We are committed to respect and promote international human rights in our operations and our sphere of influence.
During 2010/2011, we conducted a labour review in all 106 countries where AstraZeneca has employees, focused on ILO core areas including freedom of association and collective bargaining, child labour, discrimination, working hours and wages. As a framework for the review, we used an adaptation of the employment section of the Danish Institute for Human Rights assessment tool for pharmaceutical companies, which was developed with our industry’s help and launched in 2010.
During 2012, we collated and analysed the review data. The results showed that generally our practices are in the main consistent across all countries, based on our mandate that AstraZeneca’s global standards are applied when external national standards do not meet our minimum requirements. There were some gaps to ILO standards identified, in particular that whilst the ‘Wages &Benefits' section delivered 100% positive scores, our Standards do not include a definition of ‘a living wage’ which the ILO principles require. We are confident that our generous reward policies serve our commitment to human rights but without the absolute definition, we recognise the perceived gap to ILO standard. Similarly, our policies clearly state that individual employees are free to choose to belong to a collective and where AstraZeneca currently has such relationships, they will be conducted legally and respectfully. However, we recognise there are some gaps to the pro-active recognition advocated by ILO. We are reviewing these results as part of the wider update of our Global People Policy. This update will also include a review against the Ruggie Guiding Principles “Protect, Respect & Remedy” Framework to assess AstraZeneca’s approach to Human Rights and continued commitment to the UNGC.