Our latest post on the SDGS focuses on #8 of 17, Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
This SDG has 10 targets and for this post, we will focus in on just one, 8.8
8.8 – Protect labor rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers, including migrant workers, in particular women migrants, and those in precarious employment.
Relevance to Project Management
From a sustainability point of view, labor should not only be productive, as measured by economic output per worker. Work should also be decent. We have taken positions on Exploitative Child labor, forced labor, in our new P5 Standard and prior posts. Inappropriate health and security conditions, violence and harassment in the workplace are also examples of indecent working conditions and, unfortunately, persist in developed countries as well as developing nations.
We would like to outline the project management practices that support this SDG and specifically this goal.
This SDG target can be tied to the employment and staffing practices for the project organization, ranging from the project steering committee (or board) to the project team.
In terms of labor practices, it is recommended that the following be considered by project management:
- Engaging staff using appropriate employment types (full time or contract as well as volunteer)
- Paying livable wages
- Use of appropriate employment conditions including provisions for:
- Holiday and parental leave
- Fair dismissal
- Allowing the project team to maintain a work-life balance
From a Project Health and Safety perspective, Avoidance of fines and penalties from breaches of health and safety legislation and regulations are benefits to be realized.
Governance and procedures for health, safety and emergency management as they relate to the project, project team the project environment during the project life cycle.
- Identify and implement the requirements of of health and safety legislation and regulations
- Reduce or eliminate health and safety hazards through the design of safe working practices, staff training, use of protective equipment and through engineering
- Minimize the impact to health, safety, and the environment that the product will inhabit when it is put into operations or ‘business as usual’ state
Adherence to project health and safety standards achieves a number of sustainable project outcomes including:
- Provides a safe, secure and healthy workplace for the project team, which in turn results in engaged and committed staff
- Elimination of lost time and costs associated with workplace illness and injuries
Extending beyond direct project resources, project management holds considerable influence. There are benefits that can extend beyond the impact to project human resources.
Holding suppliers accountable through vendor/supplier policies and supplier codes of conduct as well as adjusting vendor selection criteria to include these considerations will spark positive change!
Since 2012, Disney‘s supply chain investment program has given nearly $8 million to human rights organizations to promote safe and secure working conditions for workers in the global manufacturing sector. In Sao Paulo, Brazil, approximately 27,000 factory workers benefited from practical and immediate health and safety improvements made with Disney’s support.