A win for workers: EU Parliament backs up mandatory Due Diligence

By Staff
4 Min Read

On 24 April 2024 in Strasbourg (France), the European Parliament left its mark in history by approving the long-awaited EU law on mandatory due diligence.

The time when companies could make profit out of the exploitation of the environment and their suppliers and workers’ fundamental rights across the world will soon be over.

We are just one step away from the ultimate adoption of the EU law: the final vote at the Council is planned mid-May. We urge EU leaders to live up to their commitment and rubber stamp the Due Diligence Directive.

With the EU Due Diligence Directive, running a business responsibly will no longer be an option, but an obligation. Large companies will be compelled to identify, prevent and remedy potential adverse impacts of their and their business partners’ operations on people and the planet all along their chain of activities, including outside the EU.

IndustriAll Europe celebrates this landmark achievement and welcomes this as historical step in the right direction. However, additional steps are required to really make mandatory Responsible Business Conduct a reality, including:

  • Extending due diligence obligation to all companies, of all sizes and from all sectors. In its current form (targeting firms with more than 5,000 employees at first, before reaching companies with more than 1,000 employees five years after its entry into force, and excluding the financial sector), the new EU Directive will apply to 0.05% of companies operating in the EU only.
  • Improving companies’ reporting on non-financial and sustainable information, as well as workers’ rights to information-consultation-participation including in European works councils to secure action on the three intertwined pillars of RBC: Transparency, Democracy and Accountability(see industriAll Europe position DE EN FR).
  • Progressing on a global framework on Due Diligence through the long-awaited adoption of a UN binding Treaty

Industrial Europe General Secretary Judith Kirton- Darling says:

IndustriAll Europe welcomes the news of an imminent EU directive on due diligence. We want this future directive to deliver concrete changes for workers and trade unions across the globe. We will therefore be watching very closely how it will be transposed in Member States and call for going beyond the bare minimum. The guidelines and resources for capacity building that the European Commission is tasked to develop will be of crucial importance. We will pay an equally close look at how companies will implement due diligence policies. We insist that trade union representatives are fully involved at all stages to secure companies do not stop at a mere box ticking exercise. We are only at the beginning of a process in which trade unions active in multinational companies will play their full role”.

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