Responding department: Corporate Social Responsibility
Stock Exchange Symbol: (JSP:IN)
Does your company have a publicly available commitment to respect human rights?
Yes, please refer to the Guiding Principles, Sustainability and Human resources as reflected in the website - www.jindalstainless.com
How are human rights governed in your company?
Human Rights is a core area of business responsibility wherein employees are educated toward their rights through structured programs like trainings conducted as also unstructured methods through conversations and discussions. Although efforts for creating greater awareness is championed by the CSR department, yet all departments are engaged in the process, with gender and women rights being key components of the drive. In addition rights relating to pollution and children are ensured with requisite checks and balances placed.
How are human rights managed within your company?
Since the signing of the 'Women Empowerment Principles' CEO Statement of support, there has been a concerted drive to educate women employees as also women close to our plant locations on their rights and fair wages. The communities close to our manufacturing and extractive facilities are also engaged in similar processes. A due diligence exercise on human rights has also been conducted by the Company by an external Human rights audit company, Mazars. The work place rights and women rights are also monitored closely by the Internal Committee established for the purpose. A grievance mechanism has also been set in place with employees and others are encouraged to file their complaints, which remain anonymous. In addition to the above, adequate tracking mechanism have been set in motion and regular independent reporting methods enccouraged.
What is the company’s approach to the engagement of stakeholders (including workers, and local communities impacted by the company’s activities), on human rights issues?
Over the past year, stakeholder engagement with employees as also with communities around our manufacturing facilities have been conducted. It is a good way of interacting with the target audience and to learn of their grievances. Besides, monthly interactions with employees are held by departmental heads.
Priority human rights issues: What are some of the priority human rights issues for your company?
The company selected the following from a check list:
- Health (including environmental health, workplace health & safety)
- Workplace diversity / non-discrimination
- Sexual harassment
- Displacement and community relocation
- Access to water
- Freedom of association and trade union rights
- Freedom of expression and/or right to privacy/ digital rights
- Relations with security forces
- Racial and ethnic minorities
- Children (including child labour)
- Indigenous peoples
Actions on health
Regular health checks are carried out in respect of all employees. In addition, mobile health vans carry out medical checks of communities around plant locations.
Actions on displacement and community relocation
Rehabilitation Colonies: Housing in respect of displaced families with related facilities of electricity and water are provided. Education facilities are made available to workers
children and youth empowered with employable skills. Women are encouraged to learn income generating activities and in the process now have a voice in their families in their respective communities.
How are human rights commitments and information about how the company addresses its human rights impacts communicated, internally and externally?
The company publishes its annual report and lists various initiatives undertaken to carry out its business in a professionally ethical manner. In addition the CSR Annual report is also hosted on its website, which covers various aspects relating to human rights. Regular newsletters and the inhouse magazine 'Abhivyakti' is shared with all employees on a monthly basis. The magazine also covers various aspects relating to human rights.
What provisions does your company have in place to ensure that grievances from workers and affected communities or individuals are heard, and can you provide examples of remedies provided?
Grievance mechanisms have been put in place. Suggestion boxes at key accessible areas are placed, where the employees and communities are free to drop their complaints and suggestions. The complaints / suggestions are addressed periodically by line managers unless there is an immediate requirement to address an issue. The departmental heads and plant heads also hold regular interactions with the employees and the Corporate Head CSR discusses the issues at various levels.
Which external and collaborative human rights initiatives does your company participate in, and what is the nature of your involvement?
The Company is a member of the UNGC and the Global Compact Network India. It is also a member of the Global Business Initiative on Human Rights and keeps itself updated on all good practices relating to human rights issues.Besides, the Company, in collaboration with the Global Compact Network India established India CEO Forum on Business and Human Rights. The Corporate Head CSR was also invited as a speaker at the First Annual Business Forum on Business and Human rights. The Company has been creating awareness on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human rights amongst other corporations by holding training programms and consultations. The exercise has been facilitated by experts in the domain with Mazars, Shift, Fifty, Fifty, besides GBI supporting the initiative. The company has also been in direct communcation with the British High Commission to further the process on human rights amongst various stakeholders in India to include the medium and small scale industries.
Which are the key one, two or three elements of your approach to human rights that been developed or amended since June 2011? Please indicate if these actions were in response to the UN Guiding Principles.
We have championed the Business and human rights agenda by holding workshops and seminars both internally and externally. Internally we have conduced programs for the employees and externally we have in collaboration with the Government of India and industrial associations held awareness sessions with corporations and educational institutions. The focus of the latter audiences was to create an awareness amongs students and faculty members. We have represented various conferences and consultations relating to John Ruggies' framework within the country and abroad. The conferences and consultations held in different geographies include, Denmark, England, Kenya, China, Indonesia, Abu Dhabi and others. Jindal Stainless Limited was also invited by the OHCHR to speak at the first UN Annual forum on Business and Human Rights at Geneva in December 2012. Besides the Company has been invited to speak on WEP at New York and other places. It is also a me member of the UN WEP leadership Group where it has a responsibility toward women rights.
What are some of the obstacles and challenges that your company encounters in implementing its human rights commitments?
The journey with regard to business and human rights has been long with first the internal stakeholders being convinced to take on the agenda aggressively. Secondly it is difficult to come up with an independent policy on human rights, although various aspects have been included in various other policies of the company with some being shared exclusively to employees. However with passage of time the company has addressed the issue rather aggresively with a number of training sessions being held by the HR department, which have a direct bearing on rights issues.