At IWG we hold firm the importance of fair treatment and fundamental human rights for all. Our mission is to provide a great day at work for everyone - for our customers, colleagues and suppliers. IWG's growing network of offices helps our customers have a great day at work whilst providing economic and social benefit to the communities in which we operate.
We believe that hybrid working can transform our world - protecting the planet, improving working life for people and improving profit for organisations. Hybrid working with IWG provides numerous benefits to people - you can read more about how hybrid supports your people here.
Our commitment to respect all human rights and to conduct ourselves in an ethical manner is set out in our Statement of Commitment and Supplier Code of Conduct . This applies to everyone working with or for any IWG business, globally. All customers, colleagues and suppliers receive annual communication with IWG policies and are required to comply with relevant principles and procedures.
Summary and foundational principles
Our Fair Treatment policy summarises the key values:
A great day at work for all:
- IWG's mission is to improve office work from reducing commutes to building fantastic, inclusive, office environments - we are doing our part to make humanity better
- We believe all employees are entitled to equal treatment without distinction of any kind, such as: race, nationality, colour, age, sex, religion or disability
Diversity helps us to be better:
- We are absolutely committed to diverse ideas, people and locations and respect for each other's diverse perspectives
- No-one should be exposed to harsh/degrading treatment or harassment
- Our colleague recruitment and supplier selection processes are designed to encourage diversity of thought and race, colour, age, sex, religion or disability
- We always strive to do the right thing and achieve success with integrity and accountability
- We continue to support the elimination of any instances of forced or child labour including within our Supply Chain utilising our Supplier Code of Conduct and our Modern Slavery Act
- The elimination of corruption in all its forms, including bribery and extortion as set out in our Statement of Commitment
- All employees are able to utilise our ethics portal to anonymously raise any concerns such as human rights issues, corruption or bribery - our ethics portal can be found here
This policy applies to all customers, colleagues and suppliers. As laid out in our Supplier Code of Conduct , we strive to maintain excellent business relationships with our suppliers across the globe - sharing a commitment to respecting and promoting human rights.
Definition and standards
We define Human Rights as "All beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights" (UN Declaration of Human Rights). Our Fair Treatment policy includes protection of the basic rights and freedoms to which all people are entitled, as expressed in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
This concept is broad ranging and covers a wide range of issues that can impact business activities.
At IWG we seek to respect and promote human rights and fair treatment based on internationally recognised standards and principles. We follow the below international standards and use these to inform and guide our commitments:
As a responsible business we are committed to generating mutual stakeholder benefits and ensuring we do not infringe upon the human rights of others. We recognise that our employees are crucial to the ongoing success of the business and to how IWG is regarded by the market.
Furthermore, we believe that all humans should be treated fairly and with respect, this applies to our customers, colleagues, and suppliers. We recognise that government legislation has the primary responsibility to protect and support human rights, however, we embrace the important role we play as a business.
Within all our business activities and partnerships, we are dedicated to considering our social and environmental impacts and addressing any human rights issues.
As the leading provider of office space globally, we recognise that our work through our brands (and the wider industry) impacts human rights. We prioritise using our brands and locations to promote positive human rights and strong governance to mitigate against identified risks. As a result of this process and open dialogue we believe we can best respect human rights by focus on the following key risk areas:
1. Fair treatment for all customers
IWG is proud to serve 8 million customers each year providing them a safe and inclusive work environment - free from discrimination, harassment, or abuse.
We believe that offering customers a diversity of options, brands and locations allows them to engage in the world of work in a safe and optimal way for them.
All IWG workspaces are equal opportunity environments and we do not tolerate discrimination or harassment of any kind, whether against an IWG employee, customer, supplier or a visitor in our spaces.
If anyone has concerns about human rights including discrimination or harassment, they can contact a member of their local Community team or via our independently operated ethics portal.
2. Fair treatment and active encouragement of diversity and inclusion for all employees
Our recruitment policy encourages applications from people of all backgrounds such as lower socio-economic, under-privileged and lower education. IWG believes in equal opportunities and strives to comply with local legislation and international standards.
The Company is committed to striving to ensure that the work environment is free of harassment and bullying; treating everyone with dignity and respect is an important aspect of ensuring equal opportunities and fair treatment in employment. Our employees work across the globe in over 120 countries with varying degrees of anti-discrimination and anti-harassment regulation. However, IWG believes that our employees and contractors are entitled to the same rights to be free from discrimination, harassment or abuse wherever they may be location. "Diversity helps us to be better" is one of our values and we draw upon in this regard. At IWG we have a group wide value of integrity and strive to ensure the health, safety, security and ethical treatment of our employees and contractors regardless of where they are in the world.
The Company will consider any possible indirectly discriminatory effect of its standard working practices, including the number of hours to be worked, the times at which these are to be worked and the place at which work is to be done, when considering requests for variations to these standard working practices and will refuse such requests only if it considers it has good reasons, unrelated to any protected characteristic, for doing so.
3. Protection and enhancement of the communities in which we operate
IWG strives to ensure all locations are free from discriminatory practices, advertisements or communication and provides clear guidelines to all IWG communities, including franchise operations about our brand standards. In locations where laws and regulations may not offer protections against discrimination, harassment or abuse in line with international standards, IWG expects our customers, colleagues and partners to meet those higher international standards. Where standards are in conflict, we expect them to adhere to national laws, whilst seeking ways to respect international human rights to the greatest extent possible, and so long as this does not expose them to a real risk of arrest or physical harm to their persons or property.
Our mission is to provide a great day at work for everyone, regardless of location. This results in IWG locations being in all corners of the world and IWG recognises the part it can play in supporting local communities especially in the development of urban areas and the "15-minute city" . We strive to mitigate against any potential negative effects on local cultures, communities or natural resources through our sustainability commitments.
4. A fair and transparent Supply Chain
IWG operates in a global context where human trafficking, forced labour and child labour are an unfortunate reality. IWG recognises its role to play in protection of fundamental human rights including in our supply chain, especially when purchasing from higher risk locations. IWG and all its brands oppose all forms of modern slavery, servitude, forced labour, child labour and human trafficking and vet our business partners and supply chain to mitigate against this risk through our ESG Supplier Framework and ongoing proactive supplier management which can include audits when necessary. We have a zero-tolerance approach to Modern Slavery within our own organisation, supply chain and partners. Please see our Modern Slavery Act Policy and Supplier Code of Conduct for further information.
Engagement and governance
We recognise that this list is not exhaustive and are committed to the ongoing monitoring of our business practices and operations to identify and address our most impactful human rights risks and opportunities. We are committed to improving our management of human rights impacts as they evolve over time.
We are committed to listening and engaging with our various stakeholders, including our customers, colleagues and representatives of the communities in order to strengthen our understanding of human rights impacts and opportunities.
IWG supports human rights through the promotion of good governance and the rule of law around the world and considers this an important aspect of corporate responsibility and sustainable development. IWG's Chairman is responsible for overall oversight of Sustainability and the IWG Board regularly reviews all related corporate responsibility policies, programmes and performance. Further, our ESG team has an ongoing programme on improvement against the UN's Sustainable Development Goals and provision of safe and inclusive workspaces for customers and colleagues. The ESG team is responsible for ongoing review of our Fair Treatment Policy and updating the wider business on risks and issues based on impact assessments. This leads to reliable enforcement of labour and environmental laws and promotion of justice and national security systems that maintain an appropriate balance between protecting people's safety and human rights from government infringement. IWG believes in public policies and laws that promote diverse, inclusive and safe workspaces being accessible to all. All IWG operations team members have access to relevant training to encourage compliance with local laws whilst also having access to open and anonymous systems to share issues via our ethics portal which is operated by an independent third party.