- Based on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights as well as the National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights
- Launch prepared for an enhanced management system for human rights
Establishing Human Rights Due Diligence
Part of GNFK StartThe Schaeffler Group is a global family business with a strong foundation in its values. Respect for human rights is an indispensable part of corporate responsibility. The sustainability department - as part of the HR function - is responsible for human rights issues. This department works closely with a variety of functions across all regions to implement human rights due diligence.
1) Accepting responsibility
The Schaeffler Group rejects any form of human rights violations such as child and forced labor or discrimination based on racial/ethnic origin, color, or gender. This claim applies to all of the approx. 200 Schaeffler locations as well as to all business partners and goes beyond compliance with local legal provisions. The company management commits to the “UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights”, the ten principles of the “UN Global Compact”, and the core labor standards of the International Labour Organization (ILO).
Respect for human rights is part of the group-wide Code of Conduct (CoC) and the Schaeffler Group’s Supplier Code of Conduct (SCoC). Employees and managers undergo CoC training. The relevant training was expanded in the reporting year, and additional training courses on human rights are being prepared.
More information on compliance training courses.
2) Identifying risks
Depending on the situation, human rights are reported to the Sustainability department within the framework of internal risk reporting. Elements for managing risks associated with human rights violations are developed and coordinated by the Sustainability department. In the reporting year, the company prepared for the launch of an enhanced management system for human rights that calls for a human rights impact assessment. Moreover, the company made arrangements to launch future processes and systems for the purpose of identifying human rights risks in the supply chain. These processes and systems are based on a variety of components, including the ramp-up of the self-assessment questionnaires (SAQs) on the NQC platform.
More information on the SAQs can be found in the chapter “Minimum requirements for suppliers”.
3) Introducing effective measures
In an effort to increase the analysis of human rights risks, the company is also systematically implementing measures to prevent or mitigate potential or actual human rights violations in the future. This includes activities within the Schaeffler Group and throughout the value chain. The existing Energy, Environment, Occupational Health & Safety processes in the EnEHS management system will be expanded to include measures to promote human rights due diligence in accordance with ISO 26000. In the future, the risk analysis process and stakeholder consultations will also allow the company to regularly assess the effectiveness of the measures defined in the management system and make any necessary changes.
The following measures are being planned for supplier management:
- Fields of activity (e.g. corrective action plans, CAP) to be defined based on supplier risk assessments and agreed upon and implemented with business partners
- Preparation for the introduction of third-party audits
- Development of training courses addressing the NAP industry dialogue, which can be used for supplier qualification
4) Informing and reporting
The Schaeffler Group routinely reports on the status of the human rights compliance system and current topics related to human rights.
In addition, the Modern Slavery Act, which was passed in the United Kingdom, calls for companies to demonstrate their commitment to protecting human rights along their value chain on an annual basis. The Schaeffler Group maintains business relations with the UK and is therefore impacted by this disclosure requirement. A corresponding statement is published for Schaeffler (UK) Ltd. Stakeholders are also informed through the Sustainability Report.
The “Modern Slavery Statement” of Schaeffler (UK) Ltd. is available at: Modern Slavery Statement
5) Facilitating grievances
In the reporting year, the Schaeffler Group expanded the global compliance whistleblowing system to include human rights. The system is available in six languages and provides company employees as well as any third parties affected with a confidential, encrypted and secure form of communication.
Incoming hints are assessed by a team consisting of compliance and sustainability employees, incorporating the whistleblower in the process if possible. When a case of violation is confirmed, corrective measures are introduced. In six1) cases, measures were introduced to correct human rights violations, including employee dismissals, in the reporting year.
In the reporting period, the Schaeffler Group also started to extend the process for remedial measures to include those affected by human rights violations.
Based on the expansion of the risk analysis processes and the associated integration of stakeholders, the next step will be to continue developing the complaint management system beyond the compliance whistleblowing system.Part of GNFK End
The Schaeffler Group’s whistleblowing system is available at: Schaeffler Group whistleblowing system
1) Violations of the prohibition on forced labor, child labor, and cases of discrimination by racial/ethnic origin, color, or gender. The cases confirmed in the reporting period were all related to discrimination.