Human and labour rights for employees


Fundamental principles and rights at work

We employ more than 42,000 people worldwide and believe all employees have a fun-damental 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. 

Ensuring we treat everyone with respect is a part of Novo Nordisk foundational values and expressed in Novo Nordisk Way Essential 6. Novo Nordisk is committed to meeting its responsibility to respect human rights as defined by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

Novo 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. Novo Nordisk’s responsibility to respect labour related human rights applies to global operations, as a global minimum standard of business conduct. Global labour related human rights responsibilities is embedded in Global People Com-pliance which is anchored in Global People and Organisation.

Global Labour Code of Conduct 

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

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 regarding Novo Nordisk employees Human 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.


Related Novo Nordisk code of conduct and guidelines

In addition, we have several other guidelines and programmes which show respect for and promotes just and fair labour conditions of our employees. These include:



The overall responsibility of Human Rights is anchored under the Business Ethics Com-pliance 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 Commit-tee. The Labour Code of Conduct 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 any 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.


Assessing Labour related Human Rights Impacts

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


Due diligence (Risk Management)

Regular risk management is performed by People Compliance with the purpose of managing Labour related Human Rights risks and opportunities across internal functions, processes and Novo Nordisk global organisation. 

Throughout this process we draw on internal and independent external human rights expertise and findings and consult with potentially affected groups and relevant stake-holders. Among others, we engage with; the internal assurance (Facilitation), 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, Line of Business and Global People and Organisation. Finally, we collaborate with several partners, peers and human and labour rights experts while also overseeing emerging and external trends on human and labour rights violations. 

We identify and assess our key human and 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 related human rights issues and how to prevent and mitigate. Actions for risk prevention and mitigation is carefully prioritized.



To mitigate and prevent adverse labour related human rights impacts, all findings are acted upon immediately. Our global organisation continues to demonstrate it meets and is aligned with the expectations set out in Novo Nordisk Global Labour Code of Conduct. 


Tracking performance

Global People Compliance track labour related human rights performance for Novo Nordisk employees in the workplace and verify whether labour related Human Rights risks are being effectively addressed. We are committed to continuously improving and develop.


Communicating performance

We are committed to continuously oversee and improve human and labour rights for all Novo Nordisk employees in the workplace globally. Global People Compliance publicly communicate on actual and/or potential Labour related Human Rights risks, infringements, mitigating actions, impacts, continuous improvement in Novo Nordisk annual report and communication on progress. Reporting is done to show how Novo Nordisk account for our Labour related Human Rights performance. To date, we have 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.



Global People Compliance and Global/ Local P&O provide for and cooperate in remediation, through legitimate processes, where it has been identified that Novo Nordisk may have caused or contributed to negative labour related human 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 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 the Compliance Hotline (in over 40 languages). Furthermore, employees may raise concerns and complaints through the following channels:

Measures are taken for all concerns reported.