News & Events

GE, Mars Inc., Tesco and VINCI Join Leadership Group for Responsible Recruitment

18 June 2017.

Four international brands today join the roster of seven other global companies in the Leadership Group for Responsible Recruitment.

GE, Mars Inc., Tesco, and Vinci join The Coca-Cola Company, HP Inc., Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IKEA, M&S, Unilever, and Walmart in committing to the “Employer Pays Principle” and calling for collective action and bold leadership to achieve its vision of eradicating worker fees within the next 10 years.

The Employer Pays Principle states:

No worker should pay for a job, the costs of recruitment should be borne not by the worker but by the employer.

Payment of recruitment fees by migrant workers is a key cause of forced labour, creating cycles of debt and leaving workers vulnerable to exploitation.

The announcement was made at the inaugural Annual Leadership Forum on Responsible Recruitment in Berlin, co-hosted by IHRB, the Leadership Group, and Humanity United. The Annual Leadership Forum brings together global brands, suppliers, recruitment agencies, governments, and NGOs to discuss and examine how to advance ethical recruitment and combat the exploitation of migrant workers in global supply chains.

The opening session of the Forum was livestreamed and featured representatives from IHRB, Humanity United, M&S, and the UK Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner.

Commenting on the announcement, GE pressed the importance of real and practical solutions:

Forced labor is a challenging and complicated problem that must be tackled with urgency through the joint efforts of governments, corporations, and civil society around the world. GE is proud to join this select group of companies looking for real and practical solutions to one of the core causes of this problem – unethical recruitment. Alex Dimitrief, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, General Electric Company.

Mars Incorporated emphasised the ability to learn from other leaders across sectors: 

“We believe everyone touched by our business should be treated with fairness, dignity and respect. We’re here to learn with other leaders who are ready to move from conversation to collective action on responsible recruitment practices that will make a meaningful difference for vulnerable workers around the world.”
Barry Parkin, Chief Sustainability and Health and Wellbeing Officer, Mars, Incorporated

VINCI added that collective action is crucial to wholesale change in the business model for migrant worker recruitment: 

“Our business sector must get involved on these vital issues. Working collectively and sharing best practices and tools is the best way to promote the Employer Pays Principle across the industry.
Franck Mougin Executive Vice-President, Human Resources and Sustainable Development, VINCI