11. Human rights (HR)
As part of the Geberit Code of Conduct, Geberit undertakes to comply with all laws, guidelines, norms and standards. This also includes assuming responsibility along the value chain, see chapter Suppliers. Geberit commits itself to upholding human rights. As a member of the UN Global Compact and on the basis of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, Geberit supports compliance with human rights both internally and at suppliers and partners. Geberit deploys a comprehensive process for the implementation of the Code of Conduct and its review of compliance, see chapter Society.
In terms of information, the promotion of awareness and controlling, human rights issues related to internal topics (aspects equal treatment, freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining) are in the responsibility of Corporate Human Resources.
With respect to measures and objectives in the Code of Conduct, see also Sustainability strategy.
11.1 Investments (HR)
Management Approach – Investments
The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights apply to the business activities of Geberit. Geberit is active across the world, including in regions posing a certain degree of risk with regard to the upholding of fundamental employee and human rights. However, all Geberit Group companies throughout the world are integrated in the Geberit Compliance Programme, which includes the upholding of fundamental employee protection and human rights. In addition, internal audits with compliance reviews take place at all companies of the Geberit Group, see also chapter Society.
G4-HR1 Human rights aspects in investment agreements
In 2016, there was no investment agreement in countries or areas that pose a special risk in terms of human rights violations. The integration of the former Sanitec Group only comprised European sites. The Geberit Group’s Compliance Programme was extended to the companies of the former Sanitec Group in 2015.
Suppliers are fundamentally required by contractual agreement to comply with the special Code of Conduct for Suppliers that contains provisions for the protection of human rights, see Code of Conduct for Suppliers.
G4-HR2 Human rights training for employees
All new employees at Geberit are trained on the Code of Conduct as part of the Welcome events, with specific training films on the topics of corruption, IT misuse, workplace bullying and sexual harassment, deployed especially for this.
The subject of compliance is uniformly positioned throughout the Geberit Group. The joint intranet GIN serves as an important basis for this, presenting and explaining the compliance organisation and Code of Conduct on a dedicated page. In parallel to this, management have been requested by means of a circular letter to ensure that all employees without intranet access receive the same information via a suitable channel.
11.2 Non-discrimination (HR)
Management Approach – Non-discrimination
The Geberit Code of Conduct forbids discrimination as defined in the ILO core labour standards. Geberit does not tolerate either discrimination or workplace bullying on the basis of race, gender, religion, creed, nationality, disability, age, sexual orientation, physical or mental handicap, marital status, political views or other characteristics protected by law. Geberit aims to ensure a safe working environment for its employees. All forms of workplace violence, including threats, threatening gestures, intimidation, attacks and similar forms of behaviour are forbidden. Compliance with the Code is verified annually as part of a Group-wide survey. The Geberit Integrity Line is available to all employees as a whistleblower hotline, see Labour practices grievance mechanisms.
G4-HR3 Cases of discrimination
According to the annual Group-wide survey, no infringements regarding discrimination and sexual harassment were identified in 2016. Two cases of workplace bullying were reported and investigated. Both cases were clarified in discussions with the affected parties.
11.3 Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining (HR)
Management Approach – Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining
Employees are completely free to join trade unions, associations and similar organisations. No rights with respect to exercising freedom of association or collective bargaining as defined in the ILO core labour standards and the UN Global Compact are subject to restriction at the Geberit Group.
G4-HR4 Guarantee of freedom of association and collective bargaining
According to the annual Group-wide survey, no infringements of the guarantee of freedom of association and collective bargaining were identified in 2016.
11.4 Child Labor (HR)
Management Approach – Child Labor
Geberit’s exposure with respect to child labour is considered low because of its industry, business model and the countries in which business activities are carried out as well as its high quality requirements. Geberit commits itself to the protection of human rights in its Code of Conduct. Child labour is categorically rejected.
The basic principles set out in the Code of Conduct for Suppliers explicitly include compliance with the ILO core labour standards for the exclusion of child labour.
G4-HR5 Risk of and precautionary measures against child labor
According to the annual Group-wide survey there were no cases of child labour revealed in 2016. There were likewise no such cases arising during the audits carried out at suppliers.
11.5 Forced or Compulsory Labor (HR)
Management Approach – Forced or Compulsory Labor
Geberit’s exposure with respect to forced or compulsory labour is considered low because of its industry, business model and the countries in which business activities are carried out as well as its high quality requirements. Geberit commits itself to the protection of human rights in its Code of Conduct. Forced or compulsory labour is categorically rejected.
The basic principles set out in the Code of Conduct for Suppliers explicitly include compliance with the ILO core labour standards for the exclusion of forced or compulsory labour.
G4-HR6 Risk of and precautionary measures against forced labor
According to the annual Group-wide survey there were no cases of forced or compulsory labour revealed in 2016. There were likewise no such cases arising during the audits carried out at suppliers.
11.6 Human Rights Assessment (HR)
Management Approach – Human Rights Assessment
With respect to the requirements and implementation of the Geberit compliance system, see chapter Society.
G4-HR9 Operations subjected to human rights reviews or impact assessments
The upholding of human rights is subject to a survey at all Geberit Group companies each year as part of reporting on the Code of Conduct.
The topic of human rights as part of compliance is a component of the audit programme for the periodic inspections of the production and sales companies by the Internal Audit Department. In 2016, the Internal Audit Department audited a total of 20 companies. In the reporting year, no evidence was found on human rights violations in the context of the various inspections.