Management approach disclosures: Labour Practices and Decent Work


Barloworld understands that its employees are the foundation of its success and achieving its 2020 vision. . Accordingly, ‘people’ is identified as one of our strategic focus areas.

The group is a signatory to the UN Global Compact, of which Principles 3 to 6 specifically address Labour. The group Chief Executive has expressed continuing support for the UNGC’s 10 Principles (see GRI 1.1, Barloworld Sustainable Development – Chief Executive’s Message and Barloworld’s 2015 COP). For details on the UN Global Compact, see:

One of the group’s most vital attributes is creating value through – and for – employees by attracting, developing and retaining globally competitive people necessary to implement our strategy and meet our growth targets.

Specific activities in this regard include developing internal human resources for promotional opportunities through detailed development needs analysis per person, leadership/management development programmes, and continued focus on technical skills upliftment.

We have identified six Critical Success Factors that guide the group in managing its employees. Each of these factors is closely aligned to the value drivers identified in the Integrated Employee Value Model, delivers on the Employee Value Proposition and ensures sustainable intellectual capacity and value creation competence. Through the Learning Organisation, powered by structured team forums and reinforced by our Leadership Behaviours, Worldwide Code of Conduct and Code of Ethics, employees are able to take an active role in reviewing and continuously improving organisational processes, systems and practices and building the organisation of the future. The Critical Success Factors are:

  • Clear purpose and direction establishes clarity and alignment and clearly understood and owned at organisational, team and individual level
  • Sustainable competence focusing on organisational learning and development of employees
  • Talent management focusing on the processes to identify, develop and manage the career paths of employees
  • Caring, equitable workplace to support and ensure employees’ safety and wellbeing as well as investing in society as a responsible corporate citizen
  • Professional climate creating a culture of innovation, ethical leadership, environmental stewardship and good corporate governance
  • Performance management at organisational, team and individual levels.

The Learning Organisation is the sustainability platform upon which the six critical success factors are based to deliver on the Employee Value Proposition. The key drivers are information sharing, collaboration, innovation and collective wisdom through structured team forums.

This approach is implemented across the group in a range of interfaces and interventions. An Individual Perception Monitor (IPM) surveys employee attitudes on the status of the six critical success factors. These results are used to identify areas for attention. It has a four point scale and the group target is a rating level of at least three in all business units for all factors. Scores of above three are considered excellent. Although the Group require the IPM survey to be run every second year, the majority of the Divisions elected to run the survey in 2015 except Equipment southern Africa. The overall scores per Division are highlighted below:

  Equipment – Southern Africa   N/A
  Equipment – Russia   3.09
  Equipment – UK   2.84
  Equipment – Iberia   2.72
  Automotive Head Office   3.16
  Avis Fleet   2.95
  Car Rental   3.16
  Logistics   3.17
  Motor Retail   3.12
  Handling – UK   3.28
  Handling, Agriculture & SEM – South Africa   3.19
  Handling – Rest of Africa   2.92
  Agriculture – Russia   3.07
  Power South Africa   3.10
  Corporate Office   2.93
Material aspects

The integrated Employee Value Models reflected below sets out key aspects of our approach to People management:

The integrated Employee Value Models

Labour/management relations

Collective labour relations are constructively managed based on the principle of freedom of association. Employees may associate or not with representative organisations and trade unions. Trade unions that are sufficiently representative of employees are recognised at appropriate operational levels, and operations covered by industry agreements participate in relevant industry forums. There are no operations where the right to exercise freedom of association and collective bargaining is at significant risk.

Employee representatives, including trade unions, worker committees, health and safety committees and industry bodies are openly engaged at appropriate levels in the organisation and in South Africa, work-skills and employment equity forums are established. Similar initiatives take place in the group’s Iberian operations.

There are no formal health and safety agreements with trade unions although this aspect is regularly included on the agenda of meetings with management in the various operations. Businesses that operate under industry agreements with unions are covered to the extent that these issues are addressed at industry level.

Occupational health and safety

The group has a philosophy of ‘zero injuries or harm’ to employees. Business units operate under a strict divisional risk management audit protocol incorporating health and safety.

Occupational health and safety (OHS) standards are covered by prevailing legislation.

OHS is the direct responsibility of divisional Chief Executive Officers (CEOs). Formal health and safety committees with management and worker representatives cover all South African staff and the majority of staff in all other operations. Equipment Russia are implementing such committees. Regional laws cover staff in our operations.

In addition to quarterly SHE reports, Health and safety reporting is reviewed on a bi-annual basis by the Risk and Sustainability Committee, a sub-committee of the board.

Operations are encouraged to start all meetings with a safety message (or “safety moment’).

Training and education

Value creation through and for employees by attracting, developing and retaining globally competitive people is necessary to implement the group’s strategy and meet its growth targets. This remains one of the group’s most vital attributes. Specific activities include developing internal human resources for promotional opportunities through detailed development needs analysis per person, leadership/management development programmes, and a continued focus on technical skills upliftment.

Barloworld recognises that achieving its vision and sustainable value-creation objectives rests on the ability of its people. Having the right calibre of employees, which covers attracting, developing and retaining talented and globally competitive employees, is central to ensuring competence and intellectual capital in the group.

This objective is achieved through focused talent identification, recruitment, individual employee development plans, career-paths, training and development programmes, competitive reward systems and careful succession planning.

Diversity and equal opportunity

Barloworld remains committed to building a workforce which reflects the communities in which we operate. As a world-class organisation with a broad array of stakeholders, we believe that diversity is what helps maintain our winning edge. Within all areas of our business we strive to create an inclusive talent pool, one which taps into the vast potential found across races, genders, sexual orientations and other demographics.

Whilst great progress has been made, empowerment and transformation remains a key focus area for Barloworld and continues to be central to our success. We understand that equity is central to achieving equal opportunities and the principle is applied fairly and justly. Equally, we value the competitive advantage inherent in a diverse workforce and are committed to an employee complement that reflects the demographics of the countries in which we operate.

Central tenets of the group’s approach to equality include:

  • Prohibition of unfair discrimination on the grounds of gender, race, religion, disability, age  or sexual  orientation
  • Proactive pursuit of programmes and initiatives to achieve our equality objectives
  • Complying with legislation in all countries in which it operates
  • Identification and elimination of employment barriers which unfairly discriminate

By identifying empowerment and transformation as a strategic focus area, we ensure group and individual commitment to equality in the workplace across all operations.

Race, gender and disability are addressed in employment equity, transformation and empowerment targets in South Africa in line with legislation. Localisation and gender objectives are set in non-South African operations in accordance with local demographics and legislation. Required employment equity plans and progress reports are submitted in South Africa and other southern African countries. These plans set out employment targets that address race, gender and disability.

In South Africa, Barloworld follows the Department of Trade and Industry’s (dti’s) broad-based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE) scorecard with the target for all South African operations to achieve a level 3 or higher according to the previous B-BBEE Codes of Good Practice.

Equal remuneration for women and men

Remuneration and employee benefits are attractive, well-structured and competitive. All remuneration and employee benefits are aligned with legislation.

Remuneration practices are regularly reviewed and the group is committed to removing unfair discrimination in pay scales. In South Africa, pay differentials are disclosed in terms of employment equity legislation.

Male and female income levels are continually reviewed and unfair anomalies are addressed.

We have implemented the Towers Watson global grading system in all operations, and our positions are graded accordingly. Wage and salary levels are benchmarked by country and category. This ensures equity and non-discrimination in remuneration practices.

Supply-chain labour practice assessment

This commitment carried into our supply-chain through our Worldwide Conduct, the applicable aspects are:

  • Teamwork Value includes:
    • We build outstanding long-term relationships with our principals, suppliers and customers: …‘We expect our suppliers to comply with the sound business practices we embrace, following the law and conduct activities in a manner that respects human rights’
  • Commitment Value includes
    • We respect and contribute to the realisation of human rights: ‘Barloworld has a long-standing commitment to human rights and the dignity of all people. We create a work environment that recognises the rights of employees so that we can all enjoy a workplace that is respectful, puts safety first and values fairness, responsibility, transparency and diversity. We work with principals and suppliers who also demonstrate strong values and ethical principles and avoid those who violate the law or fail to comply with the sound business practices we promote.

Third party service providers and suppliers (TPSP&S) in all business divisions have been subjected to a risk assessment and due-diligence process in relation to bribery and corruption. This due diligence process involves the integration a more rigorous screening of TPSP&S into the existing procurement processes and setting clearly defined minimum requirements. This process is now applied to new TPSP&S and is ongoing for existing TPSP&S, in accordance with the Barloworld due diligence policy. To date some 16 500 suppliers are being covered in such assessment. As part of this process, some 3 330 suppliers have signed the Barloworld Supplier Code of Conduct which includes, among other things, the following voluntary undertaking from suppliers:

“The supplier understands that it has responsibility for its own supply chain and for managing standards of conduct within its supply chain.  It therefore agrees to encourage and promote high ethical standards and adherence to international best practices in human rights, health, safety and environmental standards when undertaking its contractual obligations towards Barloworld.”

The Supplier code of conduct also specifically prohibits the use of compulsory or child labour as well as unfair discrimination, and requires freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining.

An internal review has also been conducted on all our major principals and Original Equipment Manufacturers for risks relating to human rights or labour practices, and there were no adverse findings and all have a low risk rating. These suppliers account for the majority (some 70%) of our procurement spend in the group.

Reporting of labour practices violations and grievance mechanisms

The Barloworld Whistle-Blowing policy sets out procedures for reporting improprieties or improper conduct so that the rights of employees and other associated persons are protected where such disclosures are made in good faith.

All operations have well established disciplinary and grievance procedures in place. These are formal, documented and easily accessible to all employees. They allow inter alia: for employees subject to these codes to be represented, and the right to a fair hearing. In addition, Barloworld’s Worldwide Code of Conduct specifically covers process for reporting violations of the code. It includes an anonymous Barloworld Ethics Line, and provides assurance that the group does not tolerate any reprisals against an employee for raising a concern or making a report in good faith.


Responses to the indicators cover the performance of Barloworld Limited in all the geographic regions in which the Barloworld group and its subsidiaries operate. The consolidated data incorporates the company and all entities controlled by Barloworld as if they are a single economic entity. There are no other entities over which the group has significant influence that it believes should be included in the report. Associates and joint ventures are equity accounted.