New IFC Labour Standards for Investments

The new IFC performance standards contain new requirements for labour conditions including;

  • non-discrimination,
  • child labour,
  • forced labour,
  • freedom of association and collective bargaining,
  • as well as guidance on the establishment of working relationships, retrenchment, grievance mechanisms and supply chain issues.

Pension funds and insurers now own 70% of the top 1000 U.S. companies, and are having an impact on the market by pushing for higher corporate responsibility standards in global sourcing and investment.

Similarly, companies in emerging markets wanting to export to international buyers who source globally will increasingly have to meet the high labour and environmental standards of these large retailers and branded manufacturers.

The development of Good Practice Notes, like that recently published on non-discrimination and equal opportunity, is part of a general process to support companies understanding and implementation of the standards. The aim is not only to provide guidance on the meaning of the new principles, but also to produce tools and training for moving towards practical compliance in a way that provides positive benefits to business, workers and communities.

Extract from The Global Compact Quarterly.

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