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									                CSR Al Youm    Volume 2        Issue 3 May-June 2009




          Labour and Human Rights in the UAE
                                                                                                       Sustainability
               Global Players Join Hands to Discuss Key Issues
The UAE has one of largest populations of       have been very „fuzzy‟ indicators and re-
                                                                                                             &
expatriate workers globally, with 4.1 mil-
lion workers in 2008 according to 2008
                                                ports given by companies on their status
                                                and actions.
                                                                                                     Human Resources
Ministry of Labour statistics. A majority of
these are construction workers, who have
a direct hand in building Dubai. Lately
there has been much debate over the             The UAE has one of largest populations of
conditions that construction workers or         expatriate workers globally, with 4.1 million
„laborers‟ have been housed, are paid and       workers in 2008 according to 2008 Ministry
the rights they are able to exercise while      of Labour statistics.
in working in the UAE.

Migrant labor issues are not unique to the      In response to such disparities in the lev-
UAE, but are global. In the feedback on         els of labor rights reporting and imple-
the recently released report „Protect, Re-      mentation, the International Labor Or-          The first review by the United Nations on
spect and Remedy: A Framework for Busi-         ganization (ILO) has developed the con-         human rights in the UAE was completed
ness and Human Rights‟ by the Special           cept of “Decent Work”, an approach to a         in March 2009.
Representative of the Secretary-General         common understanding of fair globaliza-
on Human Rights and Transnational Cor-          tion and reduction of poverty. Decent           According to Roger Plant, head of ILO‟s
porations and Other Business Enterprises,       Work reflects priorities on the social, eco-    special action programme to combat
such global issues are discussed. Accord-       nomic and political agenda of countries         forced labor, the UAE has so far ratified
ing to the report, human rights in the          and the international system (ILO, 2006),       six of the ILO‟s eight core conventions
work place need to be internalized in           such as: fair globalization, poverty reduc-     with freedom of association and collective
company operations.                             tion, security, social inclusion, dignity and   bargaining still being discussed. Recently,
                                                diversity. Currently the ILO and the gov-       the Ministry of Labour (MOL) in conjunc-
While companies are developing several          ernment of the UAE are developing a De-         tion with the UNOHCHR and ILO , sup-
policies   and     initiatives  to   man-       cent Work Country Programme, which will         ported by the Centre for Responsible
age sustainability within the business the      be catered to the UAE specific national         Business held a seminar on „Labor and
human rights component is easily over-          situation. The government of the UAE has        Human Rights‟ where the concept of De-
looked. The report suggests that the hu-        been proactive on the issue of worker‟s         cent Work and the mechanisms and op-
man rights component can be easily „built       rights with initiatives involving interna-      portunities for improvement in this area
-in‟ to any relevant policy. Trade unions       tional organizations and other countries        were discussed.
representatives reported that while labor       with significant migrant presence in the
rights are key to human rights, there           UAE.                                            (Continued on page 3)


          Businesses Contribute to Developing Youth Talent
               INJAZ al-Arab: Providing the Link
In the Middle East, the opportunities           "Corporations are the change agents that
available for youth to develop their busi-      could take this initiative to its ultimate
ness skills prior to joining the workforce      potential."Ghandour noted. "Companies                   Question
are limited. According to a recent World        rarely leverage their greatest assets when
Bank report, traditional education in the       supporting educational programs— their
                                                                                                            of the month
majority of MENA countries is incompati-        own expertise in their core competencies.       According to a recent survey, what percent-
ble with the demands of the global mar-         The old model of funding schools and            age of employees are likely to stay at their
ketplace. In response to this issue, a          scholarships is no longer enough. Corpo-        current organization because of their CSR
confederation of national corporations          rations need to realize they bring a            programs?
have set up INJAZ al-Arab, with the help        unique set of capabilities and expertise to
of 10,000 corporate volunteers and aims         the partnership table— something that no            a    61%
to train Arab students in work readiness.       other sector has”, he added.

These hands-on programs in partnership          INJAZ al-Arab operates in Jordan, Pales-            b     22%
with the Ministries of Education around         tine, Lebanon, Iraq, Oman, Kuwait, UAE,
the region offer high school students op-       Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Morocco               c     50%
portunities to deepen their understanding       and Egypt currently with plans to extend
of entrepreneurship, financial literacy,        it further to other MENA countries in the
business ethics, innovation and the world       future.                                             d     75%
of business. The corporate volunteers
help in training these students to impart       For more information on corporate volun-
their skills and wisdom during sessions.        teering at INJAZ al-Arab please contact           Extracted from SHRM Green Workplace
According to Fadi Ghandour, INJAZ al‐           sabrin.rahman@dubaichamber.ae                     Survey 2008 (www.shrm.org)
Arab board member and ARAMEX CEO,
              CSR Al Youm

          Dubai Responsible Business Dialogue 2009 is a Success
             Dubai Chamber’s Centre for Responsible Business Begins New Era of Collaboration
The first Dubai Responsible Business Dia-         ply chain and health care industries will       5.   Emphasizing the CRB‟s role in sup-
logue was held on the 27th April 2009 at          help CRB better serve the Dubai business             porting businesses through direct
the Murooj Rotana Hotel. It was a re-             community through more tailored out-                 engagement and feedback from in-
sounding success and was received enthu-          reach.                                               dustry Business Groups
siastically by the business community with                                                        6.   Launching new business collabora-
over 120 attendees. Our speakers in-              The Dubai Chamber Centre for Responsi-               tions that expressly serve the needs
cluded Hisham Al Sherawi, Hamad                   ble Business (CRB) achieved six goals with           of strategic sectors
Buamim, H.E. Mohammed Al Shihhi,                  the Dubai Responsible Business Dia-
Mohammad Bakar and Yayha Bin Saeed Al             logue:                                          We would also like to extend a special
-Lootah among others. The speakers gave                                                           thank you to our chairperson, Bill Foster
informative and passionate presentations          1.    Presenting a CSR conference that was      who masterfully led the discussions and
about their views on Corporate Social Re-               completely different from past CSR        imparted his insights throughout the day.
sponsibility (CSR) and the necessity of                 conferences in Dubai because it was       We would like to also thank the partici-
implementing CSR friendly practices for                 “Business-led and outcome focused”        pants, for whom without this event would
the continued success of Dubai.                   2.    Highlighting CSR as a framework,          not have been possible.
                                                        rooted in our unique environment in
The panel discussions in the CEO Dia-                   Dubai.                                    We hope that the Dubai Responsible Busi-
logues in the afternoon were informative          3.    Stressing the support of the business     ness Dialogue 2009 inspired all who at-
and constructive with a focus on encour-                community and leadership (Ministry        tended to continue to develop and define
aging feedback from the audiences. The                  of Economy and Community Develop-         CSR in the region to help make Dubai the
panels for each sector comprised of key                 ment Authority) for business CSR          City of the Century.
CEO‟s and other leaders in their field in-              initiatives
cluding CRB staff.                                4.    Building upon the CRB‟s existing part-
                                                        nerships with Business in the Com-
 The outcomes of the CEO Dialogues for                  munity (BITC) UK and Hawkamah/
the finance, real estate/construction, sup-             Mudara Institute of Directors


       Spotlight on Responsible HRM Practices: Dubai Airports
           Helping Employees Soar Higher
The term „change management‟ can often             such as a 7.2 percent increase of passen-      duced a system of meritocracy where the
send fear through the hearts of employ-            gers passing through Dubai International       ambitious would be rewarded and chal-
ees. However, if conducted responsibly,            Airport in 07/08 and an increase of 10         lenged.
change management can dramatically                 percent in cargo, there was a need to
realign teams and unite an organization. A         equip their employees with skills and lead-    According to Jill Nealon, the key to the
great local example that was presented at          ership to handle growth. The Human Re-         success of this process was open commu-
the „Sustainable Human Resources Man-              sources team led by Jill Nealon, Senior        nication and fair feedback opportuni-
agement‟ seminar held by the Centre for            Vice President HR & Development began          ties. At every step, employees had the
Responsible Business is Dubai Airports.            the task of addressing key areas that          chance to voice their opinion and offer
Dubai Airports is an organization that aims        would fulfill the vision of becoming a         comments on the way forward. This re-
to manage the world‟s leading airports and         leader in their field. Dubai Airports began    sulted in 0 redundancies and 38 UAE na-
to be within the top 5 airport management          the journey in 2008 by integrating a per-      tionals joining management. Employees
companies globally by 2012. Such goals             formance based culture through: 1) culti-      were now able to up skill and saw a clear
cannot be achieved without a robust and            vating employees; 2) setting a common          path of progress for the organization and
loyal team of employees who believe in             goal; 3) encouraging communication; and        themselves creating a renewed sense of
and share this vision.      Dubai Airports‟        4) instilling common values.                   loyalty and pride. This realignment helped
employee demographics are diverse with                                                            Dubai Airports create a lean and efficient
over 3400 employees from 37 cultures, of           The Human Resources team began by re-          organization and workforce that is able to
which 43% are UAE nationals. With figures          evaluating job descriptions, job leveling      adapt to existing and future challenges.
                                                                    (which resulted in 234
                                                                    promotions),        imple-    Jill Nealon’s presentation can be found on
                                                                    menting new pay and           the CRB website under Trainings.
                                                                    grade structures, im-
                                                                    proved          employee
                                                                    friendly policies and the
                                                                    promotion of open door
                                                                    communication.          The
                                                                    organization      initiated
                                                                    the process of succes-
                                                                    sion planning, individual
                                                                    development plans and
                                                                    defined career paths
                                                                    which were absent be-
                                                                    fore. The first step was
                                                                    conducting over 3000
                                                                    individual assessments
                                                                    of positions. Second,
                    Food for Thought                                Dubai Airports intro-
                                     Courtesy of David Lewis, WBCSD
              CSR Al Youm

          Labour and Human Rights in the UAE
                Global Players Join Hands to Discuss Key Issues
(Continued from Page 1)

Attendees included representatives of key       According to Ghobash, camps will follow         The government of the UAE has begun the
embassies, government departments and           international standards and contractors         process of adoption of international best
businesses from the UAE. At this event,         will be given a set grace period before         practices on workers rights and human
UAE Minister of Labour H.E. Saqr Ghobash        penalties are imposed. All new camps be-        rights. While this is an important step to
announced that the office of Sheikh Mo-         ing built must conform to the guidelines.       help battle issues of human rights abuses,
hammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice              Ghobash also mentioned that the Ministry        business also clearly have a responsibility
President and Prime Minister of the UAE         of Labour is proposing greater flexibility to   to address these issues within their day to
and Ruler of Dubai will be imposing new         workers and employers in the UAE market,        day operations on their own. Businesses
minimum standards across all labor camp         for issues such as transferring of sponsor-     must create internal policies and exercise
accommodation in the Emirate.                   ship without imposing a working ban and         due diligence to respect workers rights .
                                                more affordable transfer fees.



          What is Responsible Workforce Management?
               CRB Seminar Explores Sustainable HRM Practices
The Dubai Chamber Centre for Responsible        This seminar focused on the need for re-        relevant issues in order of importance in
Business (CRB) in collaboration with the        sponsible workplace practices and the role      terms of the definition and content of
University of Dubai organized a seminar         of organizations in promoting an environ-       „organisational well-being‟:
on „Sustainable Human Resources Man-            ment of integrity and fairness. TNT also
agement‟ on 8 April, 2009 to help compa-        presented existing social auditing stan-           Ethics, equality/diversity and em-
nies address sustainable HRM during the         dards such as SA8000.                               ployee rights
financial crisis Participants were given
                                                                                                   Work-life balance, nutrition, health
presentations by Dubai International Air-       According to a new report Social Responsi-
                                                                                                    and safety
port, DP World, Tecom, TNT, Ministry of         bility and HR’s Role by the Chartered Insti-
Labour and Centre for Responsible Busi-         tute of Personnel and Development                  Organisational aspects such
ness on:                                        (CIPD), HR can give substance to company            as change, institutional citizenship
                                                                                                    and governance
 the link between corporate social re-         aspirations to be - and be seen to be - a
     sponsibility and HR practices              good employer by championing policies on           Additional organizational aspects such
                                                diversity, work-life balance, employee              as communication and transparency
 key systems, processes and chal-
                                                involvement and training and develop-
     lenges in addressing diversity
                                                ment.                                           These outcomes shed light on the evolu-
 adjusting staff levels to meet current                                                        tion of the definition of „organizational well
     needs                                      The seminar ended with a break-out ses-         -being‟ in Dubai. The CRB will use inputs
 communicating with employees and              sion during which participants explored the     from the session to expand and deepen
     how to effectively manage retain hu-       concept of „well being‟ in the workplace by     our future work in the area of CSR & HRM
     man capital.                               sharing their perspectives and experi-          programmes.
                                                ences. The following themes came up as


            Resource of the Month: The Role of HR in Driving Success
                  WBCSD’s Report on HR & Sustainable Development
 The World Business Council on Sustainable       states. The report also contains a compre-
 Development (WBCSD) has released a              hensive table on the responsibilities each
 guide to understanding the role of Human        department has in terms of contributing to
 Resources in sustainable development            CSR/sustainability approaches from HR to
 called „Driving Success: Human Resources        Marketing in an organisation.
                                                                                                         (CSR - HR = PR)
 and Sustainable Development‟. This guide
 discusses the three critical challenges that    To read more about how you can change
 of HR Managers encounter:                       your organizations approach to sustain-             If employees are not engaged,
                                                 ability from the inside out, go to                  Corporate Social Responsibility
    Recruiting and retaining top talent         www.wbcsd.org/web/publications/hr                   becomes an exercise in public
                                                                                                     relations.
    Creating incentives for exceptional
     performance                                                                                     The credibility of an organiza-
    Enhancing critical competencies                                                                 tion will become damaged
                                                         Question                                    when it becomes evident that
 This report highlights companies who have                                                           a company is not “walking
 successfully created employee friendly                     of the month                             the talk”.
 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) ini-
 tiatives focusing on HR challenges such as
 Deloitte Touche Tomatsu (DTT) and EDF                                                               Extracted from Adine Mees
 Energy. „Employees are motivated by a
                                                   a     61%               c     50%
                                                                                                     and Jamie
 complex mix of rewards. These range from                                                            Bunham, Canadian Business
 financial security and bonuses to promo-
                                                   b     22%               d     75%                 for Social Responsibility
 tion and peer recognition, and from taking
 on new challenges to making a difference
                 CSR Al Youm

           Tool of the Month: Team Approach to Sustainability
                Integrating Sustainable Practices in the Workplace
Integrating sustainable practices into an organisation requires a collaborative team effort. The table below summarises the roles and
responsibilities of each department.

     Who is                 Supply Chain                   Human                       Marketing                   Finance                Public
   Responsible                                                                                                                           Relations
                               Mgmt                       Resources
 Responsible for          Risk Management            Employee Recruitment         Brands                     Fiduciary               Reputation
                          Product Responsibility     and Retention                Reputation                Responsibilities
     What
                                                     Motivation                                             Reputation
                                                     Competencies

     To whom              Management                 Management                   Corporate Affairs         Shareholders             Management
                          Suppliers                  Employees                    Market Awareness          Finance Directors        Employees
                          Standard Setting Bodies    Wider Business Community     International Agencies    Management               NGOs
                          NGOs                       Institutions                 Regulators                The Market               Advisory Panels
                          Competitors                Regulators                   Competitors               Competitors              Competitors
                                                                                  Customers                 Investors                Wider Business Commu-
                                                                                  Media                     Shareholders             nity
                                                                                  NGOs                      Assessment Bodies        Institutions
                                                                                                            Regulators               Regulators

  Through what            Greater role in strategy   Peer learning                R&D                       Analysis                 Connecting business
                          Audit                      Training and development     Stakeholder               Investor surveys         functions and
   mechanisms
                          Training                   Creating culture amongst     Intelligence              Annual General           management with
                          Standards/Monitoring/      employees                    (customer feedback,       Meetings (AGMs)          stakeholder concerns
                          Compliance                 Leadership                   dialogue,benchmarking)    Disclosure               Relationship building
                          Establishing working
                          relationships


 Cross-functional Sales                              Corporate Affairs            PR                        Public/Corporate         All functions and units
        Corporate Social
   Connection     Marketing
                          Corporate Affairs
                                              Responsibility as a Marketing Affairs
                                                 Marketing
                                                                   Marketing Tool?
                                                                  Corporate
                                                                                    Affairs
                                                                                    Marketing
                    Product Development
               How Your Company Can Perform more Favourably

    With what             Deliver accountable        Use sustainable              Create more sustainable   Meet broader fiduciary   Raise company profile
                          supply chain through       development as a marketing   products and services     responsibilities
    outcomes
                          strategic embedding        tool and to enhance
                                                     employee performance


Reprinted with permission of WBCSD


          Champion of the Month: BuildSafe UAE
                Protecting Workers Rights in the UAE
The dizzying speed at which buildings                    Major developers in the UAE such as                 is a very proactive method. Given the
and high rises are constructed in Dubai is              Nakheel and Aldar have joined this group             huge amount of construction work in
a testament to the progress that has                    to attract attention to the benefits of              Dubai, all we are asking for is self-
been made in the Real Estate and Con-                   sharing information and best practices               regulation in companies from the CEO
struction sector. But with great success,               among industry players. Build Safe pro-              downwards".
comes responsibility and championing                    vides weekly Safety Alerts to subscribed
the role of shaping the mode of workers                 organisations, a Safety Sharing library              Build Safe is gaining momentum with
safety in the construction industry. This               and Safety presentations (among many                 over 800 people on their mailing lists and
new initiative is being undertaken by                   other tools and resources) on their web-             over 88 active members globally. For
Build Safe UAE. „Build Safe UAE is a non                site. Build Safe UAE‟s Chairperson Gra-              more     information,     please      visit
for profit organization aimed at improv-                heame McCaig states „What we are try-                www.buildsafeuae.com
ing the health, safety and welfare condi-               ing to do is increase awareness and par-
tions of all construction industry stake-               ticipation so that we get more access to
holders through the free exchange and                   health and safety issues in the industry
sharing of information between organiza-                in Dubai and information can be shared
tions working in the                                    with members of the group, who cut
UAE‟ (www.buildsafeuae.com)                             across different construction firms. This

       If you would like more information or contribute, please contact Sabrin Rahman, Editor at sabrin.rahman@dubaichamber.ae



              Contact Details
                      for the CRB
            P.O. Box 1457, Dubai, UAE
            Tel +971 4 228 0389
            Fax +971 4 202 8455                                          This Newsletter is printed
            Responsiblebusiness@dubaichamber.ae                           on 30% Recycled Paper
            www.dubai-ethics.ae

								
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