Policy on Human Rights
ITC believes that all its employees must live with social and economic dignity and freedom, regardless of nationality, gender, race, economic status or religion. In the management of its businesses and operations therefore, ITC ensures that it upholds the spirit of human rights as enshrined in existing international standards such as the Universal Declaration and the Fundamental Human Rights Conventions of the ILO.
ITC upholds international human rights standards, does not condone human rights abuses, and creates and nurtures a working environment where human rights are respected without prejudice.
The Corporate Human Resources function of ITC is responsible for the Human Rights Policy design, implementation and updation.
The policy is implemented at all locations of ITC through a set of separate policies and procedures covering each of the main constituents of human rights applicable at the workplaces.
Monitoring & Audit
The assessment procedures for different constituents of this policy are defined against each specific policy.
Consideration of Human Rights Impacts Across the Supply Chain
As a large and multi-product enterprise whose products are benchmarked nationally and internationally, ITC's main supply chains can be grouped as follows:
- For all its operations, technology, machinery and equipment are sourced from reputed and globally benchmarked suppliers/vendors who are expected to follow internationally accepted norms and standards on human rights.
- ITC's major businesses are vertically integrated across several Divisions. A substantial part of the supply chain is therefore internal through strategic backward linkages. Common values relating to human rights performance are shared across this supply chain.
- Being a major agri-based company, the agriculture sector is a major supplier of inputs for its operations. The bulk of agricultural commodities are procured from state controlled trading platforms and the open market.
- A very small proportion of ITC's business consists of supply chains comprising local vendors and suppliers. The policy framework for such entities is enunciated separately in 'Policy to Ensure Respect for Human Rights across the Supply Chain'.
Policy to Ensure Respect for Human Rights Policy across the Supply Chain
ITC provides products and services of superior quality and value by sourcing its technologies, equipment and inputs from reputed international and Indian manufacturers and suppliers. Common values, relating to human rights performance, are shared across the entire supply chain because ITC is committed to the importance of a socially responsible and accountable supply chain.
ITC nurtures an internal working environment which respects human rights without prejudice. Likewise, it expects its business partners to establish a human rights compliant business environment at the workplace.
The responsibility for implementation of this policy rests with the Divisional Chief Executive of the concerned business and the Unit Manager. The policy is communicated internally through policy manuals and intranet portals, and externally by the HR personnel of concerned units to vendors/suppliers.
Monitoring & Audit
ITC has established a policy intent for mapping/monitoring progress and performance of existing and potential vendors/suppliers on human rights performance.
Policy to Prevent Discrimination at Workplace
ITC acknowledges that every individual brings a different and unique set of perspectives and capabilities to the team. A discrimination-free workplace for employees provides the environment in which diverse talents can bloom and be nurtured. This is achieved by ensuring that a non-discrimination policy and practice is embedded across the Company in line with corporate principles and benchmarked business practices.
ITC's approach to its human resources is premised on the fundamental belief in fostering meritocracy in the organisation which, pari passu, promotes diversity and offers equality of opportunity to all employees. ITC does not engage in or support direct or indirect discrimination in recruitment, compensation, access to training, promotion, termination or retirement based on caste, religion, disability, gender, age, race, colour, ancestry, marital status or affiliation with a political, religious, or union organization or minority group.
The policy is communicated to all employees through induction programmes, policy manuals and intranet portals.
The custodian of this policy is the head of each operational unit and Divisional Chief Executives of the respective business.
ITC's complaints resolution procedure is premised on the freedom of employees to approach higher officials beyond his/her immediate superior. For the unionised employees, compliance of the policy is ensured through a robust grievance handling procedure and the presence of a union that brings violations to the notice of the unit HR head.
Monitoring & Auditing
The accountability for the application of the non-discrimination employment policy rests with the Unit Head who reviews anti-discriminatory complaints annually or on a case-by-case basis.
The Corporate Human Resources function conducts non-discrimination reviews annually on a sample basis with unit heads and through on-site assessments.
Policy on Freedom of Association
ITC's culture is characterized by cooperative relationships and high employee involvement that relies on building partnerships and interdependence. Adhering to these principles has helped build, sustain and strengthen harmonious employee relations in the organisation.
ITC respects the employees' right to organize themselves into interest groups as initiatives of the workers, independent from supervision by the management. In keeping with the spirit of this Policy, employees are not discriminated against for exercising this right.
The policy is comunicated to all employees through induction programmes, policy manuals and intranet portals.
The custodian of this policy is the HR head of each operational unit who reports directly to Unit Head on such issues.
The actualisation of this policy is evident from the joint agreements and minutes that are signed between the union and the management.
Monitoring & Audit
Each ITC Unit has appropriate systems and checks to ensure compliance with the Policy and statutory provisions, including means for filing of grievances, collective bargaining agreements and minutes from worker meetings.
Compliance with the Policy is regularly monitored by Divisional and Corporate HR.
Policy Prohibiting Child Labour and Preventing Forced Labour from Workplace
The foundation of ITC's "No Child or Forced Labour policy" is based on the Company's commitment to find practical, meaningful and culturally appropriate responses to support the elimination of such labour practices. It thus endorses the need for appropriate initiatives to progressively eliminate these abuses.
ITC does not employ any person below the age of eighteen years in the workplace.
ITC prohibits the use of forced or compulsory labour at all its units. No employee is made to work against his/her will or work as bonded/forced labour, or subject to corporal punishment or coercion of any type related to work.
This policy is publicly available throughout the Company and clearly communicated to all employees in a manner in which it can be understood through induction programmes, policy manuals and intranet portals.
The responsibility for the implementation of the policy rests with the Units HR Department and the security staff who do not permit underage persons to enter the factory as workers.
Employment contracts and other records documenting all relevant details of the employees, including age, are maintained at all units and are open to verification by any authorized personnel or relevant statutory body.
Compliance with the policy is evident in the transparent system of recruitment and the policy of exit interviews which are undertaken by a manager not directly connected with the employee. For the unionised employees, compliance is also ensured through a robust grievance handling procedure and the presence of a union that brings violations to the notice of the unit HR head.
Monitoring & Audit
Sample checks of the records are undertaken annually by Corporate Human Resources function.
Audit and assessment is undertaken annually by Corporate Internal Audit and the Environment, Occupation Health and Safety function.
Policy on Information and Consultation on Changes
ITC's core values support an employee engagement process that aligns its employees with a shared vision and purpose of the Company in the belief that every individual brings a different perspective and capability to the team. ITC thus harnesses the creative potential of all its employees by promoting a culture of partnerships to unleash relevant synergies between different groups of employees.
All major changes in operations involving work processes, manning norms and other productivity linked issues are carried out after discussions with the employees and the recognized unions at each location.
Business plans are shared with employees at all units through a series of formal communication meetings, and through the intranet portals. Unionised employees at the concerned units are informed of all major changes well in advance through their representatives.
The responsibility for the implementation of the policy rests with the Unit's HR Department in the case of unionized employees and with the concerned Divisional Management Committees for other employees.
The employees are given enough time to consider the implications of change and an opportunity to discuss their apprehensions, if any, with the management.
The Policy is actualised through consultative meetings with representatives of employees, culminating in joint minutes/agreements.
Monitoring & Auditing
Compliance with the Policy is regularly monitored by the Unit Head.
HIV/AIDS: Policy Guidelines
ITC is committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment to all its employees. These policy guidelines on HIV/AIDS are an endorsement of this commitment and, in particular, of the Company's commitment to specific programmes and actions in response to the HIV epidemic.
The Company's position is based on scientific and epidemiological evidence that people with HIV/AIDS do not pose a risk of transmission of the virus to co-workers by casual, non-sexual contact in the normal work setting.
The Company's policies on HIV/AIDS with regard to its employees will, at a minimum, comply with all relevant Central and State legislation and the Company will implement all policies and directions of the Government regarding HIV/AIDS whenever issued.
- Prevention through Awareness
The Company will provide to all its employees sensitive, accurate and the latest information about risk reduction strategies in their personal lives, with the objectives of reducing the stigma of HIV/AIDS, encouraging safe behaviour and improving understanding of treatment.
- Safe and Healthy Workplace
The Company is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace to all its employees. It is the Company's objective that employees will have access to health services to prevent and manage HIV/AIDS.
The Company will not discriminate against any employee infected by HIV/AIDS with regard to promotions, training and other privileges and benefits as applicable to all employees.
A HIV positive employee will be allowed to continue to work in his/her job unless
Medical conditions interfere with the specific job being done, in which case reasonable alternative working arrangements will be made; or
The employee is incapacitated to perform his/her duties and is declared medically unfit by a medical doctor, in which case the employee will be assisted to rehabilitate himself/herself outside the Company.
- The Company will not make pre-employment HIV/AIDS screening mandatory as part of its fitness to work assessment. Screening of this kind refers to direct methods (HIV testing), indirect methods (assessment of risk behaviour), and questions about HIV tests already taken.
- HIV/AIDS test will not be part of the annual health check-ups unless specifically requested for by an employee.
Voluntary testing for HIV/AIDS when requested for by the employee, will be carried out by private or community health services and not at the workplace.
There will no obligation on the part of the employees to inform the Company about their clinical status in relation to HIV/AIDS.
Information on clinical diagnosis of an employees' status in terms of his/her HIV/AIDS status if advised to the Company, will be kept strictly confidential.