CSR Communication on Progress 2013/2014

Our main programmes and initiatives in the Social dimension
Our global programmes and initiatives in the strategic focus areas

“The Adecco Group is a partner and key supporter of the platform Equal@work, led by the European Network Against Racism (ENAR) and the ENAR foundation. Adecco is one of a few European companies that has taken a strategic decision and an innovative approach to fight racism in the labour market, and daily contributes to make it more inclusive for all."

Sarah Isal, President ENAR


Human & Labour Rights

Global programmes and initiatives

Adecco Human & Labour Rights Guidelines Working with over 31,000 employees, 650,000 associates on daily assignments with more than 100,000 clients in over 60 countries, requires a strong focus on Human and Labour Rights. In 2013, we published our Guidelines on Human & Labour Rights which also address adherence of our clients and suppliers. Adecco upholds the principle that the inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world as set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The responsibility to respect Human & Labour Rights is a global standard of expected conduct for all business enterprises wherever they operate, even beyond national laws and conventions. Our company aims to implement the United Nations ʻProtect, Respect and Remedy’ framework which was endorsed by the United Nations Human Rights Council on 16 June, 2011. Adecco recognises that the Guiding Principles provide an authoritative global standard for preventing and addressing the risk of adverse impacts on human rights linked to business activity.
Adecco’s Guidelines on Business & Human Rights

Signing of European Works Council Agreement Between 1999 and 2011, Adecco engaged in a European-wide exchange of transnational information through the ‘Platform for Adecco Communication in Europe’ (PACE).
On 11 December 2013, the Adecco Special Negotiation Body signed the Adecco European Works Council Agreement, in accordance with the provisions set out in the:

  • Directive 97/74/EC and Directive 2009/38/EC
  • UK Statutory Instrument 1999 No. 3323
  • Community Charter of Fundamental Rights for Workers and;
  • Institutional Treaties of the European Union.

The purpose of a European Works Council (EWC) is to bring together employee representatives from the different European countries in which a multinational company has operations. The EWC process foresees that employee representatives are informed and consulted by central management on transnational issues of concern to the company’s employees. The Adecco EWC is composed of employee representatives from all EU Member States where Adecco has operations – including Norway and Switzerland – as well as Adecco management representatives and is led by our global Chief Human Resources Officer. UNI Europa was involved with a representative in the negotiation process as an expert to the employee representatives. Its first meeting took place on 3 and 4 June, 2014 at the Adecco Group Headquarter in Zurich, Switzerland.
Background on European Works Council

European Commission E&RA [1] Sector Guide on Business & Human Rights In December 2011, IHRB [2] and Shift [3] were selected by the European Commission (Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry) to develop sector-specific guidance on the corporate responsibility to respect human rights, as set out in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The development of sector-specific human rights guidance is one of the deliverables of the European Commission’s policy on corporate social responsibility, adopted in October 2011. Further to a public consultation, the services of the European Commission decided that guidance would be developed for employment and recruitment agencies (E&RA), information and communications technologies (ICT) companies, and oil and gas companies. The development of this Guide involved extensive research and multi-stakeholder consultation. Ciett, the World Staffing Association, was involved in the drafting process from the beginning with a mandate on the Advisory Board. Adecco has actively supported and contributed to the various drafting and consultation phases. The final guidelines were published in June 2013.
Download the E&RA Sector Guide

The European Network Against Racism (ENAR) The Adecco Group has been an active member of the ENAR Equal@Work initiative since 2009. This pioneering expert group brings together businesses committed to diversity and inclusion (Adecco Group, EY, Groupe La Poste, L’Oréal and Sodexo) with non-governmental anti-racist organisations, Trade Union representatives, State Authority representatives and Equality Bodies. Together, we work on developing new ways to ensure the full participation of ethnic and cultural minorities in the labour market. ENAR Equal@Work has issued recommendations to the EU authorities on monitoring diversity; best practices addressing reasonable accommodation of cultural diversity in the workplace; and glass ceilings for migrants, amongst other topics. At the same time, a focus has been set on driving and creating research to achieve equality for all in the labour market since 1999.
Read more
Fourth ENAR Equal@work meeting Report
ENAR Shadow Reports

Select country programmes and initiatives

Anti-discrimination training in the UK The Learning Portal is Adecco UK & Ireland’s employees’ one-stop resource for all training needs. It spans a wealth of online training resources covering well-known subject areas and specialised, tailored solutions for a variety of roles and brands, to a scheduling and booking system for instructor-led training classes. The training portal also includes a comprehensive three-module course which has been developed to meet international and UK specific laws (Equality Act 2010) and anti-discriminatory standards. The online course supports employees in offering a fair and non-discriminatory service to our clients, candidates, associates as well as colleagues. It informs employees about specific legislation including basic recruitment law with regards to anti-discrimination and it provides the right contacts where any doubts and questions can be addressed within Adecco. At the end of each module, the employee is tested.

Groupe Adecco France – long-standing commitment to fight discrimination Discriminatory practices in the labour market are a reality and need to be addressed actively. Groupe Adecco France began to raise awareness around this topic in 2001 with the creation of the ʻPôle de lutte contre les discriminations’ putting in place tools, awareness training and audits of business services. In addition, Adecco France and Adia also participated in the European project EQUAL Latitude between 2001 and 2006, developing concrete action plans with regards to discrimination and signed the French Diversity Charter together with major multinationals.

Since 2010, Groupe Adecco France has been using a 5-module e-learning training – mandatory for all employees – providing practical and legal support on non-discrimination. The training was stepped up in 2013 with a video message from the Country Manager and Adecco diversity specialists and one-hour interactive group learning sessions using a comprehensive slide deck and the participation from management.

Groupe Adecco France has built its anti-discrimination policy around five pillars:

  • Adecco has zero tolerance with regards to any discriminatory behaviour or action
  • The responsibility lies with all our employees
  • Constant evaluation of our business practices
  • Ensure traceability of any actions
  • Take immediate corrective action if any discriminatory practice has been detected.

Adecco Colombia & Human Rights Adecco Colombia is engaged in a multi-stakeholder initiative resulting from the Free Trade Agreement between the Columbian and the Swiss Government. Various companies, the Swiss and the Columbian Governments and the NGO ‘Fundación Ideas para la Paz’ signed the ‘compromiso ético’, focusing on the respect of Human Rights. Since the beginning of 2012, regular meetings have taken place, focusing on explaining the concept and importance of International Humanitarian Law and the ‘Guías Colombia’ on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, led by the NGO ‘Fundación Ideas para la Paz’. The ‘Guías Colombia’ share the purpose of defining, promoting and adopting clear patterns and standards pertaining to Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law for business operations in complex scenarios like contemporary Colombia. On an industry level, within ACOSET [4], Adecco has been
co-driving two initiatives under the Human Rights umbrella:

  • The focus on Health and Safety at work, with the objective of Adecco Colombia reaching the target of zero employee and associate accidents.
  • The potential support of collective bargaining and freedom of association measures, as the workers representation landscape is poor in Columbia.

Guidelines for implementation: Ethical Commitment of Swiss Companies in Colombia


[1]Employment & Recruitment Agency.

[2]Institute for Human Rights and Business.

[3]Shift is an independent, non-profit center for business and human rights practice.

[4]Columbian Temporary Work Industry Association.