Respect for human rights

The main areas of influence where, by adhering to the commitments as a result of participation in the UN Global Compact initiative, we are required to respect and promote fundamental human rights are composed of our employees and the supply chain.

In accordance with the provisions of the Code of Conduct, we ensure that our employees have a working environment that is free from all forms of discrimination, harassment, intimidation and bullying. We recognise the freedom of association and collective bargaining and prohibit any form of illicit work or exploitation, as well as all types of compulsory, forced or child labour.

Compliance with the core international standards of the International Labour Organisation is monitored by the Corporate Social Responsibility department, which every year sends a written questionnaire to the Group companies across the world. Monitoring is important because we have a presence in some countries that are considered at risk with regard to the respect for human rights. In 2013, this monitoring activity covered about 94% of the Group workforce and produced the following results:

  • child labour: to ensure respect for this regulation, the companies verify the age of employees at the time of hiring. No Group employee is younger than 16 years of age;
  • forced labour: there are no cases of compulsory, forced or otherwise irregular labour within the Group. All employees are free to terminate their employment contract observing the notice period required by law. In no case do we withhold personal documents of our employees in order to limit their freedom of movement or their freedom to change jobs;
  • non-discrimination: 14 cases of discrimination have been reported through the reporting procedures envisaged by the Code of Conduct;
  • freedom of association and collective bargaining: 85.9% of employees work in Group companies where there is employee representation. 78% of employees are covered by collective bargaining agreements and, where such agreements are not in force, employees are hired with a formal written employment contract. 2.9% of employees work in companies located in countries where freedom of association and collective bargaining are legally restricted.

In order to raise awareness about fundamental human rights among our employees, which is essential for ensuring that they are respected, training on the existing Ethical Code was delivered via an e-learning course involving almost 19,000 people around the world (with priority given to those who work in high-risk countries). As previously mentioned, we are currently rolling out an introductory training programme on the Code of Conduct – in which the issue of human rights is discussed in detail – which must be followed by all Group employees.

With regard to suppliers, pursuant to the provisions of the Ethical Code for suppliers, they are required to comply with all applicable national and international laws and regulations, including the Declaration of the International Labour Organisation and the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They must also ensure that their respective supply chains comply with the aforementioned rules and principles.
Even in this case, where the risk is specific to the geographical areas in which we operate, annual monitoring is performed via an internal questionnaire sent to the various countries in which the Group has a presence. In 2013, the check did not reveal any significant risks with regard to the possibility that some suppliers use forced or child labour. Instead, we found that in some countries, freedom of association and collective bargaining are not permitted by law (United Arab Emirates) or are permitted but with restrictions (China).

Assicurazioni Generali S.p.A. - C.F. e P.IVA 00079760328