Human Rights Policy
While we respect and uphold human rights wherever we operate, we are aware that risks can arise in relation to our own workforce, our supply chain, our communities and customers.
Burberry’s Human Rights Policy sets out our procedures to uphold human rights across our own operations and extended supply chain, and the mechanisms we use to identify and address any instances of potential infringement. The policy was developed with reference to the International Bill of Human Rights and follows the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights for the implementation of the UN’s “Protect, Respect and Remedy” framework. Responsibility for the Policy lies with Burberry’s Chief Executive Officer. To ensure compliance with the policy, we assess human rights impacts and monitor labour conditions in both our own operations and our supply chain on a regular basis through our Ethical Trading programme.
In 2014, we conducted a Human Rights Impact Assessment of our operations and activities and those of our extended supply chain, to identify and address potential risks. We reviewed this assessment in 2016 and in 2018. For further information on our Human Rights Impact Assessments, please see our ‘Human Rights Impact Assessment’ document below. Our impact assessments highlighted our responsibilities towards four key stakeholder groups: our people, workers in our supply chain, our customers and communities. Burberry’s Human Rights Policy sets out these four constituent groups and the procedures we have put in place to protect and uphold human rights, including the mechanisms in place to address any instances of potential infringement.
We assess human rights impacts and labour conditions in both our own operations and our supply chain on a regular basis to ensure our Human Rights Policy is upheld. For example, where we find that access to grievance mechanisms is a particular challenge, we make it a priority to introduce confidential, NGO-run hotlines. Currently, more than 11,000 workers across 21 factories are provided with improved access to remedy and confidential support, including advice and information on workers’ rights and wellbeing. The effectiveness of the hotlines is continuously reviewed. During 2018/19, Burberry-sponsored hotlines received 572 calls (42 complaints, 469 consulting and 77 psychological support calls) and their resolutions have been monitored closely by our local Responsibility teams.
Burberry prohibits retaliation against anyone raising a complaint and any other stakeholders for raising human rights related concerns and requires our supply chain partners to follow the same approach.
We work to promote living wages in our supply chain in line with our commitment to fair and responsible employment. In 2015, we became the first luxury retailer and manufacturer to achieve accreditation as a UK Living Wage employer. We employ more than 3,000 people in the UK, including more than 800 people in our manufacturing facilities in Castleford and Keighley. Beyond our internal manufacturing sites, we source from several other suppliers in the UK. In the UK, 97% of our product is made by workers who are paid at least the Living Wage Foundation’s hourly rate.
We are a Principal Partner of the Foundation and in 2016 joined the steering group of the Global Living Wage Initiative, to help harness the increasing interest in the Living Wage and address in-work poverty across all sectors and multiple geographies as part of a unified, global approach with multi-stakeholder participation. We believe that all workers have the right to a living wage and continue to promote this standard throughout our supply chain.