Human Rights Policy
Last updated: 4th September 2023
At The Sustainability Group, we believe that every person deserves to be treated with respect, dignity, and fairness. Our commitment to human rights is a core value that guides our actions and operations. We embrace diversity, champion equality, and stand against discrimination in all its forms, within our direct operations, supply chain, and wider communities in which we work.
The Sustainability Group is committed to acting in a way that avoids infringing upon the rights of others and preventing adverse human rights impact arising from our activities. This policy sets out the expected behaviour that everyone working for and with The Sustainability Group must meet. We adhere to all applicable laws and regulations wherever we operate. Where national law and international human rights differ, we will aim to follow the higher standard; where they are in conflict, we will seek ways to respect international human rights to the greatest extent possible.
Our policy is guided by various international human rights principles encompassed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Declaration on Fundamental, Principles and Rights at Work and the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
This policy applies to all members of The Sustainability Group, including all directors, officers, employees (whether employed on a temporary, fixed term, permanent or part-time basis), workers and contractors. It is expected that suppliers, including self-employed contractors, comply with the law as a minimum and should do their utmost to comply with the principles of this policy.
Equality and Diversity
The Sustainability Group is committed to providing a safe and inclusive working environment where everyone is treated fairly and with respect. Our Diversity & Inclusion Policy and Anti-Harassment Policy provide specific details on our procedures and policies for promoting equality and diversity within the organisation.
Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining
The Sustainability Group respects the right of its employees to join or not join a trade union in line with local legislation. We make it clear to employees that collective bargaining is allowed and require all our suppliers and partners to respect their employees' right to freedom of association.
The Sustainability Group is committed to providing fair working conditions for all employees. This includes measures such as:
Ensuring reasonable work hours.
Providing resting times when necessary and appropriate.
Providing holiday entitlements, including maternity/paternity leave and benefits, which comply with all applicable legislation.
Ensuring that all staff are paid a living wage for the area where they operate.
Ensuring that high standards of health and safety are delivered for all employees. For more information on this, please refer to our Health and Safety Policy.
Having a zero tolerance approach to modern slavery. We have a specific statement which outlines the company’s stance. For more information, please refer to our Modern Slavery Statement.
Having a zero tolerance approach to child labour. In accordance with UK legislation, this means not employing anyone under the age of 16 full-time. As well as adhering to adult employment rights and rules for any employees aged 18 and over.
Our Suppliers and Supply Chains
The Sustainability Group is committed to ensuring that its suppliers adhere to the highest standards of ethics. Our expectations are clearly laid out within our Supplier Code of Conduct, which sets out our expectations for living wages, child labour, working conditions and labour rights. All suppliers are provided with, and asked to review our Supplier Code of Conduct prior to engagement and are asked to declare any potential issues.
We work with suppliers to ensure that they meet the standards of the code and improve their worker's working conditions. However, serious violations of our Supplier Code of Conduct will lead to the termination of the business relationship.
The Sustainability Group encourages anyone who believes that their rights have been breached by the company to raise a concern. This can be done internally through our whistleblowing procedure (please refer to our Whistleblowing Policy for more details) or by directly contacting [email protected]. Wherever possible, your concerns will be dealt with confidentially. Anonymous reporting routes are also detailed in our Whistleblowing Policy. External concerns may be raised by contacting [email protected].
Training and Awareness
This policy is provided to all new members of staff, who are expected to read this and other relevant policies at the start of their employment. In addition, this policy is available to all staff at all times, and stakeholders upon request.
Any staff member who is unsure of any information within the policy, or would like further training on the information provided can request additional training at any time.
This policy will be reviewed annually to ensure that our approach to addressing human rights is in line with the company's mission and values, as well as any legislative updates.
Policies referred to in this document:
Modern Slavery Statement
Health and Safety Policy
Diversity and Inclusion Policy