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The development of a Fair Labour Scorecard for 'Woord en Daad'

Steeden, Tamara van (2008) The development of a Fair Labour Scorecard for 'Woord en Daad'.

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Abstract:The objective of this research was to develop an instrument for fair labour standards that the partner organizations (JBCs) of Woord en Daad can apply to the firms they negotiate with in order to find a job or internship for their students. The instrument should be applicable to different types of companies in different countries. It will have the character of a minimum standard, including only those elements that are absolutely crucial for fair labour conditions. The reason for the development of this instrument, is that Woord en Daad receives every four year (last time was in 2007) a subsidy (five million euros) from the Dutch government. They need to give account about, amongst other things, the percentage of students of their partner organizations that finds an internship or job at a company with ‘fair’ labour standards. First, five international models of labour standards have been analyzed. The models were from the following organizations: the International Labour Organization (ILO), the United Nations Global Compact, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Fair Labor Association (FLA), and Social Accountability International (SAI). These models are all based on the four fundamental rights of the ILO and are generally applicable. This resulted in a list of seven labour standards and accompanying definitions. Secondly, practical experiences were examined from the Fair Labor Association (FLA), the Fairtrade Labelling Organizations (FLO) International, the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO), and the Job and Business Centers (JBCs). This resulted in two additional labour standards and directions for the design of the instrument. After these steps, a preliminary scorecard has been created and also a questionnaire has been created for the JBCs and for Woord en Daad. The preliminary scorecard has been adjusted based on the feedback from these two groups. This resulted in the pilot fair labour scorecard. The pilot fair labour scorecard has been presented to an expert and has been tested during a field test executed by four JBCs. New adjustments were made and this resulted in the final fair labour scorecard and a guideline to ensure the right use of the instrument. This report also deals with the implementation of the scorecard. There appeared to be two implementation levels: first of all the implementation of Woord en Daad, and secondly the implementation or monitoring done by the JBCs. It is expected that the first-level implementation will not lead to any problems. In the second-level implementation, however, there is one big problem: the companies have absolutely no interest in the inspection, and this might cause unwillingness to cooperate. This unwillingness can be reduced or eliminated by emphasizing that: (1) the JBC is an independent and local organization; (2) the JBC does not get paid for the inspection; (3) under no circumstances the JBC will penalize the company; (4) the students are valuable: the training they receive is tailored to the demand of the companies. If there is an overall need for certain skills, these skills will be taught. The scorecard is a well-constructed instrument that complies with the criteria of legitimacy, rigor, and accountability. However, it is only an instrument to collect the level of labour standards and has no value on itself. Value can be created by using the data collected with the scorecard as a starting point for further action. Recommendations are therefore made to increase the value of the fair labour scorecard. Woord en Daad should not only use the data collected to calculate the average number of students that go to companies with fair labour conditions, they should also analyse data by labour standard. The content of the scorecard should be taught to the students during their training. A third recommendation is to develop a training program for the companies with mediocre labour standards in order to make them improve their labour standards until these are fair. Further, Woord en Daad and the JBCs should use the fact that they use a fair labour scorecard, to demonstrate their concern for good labour conditions in the external communication in order to keep current donors and to attract new donors. The last recommendation is to establish sector-specific health and safety standards.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Woord en Daad
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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