Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) issued several measures for its suppliers to address the significant increase of student and dispatch workers in manufacturing facilities in China. The company’s new policy limits the number of students allowed to work in factories.
According to the company, the new policies were developed in consultation with key stakeholders in China such as the Center for Child Rights and Corporate Social Responsibility to ensure the implementation of regulatory requirements. In addition Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) also created additional measures “beyond regulatory” expectations for suppliers.
“HP has a history of leadership in proactively addressing labor issues and driving supply chain improvements. 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,” said Tony Prophet, senior vice president for worldwide supply chain operation of HP.
Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) required suppliers to provide fair compensation and social insurance to workers. The computer and electronics manufacturer said that students and temporary workers should work in the factories on a voluntary basis. They are free to leave their work anytime upon submission of reasonable notice without negative consequences, and must have access to reliable and reprisal-free grievance mechanisms.
Suppliers are required to follow or exceed all local regulations related to working environment, legal working age, working hours, contractual, and term limits for students and temporary workers.
HP specified the number of students allowed in factories and reduced their working hours below the legal limit. The company said, students should only work in areas that complement their primary area of study.
The company also directed its suppliers to implement its new guidelines immediately, and their compliance will be evaluated through HP’s ongoing social and environmental responsibility (SER) audits and key performance indicator (KPI) program.
“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," Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) said in a statement.
“Student and temporary workers are two very vulnerable groups within the Chinese workforce. They are often entering the workplace with limited experiences and support. These guidelines are a clear recognition of HP’s commitment to see its workforce as both a resource of today and tomorrow,” said Sanna Johnson, executive director at Center for Child Rights and Corporate Social Resposibility.