BESIX commits firmly to human rights and well-being by signing an international framework agreement on fair labour standards with BWI

14 December 2017 14:27


This Thursday 14 December 2017 Rik Vandenberghe, CEO of BESIX Group and Geert Aelbrecht, Chief HR Officer of BESIX Group, have signed an international framework agreement on fair labour standards with the Ambet Yuson, General Secretary of Building & Wood Workers’ International (BWI) and the Guy Winandy, Chair of the BESIX European Works Council (EWC)

This agreement’s purpose is to promote and protect the well-being of all employees and workers employed by BESIX. It firmly illustrates the interest that BESIX has for fair labour standards of its employees and workers regardless of age, disability, gender, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion, political opinion or belief. The agreement is based on a wide range of international labour standards such as the ILO Fundamental Conventions and other human rights instruments[1].

The agreement applies world-wide to all operations of BESIX Group.

As part of BESIX Group purpose to Excel in Creating Sustainable Solutions for a Better World, and compared with other international framework agreements, the company commits to the improvement of the fair labor standards in each country where it operates. This provision was already contained in BESIX code of conduct of March of 2014.

Implementation of the agreement will be overseen by a reference group composed of BESIX, BWI, the EWC, and the relevant BWI affiliates in Belgium.

Rik Vandenberghe, CEO BESIX Group: “Since 1909, BESIX is committed to creating the best possible working conditions for its employees, both on its construction sites and on the office floor. Not only do we comply with existing national and international legislation, but we also take complementary measures to make our actions more effective. We have included since a couple of year our commitments as to the human rights and well-being at work in our internal Code of Conduct. Now by signing this agreement we want to demonstrate also externally our commitment to respect and promote human rights. By doing so, we believe that we can be an agent of change and create a positive impact on the lives of our people, their communities and society as a whole.”

Geert Aelbrecht, Chief HR Officer: “Our people come first. Their wellbeing is a key priority in everything we do: in our recruitment process, and in ensuring our staff and that of our subcontractors enjoy optimal working and living conditions. Our commitments in this agreement are not mere words on paper. They are the foundations of how we want to conduct business and set out a journey towards continuous improvement. We will involve everyone in the implementation and respect of the framework agreement: from top management to local management, workers and their representatives, and health and safety representatives.”

BWI General Secretary Ambet Yuson said, “this agreement is designed to enable construction workers to fully exercise their rights, participate in building their futures, and work and live in dignity. We look forward to cooperating with BESIX based on these shared values and commitments”. 

Guy Winandy, Secretary of EWC of BESIX Group “welcomes this comprehensive international framework agreement. We are pleased that the EWC, through its social dialogue processes, was able to initiate this agreement founded on international standards that is appropriate for Europe, but also for the rest of the world. We will be reporting on a regular basis to our meetings on progress made under this agreement”.

The agreement applies to all BESIX Group companies, as well as to all of its sub-contractors and suppliers.

See the IFA HERE.

[1] Such as the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the ILO Tripartite Declaration of Principles on Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy, and the ILO fundamental rights at work Declaration.