Orkla Responsible Employer and Human Rights Policy

This version of Orkla’s Responsible Employer and Human Rights Policy was approved by the Orkla ASA Group Executive Board on 15 May 2017.

1.0 Introduction

At Orkla, we have a fundamental respect for the value of human life and dignity, and want to foster a culture of respect and consideration. We want to be a good place to work for our employees and strive to develop talent, teamwork and diversity.

We will pay due attention to the rights and interests of employees, consumers, customers, local communities and other stakeholders affected by our business. We see respect for the rights and interests of others as necessary to be a trusted company and for achieving Orkla’s vision of being “Your friend in everyday life”.

We respect the universal human rights and will carry out our business with due diligence to avoid becoming involved in violations of human rights. By due diligence we mean working in a systematic manner to identify, prevent and reduce the risk of becoming involved in violations of human rights and account for how human rights risks are handled. We have a particular responsibility for our own operations, but we also see it as our duty to respect human rights in our relations with business partners, suppliers, customers, local communities and others affected by our activities.
Orkla defines human rights as the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948)*, the two international covenants on civil and political rights (1966) and economic, social and cultural rights (1966) and the core conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO)**.

This document describes Orkla’s guiding principles for handling the human and workers’ rights which we see as having particular relevance for our daily operations. It applies to all of Orkla’s subsidiaries and Group functions.

2.0 Principles for human rights in Orkla

All Orkla companies shall work in a systematic manner to respect human rights, in line with the principles described below.

2.1 Freedom of thought, opinion and expression
We value open, fact-based, honest and respectful communication within our own organisation as well as in our dialogue with external stakeholders. We will strive for achieving a working environment where employees feel comfortable in expressing their opinion without fear of retaliation. All our companies should take appropriate steps to make it easy for employees and external stakeholders to raise concerns and make sure that stakeholder concerns are handled in a respectful, fair and professional way.

We respect the freedom of religion, and we will foster a working environment where all our employees feel included regardless of religious beliefs or cultural background. Our companies should be flexible when responding to concerns raised by employees related to religious customs as long as this is not in conflict with other human rights or Orkla’s business needs.

2.2 The right to life and security of person
We will do our utmost to protect the health and safety of employees, consumers, customers and others linked to our business. All our companies shall commit to the vision of zero harm to people, and work purposefully to create safe, healthy and attractive workplaces, in line with the requirements described in the Orkla Environment, Health and Safety Standard.

We will take care to prevent behaviour or working conditions that may negatively influence the mental and physical health of our employees and their families. Managers shall be aware of their responsibility for the safety and wellbeing of employees, and use the power of their position to foster a positive and healthy working environment. Orkla does not tolerate any form of coercion, punishment or harassing behaviour towards employees.

All our companies shall commit to ensuring safe products for consumers, in line with the requirements described in the Orkla Food Safety Standard.

2.3 The rights of liberty and privacy
Employment in an Orkla company shall always be based on a voluntary agreement. Our companies shall not have internal procedures or carry out activities that prevent employees from leaving the company at their own wish.

We want to show due respect for the privacy of employees, customers and other individuals, and our companies shall adopt a restrictive practice towards monitoring or intrusion of employees’ privacy. If a company sees the need to monitor certain operations, this shall only take place as permitted by legal requirements. Personal information about employees or customers shall always be collected and handled in line with legal requirements, and records shall be stored in a way that prevents unauthorised access.

2.4 Competence development
In Orkla, we see employee development as important to achieve our business targets and be an attractive place to work. We want people to grow and flourish so they can deliver at their full potential. Moreover, we want our employees to feel that their efforts are valued and used in a meaningful way.

Our companies shall allow employees the opportunity to develop their functional and personal competences over time, in line with the competence needs of the company and Orkla’s guidelines for human resource development management. Our employees shall receive regular feed-back on the quality and performance of their work, and have the opportunity to discuss relevant personal development activities. All companies shall establish formalised procedures for performance appraisals.

2.5 Diversity and no discrimination
We see diversity of perspectives as important in order to make good decisions, inspire creativity and in general, contribute to business improvement. Our companies shall work systematically to promote diversity in the workplace and prevent discrimination based on gender, religion, race, national or ethnic origin, cultural background, cast, social group, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, age or political opinion. The companies shall foster a culture where personal differences are respected and appreciated, and promote equal opportunity, particularly in relation to recruitment, compensation and benefits, promotions and training. The companies should make an assessment of how operating processes and working tools can be adapted to physical differences among employees and make reasonable adjustments.

2.6 Consultation and employee involvement
We see good internal communication and cooperation between management and employees as crucial for the company’s ability to succeed and for the well-being of employees. Our companies shall allow employees to be heard in decision processes that have relevance for themselves and the workplace, for example related to occupational health and safety and workforce reductions. Also, our employees shall have the opportunity to become informed about the strategy and progress of the company, for example through the use of intranet and regular hall meetings.

We respect the freedom of association and right to collective bargaining, and want to foster a respectful and constructive dialogue between management and trade unions. Our companies shall establish channels for dialogue and collaboration between the management and representatives of the employees.

2.7 Fair working terms
We want to provide just and favourable working conditions for our employees. Our companies shall make sure that all their employees, including part time employees and temporary workers, have a written working contract. Working hours shall comply with national law and benchmark industry standards, whichever affords greater protection, and with negotiated company agreements. The work should be organised in a way that allows employees to handle their assigned responsibilities within normal working hours and reasonable actions shall be taken to prevent an unhealthy workload. The use of overtime shall be in compliance with national legislation and based on a framework agreement which has been negotiated with the company’s employee representatives.

All Orkla companies shall have working terms which allow employees to combine working and family life, including due consideration of parental duties. Employees shall be provided with at least one day off for every seven-day period. All full-time employees shall, as a minimum, receive wages and benefits which are sufficient to meet basic needs for food, clothing and housing.

2.8 Respect for children’s rights
We recognise the vulnerability of children, and will do our utmost to protect children from physical, mental or moral harm. We will respect childrens’ rights*** within our activities and business relations.

No Orkla company shall employ individuals who are below the normal age for completing compulsory school, or below 15 years of age, whichever is the highest. Young workers, defined as employees who are above the school-leaving age, but below the age of 18, shall not perform hazardous work, or work to an extent which negatively influences the ability to participate in education activities.

All Orkla products must meet strict health and safety requirements. When developing products aimed at children, we will be extra cautious to make sure that we do not expose children to harm or undesired influence in any way. Marketing communications must comply with all relevant laws and regulations in the local country. Orkla supports the EU Pledge for responsible marketing of food and beverages, and will not advertise products to children under the age of 12 if the products do not meet the common EU Pledge Nutrition Criteria. Where local or regionally agreed pledges criteria are stricter, these should be applied.

2.9 Protection of marginalised populations
All our companies shall make sure that their operations do not interfere with the right of self-determination of indigenous people, for example related to land areas or other natural resources upon which they are dependent. If an Orkla company has business plans which may have an impact on a marginalised population, the company shall establish a dialogue with representatives for the population group in order to find a solution which is satisfactory to both parties.

2.10 Promoting human rights
We want to contribute to increasing the general awareness of human rights in society by communicating our principles and requirements to suppliers, customers and others.

We expect our suppliers and business partners to respect human and workers’ rights and establish human rights policies which address the corporate responsibilities outlined in the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights****. If we discover that suppliers or business partners are involved in violations of human rights, we will communicate our concerns and encourage the supplier or business partner to start a remediation process. If corrective actions are not taken and the violations endure, we will consider our business relationship.

More detailed guidelines on how to address human rights in the supply chain are described in Orkla’s Responsible Sourcing Policy and our ethical requirements towards suppliers are described in Orkla’s Supplier Code of Conduct .

3.0 Implementation and monitoring requirements

All our companies shall take necessary steps to comply with the principles described above. In particular, Orkla expects the companies to:

  • Communicate the Responsible employer and human rights policy to all managers and trade union representatives
  • On a regular basis assess the risk of being involved in violations of human rights and take reasonable steps to reduce identified risks
  • Integrate the principles in relevant internal procedures
  • Have a written procedure for how to handle potential complaints from employees and external stakeholders

Orkla will monitor compliance with the requirements through internal sustainability reporting. We will review the status of the companies’ human rights activities as part of the business reviews.

4.0 Roles and responsibilities

The responsibility for implementing the human rights policy lies with the most senior manager of each company and Orkla Operations, assisted by the local HR function.

The Corporate Social Responsibility function at Orkla is responsible for updating the policy and for developing relevant support material in collaboration with Group HR. These functions may also assist the companies in awareness training.

Orkla’s Responsible Employer and Human Rights Policy does not give customers, suppliers, competitors, shareholders or other persons or entities any legal rights beyond those that follow from applicable legal rules.

5.0 Approval

This version of Orkla’s Responsible Employer and Human Rights Policy was approved by the Orkla ASA Group Executive Board on 15 May 2017.

* The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

** Eight conventions are defined as fundamental by the UN’s international worker organisation, the ILO.

*** Children’s Rights and Business Principles

**** UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights