Targets and management approach
Protecting and promoting human rights are of the utmost importance to us. Human rights is a topic that cuts across many different areas in DB Group. We report on how we safeguard human rights with regard to working conditions, anti-discrimination measures and occupational health and safety within DB Group, particularly in the chapter social.
We also expect our business partners to uphold human rights, and our requirements in this regard are set out in the DB code of conduct for business partners, as well as other documentation. This Code of Conduct was revised in the year under review. In the context of increasing requirements, regulations were reestablished on fair pay, regulated working hours and the preference for regular employment. In general, the sections on labor conditions, occupational health and safety, and forced labor were written with more detail. The revised Code of Conduct for Business Partners refers to the core labor standards of the International Labor Organization (ILO), such as protection against child and forced labor and against discrimination in employment and occupation. The right to auditing may be agreed in contracts with business partners, including adverse legal consequences if the Code of Conduct for Business Partners is not complied with. Further information, including what this means for selecting potential suppliers, can be found in the chapter procurement.
DB Group rejects all forms of modern slavery, be it forced or compulsory labor, servitude, human trafficking or child labor. We also report on forced labor in accordance with the guidelines of the UK Modern Slavery Act.
Our DB Schenker business unit, which operates globally and is therefore exposed to greater geographical risks, is subject to the Social Minimum Standards (SMS) that were drawn up especially for this purpose. This policy details the overriding DB Group Code of Conduct and provides, particularly in the international context, minimum standards for situations in which national and international legislation does not stipulate any appropriate social measures. Compliance with the SMS is regularly audited on-site by intra-Group auditors at selected locations.
If human rights violations are suspected, employees and third parties are provided with various channels to report such violations, including the option to report anonymously. In addition to central whistle-blowing management and trusted legal practitioners, these provisions also include our electronic whistle-blower system. DB employees in particular can also contact the Human Resources ombudswoman. A follow-up process is in place to examine the alleged violations of human rights reported. In the year under review, the whistle-blower system reported suspected cases of human rights violations in the low double-digit range. They mainly related to instances of potential discrimination.
Human rights is also an integral part of DB Group stakeholder dialog.