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ESG: Social

How your company engages with its workforce and others is coming under increased scrutiny and pressure as ever increasing regulations are set globally. Customers, investors, shareholders, other interested parties and the media are also placing increased weight on the protection and support of a company’s people and the wider impact on those affected by its business activities. Responsible business practices and human rights protections are key for all sectors, in all locations.

Embracing diversity, upholding equity, and fostering inclusion goes beyond your own team, and means establishing structures that hold accountable your partners and your suppliers. These investments continue to have an exponential positive impact on company success.

Employment, labor and pensions

You might be navigating how your company demonstrates equity and inclusion and protects the health and safety of your people. At the same time, you might be evaluating the nature of your collective bargaining agreements, fair pay and living wage standards for employees across many economic regions, updating retirement and pension planning for a global future. And you are likely reexamining how you train and invest in the education of your workforce. You might be navigating the same across your supply chain.

Establishing standards, and ensuring these standards become company culture, are complex steps that require a legal partner who understands what is at stake.Our legal teams have the depth and coverage to assist you with a holistic approach. We can craft new labor, retirement, and benefits policies regardless of jurisdiction, advising you on any issues that arise along the way.

Health and safety

The physical and mental health of your employees is vitally important. Meeting stringent safety standards and creating cultures of safety can mitigate a large amount of risk. But crises still arise. Government investigations, media inquiries, internal investigations, litigation, and damages to your reputation can occur.

Proactively, our teams work with you to establish robust and appropriate procedures and operations. We also work to protect your business when a crisis inevitably strikes. When it comes to health and safety, we embrace an interdisciplinary approach; leveraging our broad experience and global footprint. We bring in our experienced lawyers from overlapping practice areas to ensure you have the most strategic support.

Human rights and modern slavery

The physical and mental health of your employees is vitally important. Meeting stringent safety standards and creating cultures of safety can mitigate a large amount of risk. But crises still arise. Government investigations, media inquiries, internal investigations, litigation, and damages to your reputation can occur.

Proactively, our teams work with you to establish robust and appropriate procedures and operations. We also work to protect your business when a crisis inevitably strikes. When it comes to health and safety, we embrace an interdisciplinary approach; leveraging our broad experience and global footprint. We bring in our experienced lawyers from overlapping practice areas to ensure you have the most strategic support.

Disputes and enforcement

Shareholders and stakeholders are placing pressure on companies and directors to commit to a business model that is ethical, sustainable, and run in accordance with publicly made statements and commitments on issues such as workers’ human rights and products sourced throughout the supply chain. In the event of an ethics-related issue, there is risk of legal proceedings, including those brought by activist shareholders and other companies in the same supply chain—with the aim of effecting change and regulatory enforcement action.

We can help

Eversheds Sutherland is present where your employees are — across the globe. Please do not hesitate to contact our legal team if you need more information or require advice.