Organizations with an effective labor compliance system in place can improve their reputation and image, strengthening their transparency and business ethics culture. To facilitate this process, an initiative is current underway to develop a UNE standard that helps to improve self-regulation and the development of good practices in the labor relations of companies, through a management system with requirements and recommendations.
In order to compete under equal conditions in the market, a quality product or service alone is no longer sufficient. Indeed, consumers are now demanding that the businesses supplying those products or services comply with legislation, share their values and have a positive impact on the world and society in general. These aspects are not only highly valued by consumers, but also by investors, both private and institutional, who want to make sure that the use made of their funds is socially responsible.
More and more companies are implementing compliance systems in order to prevent irregularities or crimes being committed in their organizations and to foster compliance with legislation and ensure transparency in their day-to-day business.
Companies in general are also firmly and publicly committing to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals, which were adopted by the United Nations in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
Equally, ESG standards are also being built into business plans and corporate social responsibility policies at numerous organizations. ESG (Environmental, Social & Governance) standards are criteria that consider the impact a company has on the environment, on its labor or social relations and on good corporate governance.
This is a reality at present in our society and in business activity in general. Organizations that do not attach importance to this reality or which are not capable of adapting are undoubtedly taking a big risk.
In this scenario, standardization, as a process to adapt standards, is a valuable guide for companies and provides huge added value. The aim of standardization is to prepare a series of technical specifications, standards that are used by organizations voluntarily, to prove the quality and safety of their activities and products. Standards are the result of consensus between all the parties involved in the business activity and must be approved by a recognized standardization body. The Spanish Association for Standardization, UNE, is the only standardization body in Spain and has been designated as such by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism before the European Commission.
Lefebvre-El Derecho, together with the Spanish Association for Standardization (UNE), has supported an initiative to obtain a UNE standard that helps to improve self-regulation and the development of good practices in the labor relations of companies. In this regard, a technical standardization committee was set up last summer, in which Garrigues participates, the aim of which is to create a UNE standard to establish a social and labor compliance management system with requirements and recommendations.
Once the UNE standard has been created, all organizations, no matter their size, activity, whether they are public, private or not-for-profit, will have a document that has emerged from a consensus between all the interested parties, that specifies the requirements, and provides the guidelines for establishing, developing, implementing, evaluating, maintaining and improving an effective social and labor compliance management system.
Organizations with an effective labor compliance system in place will be able to certify and improve the reputation and image of the company in the market, strengthening their transparency and business ethics culture. They will also be encouraging the adequate management of risks in this area. In addition, they will be able to rely on this standard in dealings with the labor and social security authorities and the courts, to try to obtain relief from or mitigate their liability in these areas, even in the event of the commission of a criminal act against workers’ rights.
In short, we hope that the committee’s work will pay off and that in the next few months we will have a new labor compliance UNE standard.