystem of decisions and actions. That’s why LS Advisory helps your business implement and scale WOVO to what your business needs at every step. Challenge #2:
Over 1/3 of businesses evaluated don't have a grievance mechanism in place.
Biggest Obstacles to Success: Scrutiny should be applied to those who claim they have no grievances, as grievances can be found even in the most respectful workplaces. Increasingly, grievance mechanisms and evidence of remediation are being required under mandatory [EFD1] [SZ2] human rights due diligence laws (mHRDD) across in the EU, Canada and the US. Grievance is a rare area of the anti-slavery strategy that is measurable and can work to scale, generating clear ESG-friendly data points and case studies; gold-dust in the murky world of sustainability reporting.
Labor Line: One alternative to the traditional hotline model is Labor Solution’s Labor Line, a grievance mechanism designed to collect data directly from workers through the following four steps:
a. Workers can scan a QR code to access a Labor line form.
b. Labor Line asks workers customized questions and collects data – including
for follow-up with workers – with their consent.
c. Responses are sent directly to the brand
d. Brand can follow-up with workers directly, better target their audits, and
produce live, auditable due diligence reports.
In removing the phone call, Labor Line increases worker anonymity for workers, making them feel more comfortable sharing sensitive issues. Brand follow-up is directly in brands’ hands, giving them an opportunity to pass localized remediation responsibilities over to a third party. Worker contact information consensually shared through Labor Line allows brands to follow up with workers directly on their case, making workers feel heard and sustaining their engagement.
Labor Solutions’ WOVO Connect was designed for companies looking to empower suppliers to resolve their own grievance issues – while maintaining brand oversight. Because of the sustained trust it can build between workers and managers, WOVO Connect is 9x more effective than a traditional grievance mechanism. After one three-month pilot with a major footwear brand, WOVO Connect tracked cases from grievance to remediation with 25% of their suppliers and identified country-specific challenges that became integral to a brand’s sustainability strategy. Again, in just four steps, WOVO Connect simplifies the grievance raising and remediation process :
a. Worker anonymously submits reports, questions or suggestions via WOVO,
SMS, WeChat, QR code scan etc.
b. Supplier management gets messages on their WOVO dashboard’s case
management system and can manage, sort and respond directly
c. Worker and management have ongoing confidential dialogue on WOVO
connect to understand the key issue and follow up
Management gets a WOVO dashboard grievance report to better understand issues. Brand can see live reports on their WOVO dashboard to better target audits/surveys/trainings for workers and managers.
Few tangible outcomes for workers go beyond a “tick box” compliance approach – Labor Solutions has the case studies + research to get more companies up to adidas’ level and prove their success. To find out more about these and our other approaches, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.