International Labor and Social Standards
We act responsibly toward our employees. Part of this is our voluntary commitment to respecting international labor and social standards, which we have embedded in our global Code of Conduct. This encompasses internationally recognized labor norms as stipulated in the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, and the Tripartite Declaration of Principles Concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy of the International Labour Organization (ILO). BASF is committed to complying with these standards worldwide. We mainly approach our adherence to international labor and social standards using three elements: the Compliance Program (including compliance hotlines), close dialog with our stakeholders (such as with employee representatives or international organizations) and the BASF guideline on compliance with international labor norms, which applies Group-wide. This guideline makes concrete the topics in our global Code of Conduct under “Human rights, labor and social standards” as these relate to our employees.
It forms the basis for our global, risk-based management process: We regularly monitor changes to the national law of all the countries in which BASF operates and evaluate our adherence to international labor and social standards. If the national law contains no or lower requirements, action plans are drawn up to successively close these gaps in a reasonable time frame. If conflicts with national law or practices arise, we strive to act in accordance with our values and internationally recognized principles without violating the law of the country concerned. As part of the management process, we regularly follow up on and document the results of the comparison between national law and our guideline, as well as measures to implement the guideline. This is part of our central due diligence system. An additional component of our corporate due diligence is our training concept, which was enhanced and refined in 2021. It includes target group-specific training and e-learning modules as well as a global platform for internal dialog.
We monitor our voluntary commitment to international labor and social standards as part of our management process. As before, individual elements of the guideline are also reviewed as part of internal control processes such as Responsible Care audits at BASF Group companies. In addition to these quality assurance measures, compliance with international labor and social standards is an integral part of the standard questionnaire in the compliance management audits conducted by BASF’s Corporate Audit department.