State of Efforts Relating to the ILO Core Labour Standards

Panasonic supports the fundamental principles of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labour Organization (ILO) Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. The major parts of these principles are embodied in the Panasonic Code of Conduct. Panasonic's headquarters and each regional headquarters serve as bases for the collection of information on critical changes in legal requirements related to human rights and labor, and every one of our business sites works to ensure and strengthen our compliance with them.

The freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining

No. 87 (Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention)
No. 98 (Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention)

Prohibition of forced labor

No. 29 (Forced Labour Convention)
No. 105 (Abolition of Forced Labour Convention)

Effective abolition of child labor

No. 138 (Minimum Age Convention)
No. 182 (Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention)

Rejection of discrimination in employment and occupation

No. 100 (Equal Remuneration Convention)
No. 111 (Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention)

Initiatives for the Prevention of Slavery and Human Trafficking

Modern Slavery can occur in various forms including servitude, forced or compulsory labour and human trafficking, all of which include the deprivation of a person’s (an adult or child’s) liberty by another (collectively “Modern Slavery”). The following sets out the procedures Panasonic has put in place with the aim of preventing opportunities for Modern Slavery to occur within our business or supply chain.

Panasonic is committed to a work environment that is free from Modern Slavery in accordance with the laws and regulations of the respective countries in which we operate.

We operate a zero-tolerance approach to Modern Slavery and we are committed to acting ethically and with integrity in all our business dealings and relationships and to implementing and enforcing effective systems and controls to ensure Modern Slavery is not taking place anywhere in our own business or in any of our supply chains. We will not knowingly use Modern Slavery in any of our products and/or services supplied, nor will we accept commodities, products and/or services from suppliers that we believe to engage in acts of Modern Slavery.

Our Business and Key Risk Areas:

Our Business

Panasonic’s global business is organised into four key business segments:

  • Appliances;
  • Eco Solutions;
  • Connected Solutions; and
  • Automotive & Industrial Systems.

Our Supply Chain:

Our supply chains include the sourcing of raw materials and minerals principally related to the provision and manufacture of electrical products. Please refer to "Response Regarding Conflict Minerals" for more details.

Our Key Risk Areas:

The risk that Modern Slavery will occur is thought to be especially high in certain regions of the world. We are also aware there are greater human rights and labour related risks in areas where migrant foreign workers are widely employed. Panasonic is actively implementing a programme of enhanced checks in these regions to ensure compliance with local legislation.

Due Diligence Process for Human Trafficking and Slavery:

As part of our initiative to identify and mitigate risks, we have taken a number of actions to verify the absence of Modern Slavery in our supply chain, including the following:

PANASONIC CODE OF CONDUCT

This includes requirements on ensuring respect for human rights and that Panasonic will not employ people against their will.

Chapter 3: Employee Relations
(Omitted)
(2) Respect for Human Rights
2) The Company will not employ people against their will, and will not use child labor.
The Company will comply with the employment laws and regulations of the countries and regions in which it conducts business.

3 STEP PROCUREMENT POLICY

This ensures respect for human rights and safety of labour.

SUPPLIERS

We ask our suppliers to meet our CSR requirements, including safeguarding human rights and the health and safety of labourers.

Panasonic Supply Chain CSR Promotion Guidelines (Excerpts)
1-1 Prohibition of Forced Labor
Suppliers shall employ all workers of their own free will with no worker being subject to forced labor.
Specific action items

  • Suppliers shall not engage in all forms of forced labor, involuntary prison labor, bonded labor, compulsory labor, indentured labor, or trafficking in persons.
  • Suppliers shall not impose unreasonable restrictions on entering or exiting dormitories and workplaces.
  • Suppliers shall give written notice to a worker concerning working conditions in the national language of the worker before entering into a definitive agreement (in the case of a foreign worker, before leaving his/her home country).
  • Suppliers shall permit workers to freely terminate their employment.
  • Suppliers, manpower supply companies, and staffing agencies shall not retain any government-issued identification card, passport, working permit (except the case where the retention of a working permit is required by law), immigration application, and any other similar document.
  • Suppliers, manpower supply companies, and staffing agencies shall not collect any recruitment fee from workers.
  • Suppliers shall inform workers of all items deducted from their salaries.
  • Suppliers shall request and confirm that manpower supply companies and staffing agencies comply with above items.

STANDARD PURCHASE AGREEMENTS (EXCERPTS)

(Demand on Suppliers to Respect Human Rights)

The Supplier shall not engage in forced or child labor, illegal employment of foreign workers, or other illegal or illegitimate employment practices; employment conditions, including wages and shift lengths, shall be based on the laws and regulations of the respective countries and regions in which the Supplier does business.

TRAINING

We conduct training for all new, permanent staff on our Basic Business Philosophy and Code of Conduct. This includes training on: compliance with local laws and a respect for basic human rights with emphasis on not employing persons against their will and on compliance with local employment laws.

RECRUITMENT

When recruiting employees, Panasonic adopts a perspective of protecting fundamental human rights and engages in recruitment activities that comply with the laws and regulations of the respective countries in which we operate. Panasonic also prohibits forced labour including child labour. In order to prevent child labour, we have included age verification in the ‘Self-Assessment Checklist’ which is used when individuals join the company. The risk of child labour is thought to be especially high in China and elsewhere in Asia and Panasonic is implementing age verification in these regions. The company does not allow employees under the age of 18 to engage in overtime work and heavy labour, and offers them consideration and support so that they have opportunities to receive education.

SUPPLIER CSR MEETINGS AND CSR SELF-ASSESSMENTS

We have been conducting CSR meetings with our suppliers and conducting CSR self-assessments. The self-assessment questionnaire fully covers issues related to Modern Slavery. In fiscal 2017, we held supplier CSR meetings in China and Asian countries, where we circulated the self-assessment questionnaires to around 5,000 suppliers. Where concern is raised in the responses obtained, further contact is made, with some investigations conducted through site visits. Identified risks are discussed with the supplier and Panasonic assists in formulating a corrective action plan where required. In fiscal 2017, we examined conditions on the ground at 12 of our suppliers. We identified issues in areas such as human rights, health and safety, and we requested that these issues be rectified.

CONFIDENTIAL WHISTLE-BLOWING

We protect whistle blowers by providing an anonymous whistle-blowing hotline for employees. Employees are regularly reminded of the whistle-blowing hotline and are encouraged to use it if they suspect any potentially illegal behaviour or practice.

Plans for the Future and Continuous Improvement:

We are aware that there are serious human rights and labour-related risks in some part of the supply chains, notably in high risk areas. With the complexity of the supply chain, it takes time and effort to ensure all our suppliers are substantially free from Modern Slavery. We therefore endeavour to tackle Modern Slavery issues as a continuous process.

We have expressed our commitment towards better understanding our supply chains and working towards greater transparency and responsibility towards people working in them. We will continue to work with our suppliers to encourage commitment to and compliance with our CSR policies and legislation. We plan to act in accordance with the following over the coming years:

  • SUPPLIER CSR MEETINGS AND CSR SELF-ASSESSMENTS – We will continue to conduct supplier CSR meetings and CSR self-assessments with our suppliers to help ensure compliance and evaluate their compliance with our CSR policies. This will allow us to assess how we can achieve continuous improvement in the coming years. The self-assessment questionnaire includes: checking whether we are confirming ages in order to prevent child labour; not allowing temporary agencies to collect fees or retain workers' passports or identification documents; and providing workers with employment contracts, including terms of employment in those workers' native languages. Panasonic recruits employees and accepts temporary workers based on the laws and regulations of the respective countries, so that none of them are made to work against their will or are unduly subjected to disadvantageous working conditions. We will continue to conduct supplier CSR meetings and circulate the self-assessment questionnaires to suppliers in fiscal 2018. China, ASEAN countries, Europe, US and Central and South America are specifically planned for this work.
  • FOLLOW-UP OF THE CSR SELF-ASSESSMENTS – After receiving the self-assessment questionnaires from suppliers, we analyse the results and if we find any points of concern, we visit the suppliers on site for further investigation. This includes questioning the suppliers in more detail to identify any underlying issues. The process we now follow is based on advice we have received from a human rights and labour specialist. As appropriate, this results in an agreed corrective action plan being put into effect.
  • HOTLINES FOR WORKERS EMPLOYED BY SUPPILERS – We are going to introduce Hotlines for workers employed by suppliers in fiscal 2018. These new hotlines will be assisted by an external organization so that workers will feel more comfortable using it. This hotline will first be introduced in Malaysia.
  • EMPLOY AN EXTERNAL INFORMATION SERVICE – Finding risks is the first step of tackling Modern Slavery issues, however it is highly challenging for a large organisation with many suppliers like us to monitor all suppliers. To overcome the difficulty, Panasonic Corporation will start employing an external information service. This will ensure that we are kept updated with human rights and labour information about our suppliers and take measures to address any issues.

Initiatives Relating to Compliance with Matters Demanded by SA8000

SA8000 is an international standard concerning labor and human rights that has been issued by the US NGO Social Accountability International. The standard provides for voluntary requirements that employers should fulfill, including those concerning the rights of workers in the workplace, the working environment, and management systems. The eight requirements that SA8000 demands and the state of Panasonic's initiatives concerning each management system are publicly available from the following websites: