Basic Policy(Brother Group Principles of Social Responsibility)
In 2012, the Brother Group Principles of Social Responsibility was formulated to clearly define our corporate responsibility and actions toward achieving a sustainable society. Sections on non-discrimination and non-harassment, fair and lawful labor practices, freedom of association, child and forced labor, clearly defined disciplinary polices, and whistleblowing system were established in this set of principles which expresses the fundamental principles of the responsibilities and actions of companies in the Brother Group. It clearly states that we will provide fair working conditions, handle everyone with faith and respect, observe fundamental human rights, and we expect our employees to act in the same way.Brother Group Principles of Social Responsibility
Brother Group Human Rights Global Policy
Brother Group respects the human rights of all people involved in the business activities of Brother Group, and actively engages in measures to ensure that our business activities do not have a negative impact on human rights. In order to further work towards the advancement of human rights, we hereby establish the Brother Group Human Rights Global Policy ("Policy").
1- Scope of application
This Policy applies to all officers, employees, part-time employees, expatriate employees, temporary employees, and contract workers of Brother Group. In order to ensure that the measures described in this Policy extends to the whole of the value chain, Brother Group shall, either directly or indirectly, request that the people who are involved in our group's products and services would understand the Policy and cooperate with surveys, audits, and other measures outlined in the Policy.
2-Respecting human rights
Brother Group respects the human rights set forth in the International Bill of Human Rights and the International Labor Organization (ILO) Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and works towards the advancement of human rights based on the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights endorsed by the United Nations Human Rights Council.
In case there is a difference between the internationally recognized standards on human rights and the laws and regulations of each country or region, Brother Group will adopt the higher standard of the two, and in case there is a conflict between those standards, Brother Group will follow the laws and regulations of each country or region, while pursuing ways to respect the internationally recognized human rights to the greatest extent possible.
*Human rights issues that are most important to Brother Group include the following:
- Non-discrimination and Non-harassment
- Fair and lawful labor practices
- Freedom of association
- Child and forced labor
- Health and safety at work
- Sanitation, food and housing
3-Human rights due diligence
Brother Group is aware of the effects that its business activities may have on human rights. For this reason, Brother Group has introduced, and will continue to implement a due diligence process to assess the negative impacts that its business activities may have on human rights.
In case where negative impacts on human rights are identified, Brother Group will suspend the business activities and transactions, strive to mitigate the negative impacts resulting from such activities, or implement other measures to correct or prevent recurrence of such negative impacts. Such measures will be monitored to ensure that they are implemented properly.
Brother Group will provide a helpline where people such as victims who are negatively affected by human rights within Brother Group's value chain can seek relief. The helpline is open to everyone, including those within and outside of Brother Group. At the helpline, Brother Group will maintain anonymity and confidentiality in order to protect those who raise their concerns.
5-Information Disclosure / Consultation
Brother Group makes appropriate disclosures on its website and reports regarding its human rights due diligence policy and the measures taken to identify and remedy negative human rights impacts.
Brother Group will also engage in sincere consultation with relevant stakeholders regarding the impacts its business may have on human rights.
Based on the Policy, Brother Group implements various training programs to prevent negative impacts on human rights.
Brother Group has established the Sustainability Committee with the Representative Director & President serving as the chairman. The Sustainability Committee promotes various measures to respect human rights globally within the whole of Brother Group based on the "Basic Policy on Sustainability."
For details, please see "Management with an Emphasis on Sustainability -Promotion of Management with an Emphasis on Sustainability- Promotion Structure".
Human Rights Due Diligence
At Brother Group, we request 1st tier suppliers*1 of our main business divisions to implement measures for human rights. Furthermore, we aim for responsible procurement in our supply chain by requesting our 1st tier suppliers to implement the same measures for their upstream suppliers.
In particular, we conduct annual surveys on our 1st tier suppliers of our main business divisions on forced labor and child labor. In addition to confirming whether or not there is any forced labor or child labor, this survey also includes questions on whether they have in place human rights policies, clauses on prohibition of forced labor and child labor in major contracts with their business partners, and measures to confirm legal compliance among their business partners. Furthermore, since FY2022, we promote better workplace environment and more safety in the workplace by including questions on working environment, safety and health in the survey.
Where necessary, we request our 1st tier suppliers to make improvements in writing. We also conduct audits (including onsite audits) of our 1st tier suppliers selected based on the responses to the survey, volume of the transactions with such supplier, and other factors.
|Assessment based on survey||951 companies||1,128 companies|
|Onsite or online audit||10 companies||10 companies|
|Number of companies subject to correction after audit||1 company*2||(Scheduled to be disclosed in October 2023)|
In our surveys conducted in FY2021 and 2022, none of our 1st tier suppliers were using forced labor or child labor. In addition, the surveys conducted in FY2022 showed a general improvement in the measures taken by our 1st tier suppliers, compared to the previous fiscal year.
In addition to the above, going forward, we will identify human rights risks in the value chain and promote human rights measures for customers and upstream suppliers based on those risks.
- Suppliers mean companies that supply parts that are necessary for manufacturing Brother products.
- This entity was a 1st tier supplier for TAIWAN BROTHER INDUSTRIES, LTD. Correction has been confirmed.
For all stakeholders: Establishment of a complaint reporting helpline
Brother Group has joined the Japan Center for Engagement and Remedy on Business and Human Rights (JaCER) from FY2022, and established a helpline(the link to the site of "JaCER") where Brother Group suppliers, customers, investors, and all other stakeholders can raise specific concerns about human rights.
This helpline allows anonymous reporting so that whistleblowers can report without fear of retaliation. When a report is received, we promptly investigate the case. In case negative impacts on human rights or human right risks are identified, we take necessary corrective action.
For employees: Establishment of consultation and whistleblowing helpline
(Employee Helpline for Compliance Issues)
At the Brother Group, Brother Industries, Ltd. (BIL) and group companies within and outside Japan have compliance consultation and whistleblowing helplines to prevent violations, act quickly against them, and take preventive steps against reoccurrences.
BIL has the internal Employee Helpline for Compliance Issues for employees to consult and report when they discover or suspect compliance violations, have issues which are not resolved even after reporting to and consulting with their workplace supervisors, or when they have issues which cannot be reported to or consulted with workplace supervisors due to inevitable circumstances. BIL has also established the internal Employee Helpline for Harassment Issues that is dedicated to harassment behavior—such as sexual and power harassment—in an effort to create workplace environments where employees can work while respecting each other. A Quality Compliance Helpline is also in place to prevent compliance and other violations related to quality of products and services of Brother Group, and to improve and rectify any violations. In addition, an external helpline for compliance issues has also been established with affiliated lawyers outside the company to allow employees to directly report violations.
For details of the consultation and whistleblowing helpline, such as number of cases handled, please see the site for "Governance (G)- Compliance and Anti-Corruption- Brother Group Global Policy for Helpline for Compliance Issues".
Conduct of Training Related to Human Rights
The Brother Group conducts training related to human rights to raise employees' awareness. In FY2022, upon establishment of "Brother Group Human Rights Global Policy" during this fiscal year, we conducted human rights trainings mainly at BIL and domestic and overseas manufacturing facilities. Furthermore, BIL conducts training related to human rights, such as workshops on harassment, for the management and managers. "Understanding Basic Human Rights" is also conducted as training related to basic knowledge about human rights for new employees.
For details, please see the site for "Social(S)- Talent Development- Details of Education System and Training".