HEAD FOR SUCCESS Business Studies – Grade 12 TERM 2 Topic 2: Human Rights, Inclusivity and Environmental Issues HUMAN RIGHTS, INCLUSIVITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES INTRODUCTION: Businesses have a responsibility to further the interests of society. Business operations must support human rights and inclusivity and not be harmful to the environment. HUMAN RIGHTS, INCLUSIVITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES THE 10 PRINCIPLES OF THE UN GLOBAL COMPACT: The UN Global Compact is a United Nations (UN) initiative which aims to encourage businesses worldwide to implement sustainable business practices. The 10 principles of the UN Global Compact are divided into four categories: Human Rights Labour Environment Anti-corruption HUMAN RIGHTS, INCLUSIVITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES The 10 principles of the UN Global Compact are divided into four categories: Category Ten principles Human Rights Principle 1 Labour Businesses should support the protection of human rights. Principle 2 Businesses should make sure they are not complicit in human rights issues. Principle 3 Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining. Principle 4 Businesses should eliminate all forms of forced ad compulsory labour. Principle 5 Businesses should abolish child labour. Principle 6 Businesses should eliminate discrimination in respect of employment and occupation. HUMAN RIGHTS, INCLUSIVITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES The 10 principles of the UN Global Compact are divided into four categories: Category Environment Anticorruption Ten principles Principle 7 Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges Principle 8 Businesses should undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental sustainability. Principle 9 Businesses should encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies. Principle 10 Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion an bribery. The ten principles of the UN Global Compact emphasises the importance of human rights, inclusivity and environmental issues in business. HUMAN RIGHTS, INCLUSIVITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES ASSESS A BUSINESS VENTURE AGAINST CRITERIA THAT MEASURE HUMAN RIGHTS, INCLUSIVITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES: Business operations may not violate a person’s human rights or be harmful to the environment and should support inclusivity. Examples of business operations that do not consider human rights, inclusivity and the environment, include: Businesses that dump waste in rivers. Businesses that do not pay fair wages. Employers who treat employees unfairly. Employers who risk the health and safety of employees and clients by not doing regular maintenance on machinery. HUMAN RIGHTS, INCLUSIVITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES HUMAN RIGHTS: Human rights are basic rights and freedoms that all human beings are entitled to. Human rights must be respected by all. Our human rights are protected by the Bill of Rights in the Constitution. If a business discriminates against employees or applicants in terms of age, race, gender, culture, religion, pregnancy, marital status, family responsibility, disability, HIV-status or political opinion, the business is violating basic human rights. A business’ policy should not show favour, prejudice or bias towards anyone and business enterprises must guard against unfair discrimination and treat all employees, applicants and people they do business with, equally and fairly. HUMAN RIGHTS, INCLUSIVITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES HUMAN RIGHTS: Human rights: • • • • • • • The right to be treated in a dignified manner. The right to practice one’s religion. The right to freedom of speech. The right to be treated equally and fairly. The right to education. Freedom of occupation of profession. Freedom of association. Consumer rights: • • • • • • The right to information. The right to choose. The right to representation. The right to compensation. The right to safety. The right to a healthy environment. Employee rights: Examples of human rights, consumer rights and employee rights: • • • • • The right to fair treatment in the workplace. The right not to be discriminated against. The right to be included in decisions that directly affect the employee. The right to belong to a trade union. The right to fair remuneration. HUMAN RIGHTS, INCLUSIVITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES HUMAN RIGHTS: Assessment – what businesses can do to promote human rights: Businesses can make positive contributions towards human rights issues by implementing poverty alleviation programmes, e.g. by donating land which can be used to teach people entrepreneurial skills by showing them how to use the land productively.. Business enterprises can also help reduce unemployment through implementing skills development programmes, entrepreneurial programmes and by encouraging indigenous practices. Businesses must respect employees’ rights to work in a safe environment, e.g. by doing regular machine maintenance. Businesses must pay fair remuneration to employees. Employees must be treated equally and fairly. Freedom of association in the workplace must be allowed. Employees should be encouraged and provided with opportunities to further their education. HUMAN RIGHTS, INCLUSIVITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES INCLUSIVITY: Inclusivity means that no one should be discriminated against. Inclusivity aims to: Redress the imbalances of the past Address gender discrimination Address discrimination against disabled people Address unfair discrimination Ensure that the demographics of the country are reflected in the workplace. Provide greater opportunities for women in the workplace. Complaints regarding inclusivity issues are handled by the Huma Rights Commission. In South Africa we have the following legislation to promote inclusivity: Skills Development Act Employment Equity Act and Affirmative Action Black Economic Empowerment and Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment HUMAN RIGHTS, INCLUSIVITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES INCLUSIVITY: Assessment – what businesses can do to promote inclusivity: Redress the imbalances of the past by, for example, implementing Affirmative Action. Address gender discrimination by appointing both men and women in all positions, including management. Address discrimination against disabled people by appointing disabled persons. Address unfair discrimination by providing employees with equal access to opportunities for training and promotion. Make sure that the demographics of the country are reflected in the workplace by appointing people rom all races and genders. Provide greater opportunities for women in the workplace through for example, skills development. Draw up policies that address the issue of discrimination. Show mutual respect for colleagues, superiors and subordinates. HUMAN RIGHTS, INCLUSIVITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES: Businesses use resources found in the natural environment in their daily operations. This leads to exploitation of natural resources, pollution and global warming. Businesses generate a lot of commercial waste through their daily operations. Environmental issues are serious – global warming could have serious consequences for life on this planet. A lot of attention is being paid to environmental issues in the media – Al Gore, an American politician, for example, won the 2007 Nobel prize for his contribution to global warming (he produced a film: “An inconvenient truth” to raise awareness about environmental issues). Environmental protection organisations, e.g. WESSA and Green Peace, have been formed to fight for nature conservation. Government has devised and is in the process of devising laws and strategies to deal with environmental issues. Business enterprises must also comply with these laws and strategies. Examples of environmental laws and strategies include: National waste management strategy implementation National strategy for sustainable development National Environmental Management Act Environment Conservation Act The Green and Blue Scorpions were established to protect parks, water reserves, fisheries, etc. HUMAN RIGHTS, INCLUSIVITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES ENVIRNMETNAL ISSUES: Assessment – what businesses can do about environmental issues: Business enterprises can show their commitment towards nature conservation by donating money/launching initiatives to protect the environment. Business should focus on sustainability, rather than on making profit at any cost. Business enterprises should develop environmental policies to: Promote nature conservation. Ensure environmental sustainability. Lead to the development of alternative sources of energy. Minimise pollution. Restore environmental damage. Businesses can donate money to help find alternative sources of energy. Materials that can be recycled, must be recycled. HUMAN RIGHTS, INCLUSIVITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES Environmental issues: Inclusivity: Human Rights: CONCLUSION: • In General, people are more aware of their human rights than they were only a few decades ago. • In South Africa, there are organisations that promote human rights. • Our human rights are protected by the Constitution. • Legislation exists to promote inclusivity. • Businesses have implemented and are still implementing Affirmative Action policies to ensure inclusivity. • Environmental issues are receiving a lot of media attention. • Many businesses are spending money in an attempt to “go green”. • Some customers prefer to support “green businesses”. • Not only businesses, but consumers have become more aware of environmental issues. HUMAN RIGHTS, INCLUSIVITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES DIVERSITY IN THE BUSINESS: Diversity refers to a variety or a mixture. The South African business landscape is diverse, because businesses deal with people: Who come from different backgrounds and cultures Who speak different languages With different levels of education Who differ in terms of age and gender Other issues of diversity in businesses include: Poverty Inequality Race Gender Language Age Disability Education HUMAN RIGHTS, INCLUSIVITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES DIVERSITY IN THE BUSINESS : Poverty Other issues of diversity in businesses include: Employees • Businesses employ people with different income levels. • Managers often earn decent salaries and are able to maintain a reasonable standard of living. • Employees, like cleaners, are on the lower end of the salary scale. • Poverty is often caused by lack of education and skills development. • Skills levies paid by businesses are used to develop workers’ skills. Consumers • A person is poor when he/she does not have enough money to satisfy his/her most basic needs. • Many businesses, especially businesses that sell necessities, face the predicament of asking a price that is high enough to make profit, while keeping goods affordable for customers who are struggling financially. • Consumers range from very poor to very rich. • Businesses can play a part in fighting poverty through CSI involvement. DIVERSITY IN THE BUSINESS: Employees • Inequality involves unfairness and discrimination. • Although employees are on different levels of a business, all employees should be treated equally and fairly. • This means that all employees must get equal opportunities to be considered for a raise, a better position or skills development. Consumers • Consumers must be treated fairly. • Employees must guard against showing prejudice towards consumers. • All consumers must be treated with respect. Employees • Employees must represent the country’s demographics. • This means that businesses must employ people from different racial groups. • Previously, racial imbalances occurred in the workplace. • These imbalances are now being addressed through various acts, including Employment Equity, BBBEE and Affirmative Action policies. Consumers • South Africans are also known as “The Rainbow Nation”. • It is challenging to market products to a diverse group of people, who hold different values and beliefs. • Businesses must not offend any person with their marketing. Race Inequality HUMAN RIGHTS, INCLUSIVITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES HUMAN RIGHTS, INCLUSIVITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES DIVERSITY IN THE BUSINESS: • Businesses employ both males and females. • Males and females are entitled to equal treatment in the workplace. • A few decades ago, most employers believed that men should be promoted rather than women. • The Employment Equity Act forbids gender discrimination and states that men and women should receive equal treatment and have access to equal opportunities in the workplace. • BBBEE promotes the economic empowerment of women. Consumers • Consumers comprise males and females. • It is challenging to find a marketing strategy which is appealing to both men and women. • Male and female customers should be treated with equal respect. Gender Employees Language HUMAN RIGHTS, INCLUSIVITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES DIVERSITY IN THE BUSINESS: Employees • Businesses employ people who speak different languages. • Although it is a person’s constitutional right to speak the language of his/her choice, multilinguism in the workplace can create problems, if employees are not capable of understanding one another. • A person may feel excluded if he/she cannot understand what colleagues are saying. • It is a good idea to identify a common language for meetings and general communication in the workplace Consumers • Consumers speak different languages. • It creates a very good impression of a business if clients can be assisted in their language of choice. Age Employees • Ages of employees usually differ. • Older employees may feel that younger employees lack experience to do certain tasks. • Many businesses use a “mentorship system” where a more experienced employee acts as a coach or mentor for an inexperienced employee. Consumers • Ages of consumers differ. • Businesses should guard against discriminating against young or old consumers. Education Disability HUMAN RIGHTS, INCLUSIVITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES Employees • The Employment Equity Act encourages businesses to employ disabled people. • Employees must guard against showing prejudice towards disabled employees. • Disabled people must receive equal treatment and equal access to opportunities. Consumers • Many consumers are disabled. • Disabled consumers must be accommodated by businesses in terms of factors like parking and accessibility. Employees • • • • Consumers • Consumers come from different educational backgrounds. • A business should not exploit a consumer’s lack of education when a transaction takes place. • A consumer must be fully aware of the terms and conditions of a transaction. Employees come from different educational backgrounds. Some employees are highly qualified, while others may be illiterate. This is largely due to South Africa’s pre-1994 political policy. A lot has been done by both government and businesses to bridge the educational divide, for example skills development. • Employers should encourage employees and provide them with opportunities to further their education. HUMAN RIGHTS, INCLUSIVITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES DIVERSITY IN THE BUSINESS: Other factors: Personalities: Employees have different personalities that could lead to conflict in the business, but it can also be applied to consider and resolve challenges from various angles. Culture: It is valuable to the business if different cultural groups are present in the present. They will help to identify and solve problems from different cultural perspectives. Beliefs: Employees may have different beliefs. The diverse knowledge and perspectives of the different religious groups can be useful when strategies are planned. HUMAN RIGHTS, INCLUSIVITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES DIVERSITY IN THE BUSINESS: Other factors: Legislation: To promote an inclusive workforce from the diversity of the community, the government introduced several laws, namely: Employment Equity Act. The Promotion of Equality Act The Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act The Act Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act, etc. HUMAN RIGHTS, INCLUSIVITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES DIVERSITY IN THE BUSINESS: Advantages of diversity in business: Increased creativity Increased productivity Increased tolerance Creativity increases when diverse team members work together. When a diverse team pulls together by focusing on their strengths, increased levels of productivity will be achieved. Colleagues learn to value and respect one another even if they do not hold similar values and beliefs. Acquisition of new A diverse workforce brings different skills to the workplace, for skills example language skills. HUMAN RIGHTS, INCLUSIVITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES DIVERSITY IN THE BUSINESS: The impact of diversity in the workplace: Although a diverse workforce contributes to a business’ success, diversity must be managed. Managers must be aware of their own prejudices when managing a diverse workforce. Employees must learn to value and appreciate colleagues who come from different backgrounds or cultures. If not managed properly, diversity can lead to conflict in the workplace. Management must establish a work environment where all employees feel equal and inclusive. HUMAN RIGHTS, INCLUSIVITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AND HUMAN HEALTH: Every person has the right to live in a healthy environment. Business operations should neither compromise the environment nor human health. All possible steps must be taken to minimise the effect of business operations on the environment. Environmental laws specify permissible levels of pollution and businesses must stay within these parameters. Business operations can pose risks to human health in several ways, for example: Dumping waste in rivers where people collect drinking water can cause diseases like cholera and typhoid. Air pollution can cause respiratory diseases like asthma, emphysema and lung cancer. Exposure to radiation can cause Acute Radiation Syndrome (ARS) which prevents body cells from dividing normally. Some businesses manufacture dangerous goods (like chemicals) or use processes that may be dangerous (like mining). HUMAN RIGHTS, INCLUSIVITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AND HUMAN HEALTH : These businesses, as well as other businesses, should take all the necessary precautions to ensure the health and safety of employees and protect the environment. The Occupational Health and Safety Act (No 85 of 1993) makes provision for a number of regulations regarding safety, for example: Workers must be provided with protective gear to protect themselves against potential dangerous situations. First aid kits must be readily available at the workplace and in the factory. Fire extinguishers must be strategically placed on the business’ premises. Machines must be serviced regularly. History has shown us many examples of business operations that harmed the environment and compromised human health. HUMAN RIGHTS, INCLUSIVITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AND HUMAN HEALTH : Strategies to protect the environment and human health include: Adhere to environmental legislation Educate people about hygiene issues Test water before using it Regular health checks It is the employer’s duty to make sure working conditions, as well as the working environment, adhere to health and safety requirements. Noise levels must be within the parameters of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (No. 85 of 1993). Employers must provide employees with protective clothing and gear when the job requires, e.g. construction workers must work with helmets. Caution must be taken when hazardous materials, e.g. chemicals or medical waste are disposed of. Access to hazardous materials must be limited and kept in a safe place. Working conditions must make provision for adequate lighting and ventilation. HUMAN RIGHTS, INCLUSIVITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES EQUALITY, RESPECT AND DIGNITY: People have the right to be treated with equality, respect and dignity. These rights may not be violated by businesses. Equality Definition: Violation: • Involves fairness and • Denying some absence of discrimination. employees an • Employees must be treated opportunity to equally and fairly. receive skills • All employees must have training. equal opportunities. Implikasies vir besighede: • Businesses must devise policies that promote equality in the workplace. • Employees who feel they were discriminated against might consider taking legal action against their employer. HUMAN RIGHTS, INCLUSIVITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES EQUALITY, RESPECT AND DIGNITY : Violation: • To value a person, because he/she is a human being. • Talking down to a person. • Businesses must create opportunities where employees can casually interact and learn to know one another. • A workforce who respects one another will be very effective. • Refers to a person’s right to be treated with respect. • Offending a person. • Businesses must create opportunities where employees can casually interact and learn to know one another. Dignity Respect Definition: Implikasies vir besighede HUMAN RIGHTS, INCLUSIVITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS: Many of our human rights ca be categorised into one of the following three categories: Examples How these rights are promoted Economic rights • • • • • Freedom of trade • Tax money is being spent Freedom of occupation and profession on improving people’s Right to fair labour practices living conditions. Right to have access to adequate housing • Our economic rights are Right to belong to a trade union protected in the Labour relations Act. Social rights • • • • Right to freedom of association Right to basic education Right to healthcare Right to security Cultural rights • Right to use the language of choice • Right to participate in cultural activities of choice • Various strategies have been devised to ensure access to these rights, for example the Skills Development Act. • South Africa has eleven official languages – each language is recognised.