Labour rights for our employees

 

Fundamental Labour Rights Principles

We employ more than 42,000 people worldwide and believe all employees have a fundamental right to responsible working conditions. We take appropriate measures and always ensures that human and labour rights of our employees within Novo Nordisk are protected. 

Novo Nordisk is committed to meeting its responsibility to respect human rights as defined by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human RightsNovo Nordisk Human Rights commitment is approved by Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen, President & CEO of Novo Nordisk and stipulates Novo Nordisk human rights expectations, also of business partners and other parties directly linked to our operations, products and services.

We are committed to respect Labour Rights in all our activities and operations, as a global minimum standard of business conduct. Global labour rights responsibilities is embedded in Global People Compliance Office which is anchored in Global People and Organisation. As part of our engagement and commitment to respect labour rights, we have integrated this in Novo Nordisk Labour Code of Conduct. 

 

Global People Compliance Office serves as Novo Nordisk global one-point-of-entry in the field of labour rights. To ensure we live up to labour rights expectations and Novo Nordisk’s commitment, Global People Compliance has developed Novo Nordisk Labour Code of Conduct (LCoC), a global minimum labour standard called. 

The LCoC is a uniform global labour standard which applies to all Novo Nordisk employees in the workplace globally. The LCoC describes Novo Nordisk expected global minimum labour requirements for Novo Nordisk employees Human & Labour Rights at work. The LCoC include inter alia, the principles concerning fundamental rights in the eight ILO Core Conventions as set out in the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and labour related human rights as stipulated in the International Bill of Human Rights.

For more information please find Novo Nordisk Labour Code of Conduct here:

Novo Nordisk Labour code of conduct (PDF)

 

In addition, we have several other and related global standards describing, showing respect for and which promotes just and fair labour conditions for our employees. These include:

 

·         The Novo Nordisk Way

·         Health and Safety

·         Business Ethics

·         Diversity & Inclusion

 

Stakeholder Engagement & Assessing Labour Rights Impacts

The overall responsibility of Human Rights is anchored under the Business Ethics Compliance Office (BECO). Novo Nordisk Human Rights commitment is an integral part of the Business Ethics Code of Conduct and is overseen by the Business Ethics Committee. Novo Nordisk Labour Code of Conduct (LCoC) is referenced in the Human Rights section. 

Novo Nordisk Labour Code of Conduct is overseen by Novo Nordisk’s Global People and Organisation Management. Should a manager or an employee suspect that the LCoC is being violated, they should bring this forward to their managers or human resource contact’s attention immediately. The responsible manager is required to take necessary actions to end any potential violations of the LCoC. No employees will be retaliated against if they report a violation or demand the application of the LCoC.

All sites must ensure that Novo Nordisk Global Labour Code of Conduct is properly implemented in their local employment practices and ensure that all local guidelines are developed and communicated to meet or exceed Novo Nordisk global minimum labour standards.

To gauge our Labour Rights risks, Global People Compliance effectively monitor, identify and assess any actual and potential negative Labour Rights impacts which we may have been involved in.

Regular risk management is performed by People Compliance with the purpose of managing Labour Rights risks and opportunities across internal functions, processes and Novo Nordisk global organisation. Throughout this process we draw on findings, internal and/ or independent external human rights expertise and consult with potentially affected groups and relevant stakeholders. Among others, we internally collaborate and engage with; the internal assurance Novo Nordisk Ombudsperson and the Compliance Hotline, members of the European Work Council, Labour Unions, the Health and Safety unit, Business Ethics Compliance Office, Legal & Compliance community, Line of Business and Global People and Organisation. Finally, we collaborate and engage with several external partners, peers and human and labour rights experts while also overseeing emerging and external trends on labour rights violations.

 

Integrating Findings and Taking Action

We identify and assess our key labour rights impacts for our employees in an internal and external context and with reference to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labour Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and the International Bill of Human Rights. This allow us to determine and focus on our most salient labour rights issues and on how to protect, prevent and mitigate. Any findings are acted upon immediately. Actions for risk protection, prevention, mitigation is carefully prioritized and included in People Compliances’ annual ambitions. Our global organisation continues to demonstrate it meets and is aligned with the expectations set out in Novo Nordisk Global Labour Code of Conduct. 

To ensure we always make sustainable and impactful contributions, we continue to be pro-active and make voluntary contributions to the protection and fostering of labour rights which go beyond legal boundaries and compliance regulations.

 

Tracking Performance

Novo Nordisk’s responsibility to respect labour rights applies to our global operations as a global minimum standard of business conduct. Global People Compliance track labour rights performance for Novo Nordisk employees in the workplace and verify whether Labour Rights risks are being effectively addressed. We are committed to continuously protect, prevent, promote, improve and develop. In 2019 we have taken efforts to address the following labour rights topics:

 

  • In 2019, the Global Labour Code of Conduct was revitalised and reinforced to ensure it was contemporary and in alignment with Novo Nordisk’s Business Ethics Compliance Framework, which includes respect for human rights. The Code of Conduct describes expected global minimum labour rights requirements for Novo Nordisk employees including the principles concerning fundamental rights in the eight ILO Core Conventions and labour rights as stipulated in the International Bill of Human Rights
  • Entered a 5-year living wage programme with an external global non-profit business network and consultancy. The objective is, to ensure that all Novo Nordisk employees are paid a living wage, i.e. adequate to purchase basic goods and services necessary to achieve a basic standard of living, based on calculations of living wages in the countries we operate in. An analysis indicated that this is the case
  • Novo Nordisk is committed to ensuring fair and equal treatment, opportunities - and pay - for all employees regardless of gender. In 2019, Novo Nordisk conducted a study on gender and equal pay covering more than 50 countries and over 25,000 employees in order to reveal any differences in pay level or annual bonus due to gender. In a few locations, some differences that need to be further investigated were identified, and if due to gender, corrected. The equal pay study will be repeated in 2020 to ensure a continued focus.
  • Increased minimum paid maternity leave from 12-14 weeks globally
  • Introduced right to paid paternity leave
  • Ensured better coverage of forced and bonded labour/ child labour and young workers and update of Novo Nordisk Modern Slavery Act Statement 2019
  • Recognised the right to social security and social insurance
  • New section on our Human Rights Due Diligence process and obligations, i.e. covering how we identify, prevent, mitigate and account for how we address adverse labour rights impacts

 

We are committed to continuously oversee and improve labour rights for all Novo Nordisk employees in the workplace globally. Global People Compliance publicly communicate on actual and/or potential Labour Rights risks, infringements, mitigating actions, impacts, continuous improvement in Novo Nordisk annual report, communication on progress and Future Fit. Reporting is done to show how Novo Nordisk account for our Labour Rights performance. To date, we have also reported and performed mitigating actions on; living wage, child labour, non-discrimination, equal treatment, employee representation, freedom of association, working hours, overtime and rest periods.

 

Remediation

To ensure we always make sustainable and impactful contributions, we continue to be pro-active and make voluntary contributions to the protection and fostering of labour rights which go beyond legal boundaries and compliance regulations.

Our Global People Compliance Office, Global and/ or Local P&O, our Business Ethics Compliance Office, Global Legal & Compliance community - support, provide for and cooperate in remediation cases, through legitimate processes and where it has been identified that Novo Nordisk may or may not have caused or contributed to negative labour rights impacts.

Grievance mechanisms: We are committed to providing access for our employees’ mechanisms for raising workplace-related grievances. We will not tolerate discrimination or retaliation (disadvantaged) against persons who in good faith file a report or participate in an investigation.

Raising concerns: Employees may report grievances in a secure and confidential manner via Novo Nordisk's Compliance Hotline (in more than 40 languages). Moreover, our employees may raise concerns and complaints through the following channels:

 

  • Global People Compliance
  • The Ombudsperson
  • Direct Manager
  • Global People & Organisation/ HR Partners/ Local HR
  • Local unions 
  • Social Counsellors and/or equivalent

 

Measures are taken for all concerns reported.