Principle 3: Ensure the health, safety and well-being of all women and men workers

Health, Safety and Freedom from Violence

  • Taking into account differential impacts on women and men, provide safe working conditions and protection from exposure to hazardous materials and disclose potential risks, including to reproductive health

  • Establish a zero-tolerance policy towards all forms of violence at work, including verbal and/or physical abuse and prevent sexual harassment

  • Strive to offer health insurance or other needed services - including for survivors of domestic violence - and ensure equal access for all employees

  • Respect women and men workers rights to time off for medical care and counseling for themselves and their dependents

  • In consultation with employees, identify and address security issues, including the safety of women traveling to and from work on company-related business

  • Train security staff and managers to recognize signs of violence against women and understand laws and company policies on human trafficking, labour and sexual exploitation

Company Examples

  • Building on a company-initiated study to determine the economic benefits to companies of employee health awareness, a large apparel company partners with health education professionals to offer trainings to employees on reproductive and maternal health, disease prevention and access to care.

  • Recognizing the need to support working parents, a Kenyan communications company offers free on-site day care and an in-house physician, in addition to comprehensive medical coverage that includes pre- and post-natal care.

  • Two Spanish companies offer victims of domestic violence job placement services specifically tailored to their needs to ease transition to the workplace.

  • A Sri Lankan apparel manufacturer demonstrates its commitment to creating and maintaining a safe and healthy work environment - and recognition of the differential needs of its female and male employees - through a range of targeted policies and programmes, including special care for pregnant employees, and systematic risk assessments and monitoring of its plants, processes and equipment.