HP Introduces New Responsible Supplier Guidelines for Student, Dispatch Workers in China
In an effort to proactively address the significant increase in the use of student and dispatch workers such as temporary, auxiliary and substitute workers in manufacturing facilities across China, HP (NYSE:HPQ) today issued new guidelines and measurement processes for its suppliers with operations in that country.
The guidelines are a first for the information technology industry.
HP's new guidelines for student and temporary workers, developed in consultation with key stakeholders such as China's Center for Child Rights and Corporate Social Responsibility, reinforce regulatory requirements while introducing additional "beyond regulatory" expectations for suppliers.
"HP has a history of leadership in proactively addressing labor issues and driving supply chain improvements," said Tony Prophet, senior vice president, Worldwide Supply Chain Operations, HP. "We have worked closely with leading Chinese stakeholders to develop our new student and temporary worker guidelines to ensure the highest standards of ethical workforce management."
In addition to mandating fair remuneration and social insurance, HP's guidelines focus on the following:
- All work must be voluntary: Student and temporary workers shall be free to leave work at any time upon reasonable notice without negative repercussions, and they must have access to reliable and reprisal-free grievance mechanisms.
- Local regulations must be reinforced or exceeded: All regulations regarding legal working age, work environment, working hours, and contractual and term limits for student and temporary workers will be reinforced. Additionally, HP guidelines limit student working hours to below the legal limit.
- Number of student workers must be limited: HP's guidelines specify the acceptable levels of student workers to ensure the direct labor force in manufacturing facilities is composed primarily of full-time workers.
- Student work must complement the primary area of study: Student workers should only Engage in work activities that complement the primary degree they are seeking to obtain.
Suppliers are being asked to comply with these guidelines immediately and will be measured through ongoing social and environmental responsibility (SER) audits as well as HP's key performance indicator (KPI) program, which regularly collects key SER performance information on suppliers.
Moving forward, HP will collect KPI information from suppliers on a more frequent basis to manage supplier performance against these expectations and to address other persistent supply chain issues, such as excessive working hours. In addition, HP is concurrently implementing a new industry-standard audit protocol and collection tool based on recent Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) provisions that have a "zero tolerance" policy for the worst cases of nonconformity to working-hours standards.
"Student and temporary workers are two very vulnerable groups within the Chinese workforce. They are often entering the workplace with limited experiences and support," said Sanna Johnson, executive director, Center for Child Rights and Corporate Social Responsibility. "These guidelines are a clear recognition of HP's commitment to see its workforce as both a resource of today and tomorrow."