Rights and Wellbeing at Work
This includes the human and group rights to which workers (including employees, contractors, and those within the value chain) are entitled, which companies must respect while they are at work, and which should not be infringed upon outside of work (i.e., post-employment health and well-being; family supports). This also includes the conditions companies must create to enable workers’ enjoyment of their rights.
The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights are a set of guidelines created to help states and companies to prevent, address, and remedy human rights abuses committed in business operations. The principles outline three pillars for safeguarding the wellbeing of workers: the state's duty to protect human rights; the responsibility of businesses to respect human rights; and access to remedy for victims of business-related abuses. This document is a foundational piece for any company that commits to affirming and advancing the rights of workers.
This declaration commits member states to respect and promote four categories of principles and universal rights: the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining; the elimination of forced or compulsory labour; the abolition of child labour; and the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation. These commitments are supported by annual review reports, global reports, and technical cooperation projects that will help you to do your part in achieving the full realisation of the Declaration's objectives.
This milestone document in the history of human rights was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948 as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. The declaration sets out fundamental human rights to be universally protected, and is widely recognised as inspiring - or making space for - the adoption of more than seventy global and regional human rights treaties.
The Corporate Human Rights Benchmark assesses the corporate policies, processes, transparency, and governance over large, publicly traded companies, as well as their responses to allegations of human rights abuses. This set of reports and resources scores the companies on 100 indicators across various measurement themes, and the key findings report provides insight into individual company performance across a range of metrics.
This resource is a good high-level introduction to salient issues where business activities and human rights intersect, including child labour, forced labour, discrimination, living wages, and gender equality. Each of the issues they identify includes a summary; an explanation of the dilemmas that business face in regards to the issue; key data and trends; the impacts on businesses and on human rights; and key resources.
Known as the “UNGPs 10+” or “next decade BHR” project, This guide from the Working Group on Business and Human Rights was created to take stock of the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles (UNGPs) and chart a course for action in the decade ahead. The guide visit eight action areas, including business responsibility to respect, access to remedy, more and better stakeholder engagement, and more and better tracking of progress. Each action area includes insights and findings, outcomes needed for the next decade, and illustrative actions for supporting progress towards the goal. This guide will help you to build your understanding for human rights topics of global concern so that you may better prioritise and allocate your resources for creating positive change.
This resource looks at emergent and salient issues and will help bring you up to speed on the future of business and human rights. It includes an overview of trends and good practice in relation to seven key themes: the future of work, climate justice, effective remedy and grievance mechanisms, migrant rights, gender equality, due diligence, and tackling working poverty. It also highlights examples of companies from around the world implementing practical solutions to human rights-related challenges.
Many companies find it challenging to apply the UN Guiding Principles throughout their risk management systems. In response, the Investor Alliance for Human Rights has created this guide to help asset owners and managers address risks to people posed by their investments. It unpacks key concepts around causality, impacts, and responsibility, and explains how to put investor responsibility into practice at both the institutional and investment level. It also provides a list of tools such as templates and checklists to support you further.
Once you have identified and prioritised your human rights risks, you may need help to design an approach to addressing the issue. Shift has created the Indicator Design Tool to support you with developing evidence-based targets and indicators that are focused on preventing, mitigating, and remediating human rights impacts. It employs a 7-step process that is divided into three stages: articulate strategy, account for context, and develop targets & indicators. An in-depth guide is complemented by a template work book.
The phrase "human rights" is a significant and weighty term that is used in both an abstract, philosophical sense and as a manifestation in law. This article provides a comprehensive, high-level explanation of how the international human rights law landscape came into creation and how it has evolved since then.
This technical manual and hands-on toolkit was created to help companies integrate practices consistent with human rights standards into existing management systems. It addresses seven elements common to management systems: strategy; policy; processes and procedures; communications; training; measuring impact and auditing; and reporting. Although this resource is largely focused on compliance, it is helpful guidance for companies that are early in their journey of observing and advancing human rights, both among workers and within communities.
If you are searching for news, research, or other information on labour-specific topics (e.g. wages, fair recruitment, decent work, etc.), this is a good place to start. The International Labour Organisations' is a one-stop shop for work-safety related resources. Their platform includes international labour standards, codes of practices, training materials, good practices, reports, and papers and policy briefs, and also provides sector-specific content.
This checklist from the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety is a good starting point for an OHS policy draft. It provides key prompting questions and includes essential topics and issues that need to be addressed. It also includes tools that will help you to introduce the policy, ensure that its objectives are clearly communicated and well-received, and create specific safety-related roles within the workplace. Although this resource was created for the Canadian context, the content is appropriate for any geographic or industrial context.
This research-informed resource from the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) will help you to create and support thoughtful and intentional spaces that enhance human health and well-being. WELL draws upon the expertise of medical professionals, public health experts, building scientists, and thousands of other practitioners and WELL users to advance the quality of life of workers. The standard addresses ten key concepts such as air, light, thermal comfort, movement, and materials in the workplace, and provides evidence-based recommendations for performance-testing and optimisation.
This report from the UN Global Compact provides a four-step framework for both buyers and suppliers that will help you to address women's health, advance protection from violence and harassment, and support their economic empowerment. It provides recommendations, rationaltes, and examples throughout, as well as references to other relevant resources.
The International Labour Organization's tools and resources for business on non-discrimination and equality provides guidance that will help you support equity related to gender, age, HIV/AIDS status, and disabilities, as well as understanding the rights of Indigenous and tribal peoples.
Racial Equity Tools has compiled a vast library of resources that will help you to understand and advance racial equity within your organisation. The library is arranged into four broad "themes," including fundamentals, such are core concepts, the history of racism and movements, data, and resources; planning that examines key issues, such as economic security and language justice; acting to find strategies and advocate for ending structural racism and advancing social change; and evaluating progress and results.
Just Capital's Corporate Equity Tracker provides a way for people to easily access and view the racial equity commitments and actions taken by organisations. Once on the website, users will have the ability to sort their searches based on the company, industry, number of employees, or policies.
Chief Diversity Officer Doug Melville explains the need for people to step away from the comfort of commonality and lean into diversity, "where growth happens." He proposes nine steps that can be quickly implemented to improve diversity intelligence.
This report, completed by researchers led by Stephanie Creary at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, explores the relationships between workplace culture and business outcomes. It presents results from the U.S Distributed Workforce Sample, which serve as a foundation for informing managerial action on diversity, equity, and inclusion, and provides key findings and recommendations for middle managers responsible for implementing related initiatives. If you or our organisation are new to effecting DEI-related change, this research may help you to fine-tune the focus of your actions.
The Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI) has created a range of reports, resources, and toolkits to help you with advancing equity and challenging racism in the workplace. These resources include leadership and workplace guides that focus on creating inclusive and safe spaces, as well as step-by-step toolkits that explain how to navigate race in the workplace and develop a diversity and inclusion strategy. Although much of the CCDI's content is written from a Canadian context, most of their insights and lessons are universally relevant.
White supremacy culture can manifest in subtle ways within the workplace, such as through perfectionism, defensiveness, paternalism, and individualism. This primer will help you to understand and better identify problematic attitudes and behaviours, and to proactively build a more inclusive, collaborative, and supportive environment.
Established by the UN Global Compact and UN Women, The Women's Empowerment Principles (WEPs) serve as guidelines that will help your leaders, HR professionals, and change agents to promote gender equality and empowerment in the workplace. Adopting these principles involves six main stages: Consider, Sign, Activate, Engage, Sustain, and Report. Towards helping you understand and progress through these stages, the WEPs has created a comprehensive brochure that features tools, examples, insights, and other resources.
Dr. Helen Turnbull, an Internationally recognized expert in global inclusion, explains how inclusivity efforts can be hindered by a preference to be surrounded by people within an ingroup, otherwise known as the affinity bias.
The physical, emotional, and economic safety of Black Americans is constantly threatened by the participants and beneficiaries of systemic racism. This article, written by JUST Capital, presents a list of concrete and actionable steps that people within organizations can take to address systemic racism and support the physical, emotional, and economic safety and security of Black Americans. Five primary actions are presented, including supporting the Black Lives Matter Movement; providing a safe and supportive work environment; assessing the workforce; examining practices; and conscientious recruitment.
Adopted by the General Assembly in September 2007 by a majority of 144 states in favour, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples establishes a universal framework of minimum standards for the survival, dignity, and well-being of the Indigenous peoples of the world, and elaborates on existing human rights standards and fundamental freedoms. The declaration provides a trajectory for advancing lasting reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, and it should be used to inform any statements, policies, or practices related to Indigenous Peoples that your organisation is developing and implementing.
Racism is prevalent within all communities supporting the daily operations of all corporations. The Anti-Racism Business Ressources: Commit and Act by the B-Lab offer detailed steps that organisations can take to build inclusive environments. This report is divided into two sections: Commit and Act. 'Commit' presents examples of how The B-Lab has initiated a shift to become an anti-racist organisation, and explains why other B-Corporations should do the same. 'Act' includes a curated selection of articles that outline and explain specific actions you can take to making your business an anti-racist work space.
Tackling Discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, & Intersex People: Standards of Conduct for Business
This guide was created to support rights-affirming interactions between companies a wide range of stakeholders, and it is a good starting point for businesses looking to review or establish policies and practices that respect and promote the human rights of LGBTI people. It provides five concrete steps, examples of best practices, case studies, and other practical guidance to companies on how to respect and support the rights of LGBTI people in the workplace, marketplace, and community. The standards are grounded in existing international human rights law and align with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
This free tool will help you to strengthen policies and processes that advance LGBTIQ+ inclusivity and tackle discrimination within the workplace. lt uses a gap analysis methodology and questionnaire to provide recommendations based on the maturity of your journey.
This resource from PolicyLink provides a roadmap that can help companies understand and address the intended and unintended consequences of their products, policies, and practices on people of colour. The guide seeks to advance racial equity by providing key recommendations across three domains of corporate influence: within the company, within relevant communities, and at the societal level. It also includes profiles of companies whose work is advancing equity in these three spaces. This guide is a good starting point for leaders and agents of change who want to advance their business from simply "not racist" to deliberately and credibly "anti-racist."
Pressure is mounting on businesses to pursue social equity and address and reduce disparity in opportunities within the workplace, but many companies struggle to identify and prevent the causes. This research note from the International Labour Organization will help you to better understand unconscious gender bias and the barriers it creates for women’s career advancement, as well as how to mitigate and overcome the effects. The report explores how such bias manifests in the workplace and includes methods, metrics, and training tips for addressing the issue.
This document will help you to begin setting credible goals around gender equality in the workplace. It introduces high-level steps, such as establishing baselines, and includes examples of the philosophy and process behind conceiving and delivering upon such gender equality-related targets.
Although this document focuses on setting targets for gender equality within the context of retail banking, the principles and examples are broadly applicable.
This guide from BSR provides a framework for the implementation of good working conditions, and in particular for women. It explores the topic of mainstreaming gender equality, and especially within codes of conduct, and introduces nine principles that will help you to integrate gender equality considerations into the standards you use both internally and within your supply chain. Each principle features a summary, case studies, and recommended revisions and opportunities for leadership.
Understanding and Implementing the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: An Introductory Handbook
This handbook provides an introductory overview of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. It provides a summary on the UN Declaration and explains how it relates to and is recognised within international law, and includes accessible primers on a range of Indigenous rights enshrined within the UN Declaration, including economic and social rights and the right to lands, territories, and resources. This is a good starting point for leaders and agents of change who want to familiarise themselves with the context of Indigenous rights and relations within Canada.
This report from the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) explores some of the key DEI challenges faced by companies from WBCSD's Future of Work working group. It presents the case for focusing on and advancing DEI in the workplace; explores solutions that the companies in WBCSD's working group have implemented in their pursuit of leadership in this space, with a specific focus on identifying and sharing practical approaches to building more progressive workplaces; and explores emergent leading DEI practices and some of the factors that enabled successful mainstreaming.
This primer provides a helpful high-level summary of diversity and inclusion that will benefit executives, board members, and other business leaders. It explains the present-day context of diversity and inclusion, both within the workforce and in senior leadership roles; and highlights both the risks of inaction and the opportunities provided by advancing DEI, such as by improving hiring practices, advancing managerial accountability, and creating and supporting employee resource groups.
This article explores how a lack of trust between older and younger workers contributes to a culture of resentment that sows division and impacts productivity. It offers a four-part framework to help you manage an age-diverse team and better integrate their skills, knowledge, and networks. This framework includes identifying assumptions, adjusting your lens, taking advantage of differences, and embracing mutual learning.
Employers often overlook the candidacy of people with neurological conditions, despite the extraordinary skills they may bring to the workplace. This article explains the benefits of pursuing and accommodating neurodivergent talent, and explores why companies often fail to recruit and support these peoples. It also highlights HR programs and efforts to access neurodiverse talent, including the use of non-interview assessment processes, setting up support systems, and scaling and mainstreaming neurodiversity programs.
Human rights work remains a high-risk activity around the globe. Threats and violence against human rights defenders have increased, as well as judicial harassment and criminalisation. This annual report from ProtectDefenders.eu explains the challenging contexts in which human rights defenders endeavour to build resilience in communities and the workplace, and unpacks how COVID-19 has exacerbated these challenges. It also explains the mechanisms and strategy that permeate ProtectDefenders.eu's work, and highlights success stories. It also explains programmes in action that your business can support.
This toolkit from the Center for Active Design outlines opportunities to improve worker health through changes in approaches to buildings and projects. Developers, owners, property managers, investors, and others involved in real estate decision-making can use these strategies and tactics to create places that contribute to healthier people and communities.
The Toolkit provides 21 evidence-based recommendations that are supported by action-oriented best practice strategies. The report also includes seven schematics that illustrate how the recommendations can be applied across real estate product sectors.
This manual will help you to to create a healthy, welcoming environment, and offers guidance to support the health and productivity of your team through evidence-based design and operational approaches - regardless of budget, capacity, or expertise. This manual is a good starting point for understanding the essential factors that create a health-promoting workplace, and is specifically directed towards company leaders, officer managers, and design teams from tenant companies in commercial projects.
Fitwel has created and compiled publications, research, certifications, and digital tools to help create healthy and engaged communities. Users can select one of six focus areas: neighborhoods, housing, workplace, editorials, case studies, publications, and COVID-19 resources. In particuar, their Office Guide to Building Health will help decision-makers locate and select an appropriate space; design and fit out the space to prioritise health and wellness; and strengthen existing spaces by adjusting prioriities and establishing policies and procedures.
This platform provides a broad range of tools and resources for workplace mental health and psychological safety. Designed for workers across the corporate spectrum, this one-stop shop includes resources on organizational strategy materials for leaders, such as policies, programs, and preventative strategies; materials to help manage employee concerns and improve leadership and teambuilding; and materials to support employee well-being both at work and at home. They also provide assessments, workshop slides, and facilitator guides to help you with sharing the information.
This toolkit from the Mental Health Commission of Canada is an excellent resource for creating an accommodating and inclusive workplace and addressing the needs of workers living with mental illness.
The toolkit is divided into five sections: an organisational self-assessment that will help you to identify what your organisation is doing well and where it can improve; an exploration of workplace strategies and resource for addressing key issues; case scenarios; a framework to help you assess your organisation's ROI and predict related costs; and practical tools that will help you to monitor, evaluate, and ensure ongoing improvement.
The toolkit will benefit HR professionals and employees tasks with wellness, diversity, and other sustainability-related responsibilities to improve recruitment and retention, and to support policies and practices that affect everyone.
Are corporate wellness programs making people worse? Researchers Andre Spicer and Carl Cederström explore how our current approaches to wellness may be resulting in guilt, reduced productivity, and a number of other outcomes that actually make us less healthy and more anxious. This will be an interesting read for practitioners involved in wellness programs at their organisations.
Historically, employee wellness programs have been viewed as an extra benefit to employees, rather than a strategic imperative to the business. But research suggests that the ROI on comprehensive, well-run employee wellness programs can be impressive. In this article, authors Berry, Mirabito, and Baun explain that the most successful wellness programs are supported by six essential pillars: engaged leadership at multiple levels; strategic alignment with the company’s identity and aspirations; a design that is broad in scope and high in relevance and quality; broad accessibility; internal and external partnerships; and effective communications.
The Ethical Trading Initiative has compiled various resources to help you understand how your organisation can contribute to the abolition of modern slavery. The website is arranged into six sub-categories including ETI resources such as blogs and training courses; advocacy pieces such as submissions to the Australian and Canadian Governments; guidance and examples, such as a list of published company statements; existing projects, such as the DOL's Child Labor and Forced Labor Program; background research and reports from the ILO, UN, and more; and reports and case studies from a wide range of industries.
Companies around the world depend on migrant labour, and yet these workers are frequently exploited. To ensure they are respected through every step of the recruitment and employment process, the IHRB developed the Dhaka Principles - a set of human rights-based principles to ensure and enhance the rights of these individuals. If you are looking to create a more fair, just, and equitable environment for migrant workers, these ten principles provide a strong starting foundation.
This toolkit was created by GRI and the Responsible Labor Initiative (RLI) to encourage and improve reporting on modern slavery and to support action across the value chain. This toolkit will help change agents to understand why modern slavery has become increasingly important to corporate sustainability reporting, and includes a practical approach for them to report on the issue in alignment with stakeholder expectations. Included are summaries of key slavery-related topics, questions, and concerns; reporting examples; testimonials from reporters and stakeholders; relevant GRI standards guidance; and examples of tools that will facilitate your reporting.
CARVE has created this guide to shed light on ways for companies to address violence within the workplace. It includes business practices, recommendations, and policies for preventing and responding to violence against women. This resource will help business managers in particular to identify cases of violence, interact openly and empathetically with those who are suffering, and raise awareness on the subject.
Despite years of good intentions and organised efforts to foster a diverse and inclusive work environment, many companies are still struggling to grow and capture the benefits of fair organisational management. This short guide from Ernst & Young (EY) and the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) explores the implications of hidden biases in today's work environment. It explains hidden bias, including how it emerges and manifests, and highlights ways in which it can affect behaviour in the workplace. This resource is a good starting point for identifying and challenging hidden biases when recruiting and promoting, and includes a list of simple questions, tips, and actions for identifying and correcting such discrimination.
Everyone is susceptible to unconscious biases that subtly influence our interactions and activities. In this article, Neal Goodman explains how biases present themselves in the workplace in the form of prejudices and discrimination. By bringing awareness and attention to these issues, employees can be trained to help change their organization's narrative. Goodman presents eleven tips that leaders should keep in mind when developing these programs to better guarantee their success.
The UN Women handbook on Addressing Violence and Harassment Against Women in the World of Work compiles policies, practices, and frameworks relevant to organizations in the private and public sector across every continent. The information is most useful to actors seeking practical guidelines on implementing preventative measures and solutions aimed at building and maintaining healthy and safe spaces for women.
Writer, engineer, and social advocate Yassmin Abdel-Magied explains the importance of acknowledging and mitigating against bias to construct a world where equal opportunity is ever-present.
Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
The National Inquiry’s Final Report is a landmark document that reveals that persistent and deliberate human and Indigenous rights violations and abuses are the root cause behind violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people in Canada. This report is comprised of truths and testimonies from family members, survivors of violence, experts, and Knowledge Keepers, and culminates in 231 individual Calls for Justice directed at governments, institutions, social service providers, industries, and all Canadians.
This document will help to familiarise you with Indigenous people's context of multigenerational and intergenerational trauma and marginalisation when engaging with, investing in, and supporting their communities and businesses.
This guide from Vancity explores their journey towards becoming a certified Living Wage Employer (LEW). It includes details of their 7-step process, identifies leads for spearheading each phase, and lays out the timeline for Vancity's LEW journey. The tangible and actionable content in this guide will especially benefit business leaders, change agents, and procurement personnel who are ready to advance from embracing LEW in principle to enacting it in practice.
This guide will help you to understand freedom of association and the pivotal role it plays in fostering and maintaining sustainable development. The document outlines how respect for freedom of association can contribute to development outcomes by looking at the benefits it provides in four key areas: inclusive economic growth and poverty reduction; a positive business environment; crisis response; and democracy and governance. It also includes case studies that demonstrate the positive effect that freedom of association can have when governments, trade unions, and employers work together.
Informed by decisions from over 3,200 cases related to freedom of association and the protection of trade union rights, this compilation from the Committee on Freedom of Association will help you to understand the rights and civil liberties of employers' organisations and unions; the rights of workers to establish and join organisations, without authorisation and of their own choosing; to draw up their own rules and elect their own representatives; to engage in collective bargaining and strikes; and more.
This guide from the Ethical Trading Initiative may help you to identify and understand the impacts of your operations on freedom of association. It features a six-step "quick start" guide to supporting freedom of association: setting the policy; exercising due diligence; establishing the current situation; developing and implementing the action plan; monitoring; and pursuing continuous improvement. It also features a sample policy commitment and a supplier self-assessment for freedom of association to help you get started.
Studies show that employees with a supportive employer are most satisfied with their work-life balance. This toolkit from Employers For Childcare introduces an 8-step process (with supporting considerations and questions) that will help you to develop and implement a family-friendly workplace culture.
The Work + Family Researchers Network has compiled a large repository of resources, organisations, and projects that are focused on supporting work-family balance. The repository is organised into eight sections based on their origin, including universities and corporations. is ideal for decision makers within organizations who would like to familiarize themselves with both the benefits and steps of implementing workplace flexibility practices.
Suggest a Resource
Do you have a resource that helped you? We'd love to see it.