Companies have a responsibility to respect human rights across their supply chains through Human Rights Due Diligence processes and requirements, including the set-up of effective grievance mechanisms.
Given the complex nature of global supply chains, providing access to remedy remains a challenge, but the methods to provide access to remedy, including grievance mechanisms, are considered in a number of upcoming reporting standards, benchmarks, and ratings, with increasing reference to the supply chains as they pose higher risks.
In this context, the B4IG working group on Human Rights, under the leadership of Sodexo, has developed a document that aims to help companies incorporate grievance mechanisms in their Supplier Codes of Conduct, as a first step to engage with their suppliers on the topic.
Building on the United Nations Guiding Principles (UNGP) on Business and Human Rights, the OECD’s Multinational Enterprises Guidelines, as well as businesses’ best practices and working sessions between member companies, we have identified seven operational-level principles for Supplier Codes of Conduct, contracts, or other equivalent documents, to ensure the set-up of effective grievance mechanisms.
The document aims to provide:
- A general overview of Grievance mechanisms
- Operational-level principles:
- Making a commitment to provide for or cooperate in the remediation of adverse impacts
- Ensuring accessibility of the mechanisms set in place
- Protecting employees and workers
- Identifying and addressing grievances in a predictable manner
- Involving different stakeholders in the design, implementation and improvement of the grievance mechanisms
- Guaranteeing access to other remediation options and channels available to stakeholders
- Monitoring the efficiency of the company’s grievance mechanisms and other remediation processes
- Proposed structure for wording
- Examples of information that can be disclosed from reporting standards.