Labor and Human Rights


Employee day, ST Calamba, the Philippines

Labor and Human Rights

Labor & Human Rights


Be recognized as a leader in labor and human rights and apply a zero tolerance approach to forced labor.

2025 GOAL


of ST manufacturing sites recognized by external international bodies

2019 27%

3/11 sites with RBA Platinum recognition(1).

Treating our employees with respect and dignity is a fundamental part of ST culture, dating back to our inception in 1987. Since then, we have put many programs in place to make this commitment a reality in our employees’ day-to-day lives. I 103-1 I

The main programs we use to monitor, control and improve labor conditions in our operations are:

  • an internal audit program on labor and human rights, targeting our 11 manufacturing sites
  • Responsible Business Alliance (RBA) human rights self-assessments at all major ST sites and third-party RBA audits at all ST manufacturing sites, with an average RBA audit score above the industry average: +47 points in initial audits and +15 points in closure audits (score out of 200)
  • multiple initiatives to uphold human rights and mitigate risks in regions where we operate, including the Factory of Choice program (see Advancing labor and human rights) and the Responsible Workplace program (see Focus)

Being recognized as a leader in our industry

As a member of RBA since 2005, we uphold the highest standards and apply a comprehensive due diligence process covering nine core principles:

  • freely chosen employment
  • prevention of underage labor and protection of young workers
  • fair organization of working time
  • fair wages and benefits
  • fair treatment and antiharassment
  • non-discrimination
  • freedom of association
  • fair working conditions
  • employee well-being and privacy of personal information

(1) All manufacturing sites are now recognized either Platinum, Gold or Silver, so we have reinforced our goal, requiring every site to reach Platinum level.


of ST manufacturing sites audited

Our approach

We apply a process based on RBA methodology to continually improve our management system:

  • commitment to the RBA code of conduct
  • risk assessments
    • external risk assessment based on inherent risks of activity and location
    • annual self-assessment questionnaire covering 90% of our employees. Sites scored from 91 to 96/100, which is better than the industry average of 89/100
  • audit programs covering our 11 manufacturing sites (82% of our employees)
    • internal audits allocating priorities based on the concept of risk-based auditing, with timely and adequate corrective follow-up actions
    • RBA (VAP 6.0) third-party audits every two years with appropriate audit follow-up, including corrective action plans and closure audits

I 103-2 I


of employees covered by audits

Our risks and actions

In 2019, the main risks identified, and preventive and corrective actions implemented are described in the table below.

Labor and human rights

risk identification and mitigation


Actions implemented

Detection and monitoring of any employment fees (work permits, medical consultations, health insurance) which could potentially have been paid by locally recruited foreign workers in Europe.

  • Implemented a procedure to strengthen the process to detect and monitor locally recruited foreign workers.
  • Formalized a reimbursement process for recurring employment fees that cannot be paid directly by ST.
  • Communicated internally on reimbursing employment fees and reminded people of the misconduct reporting process for any concerns.

Control and monitoring of working hours (including days off).

  • Reinforced monitoring of working hours and days off for compliance.
  • Analyzed and adapted shift schemes.

Management of student allowances.

  • Analyzed the practices of all major sites regarding student working conditions and allowances. The next step for 2020 will be to formalize and deploy more detailed corporate guidelines.

Our main third-party audit results

In 2019, our Tours and Rousset sites (France) respectively scored 51 and 58 points above the industry average in their first audits, highlighting the low level of risk. In Catania (Italy), another first-time audit, no priority or major non-conformances were identified, and the audit score was 33 points above the industry average.

Regarding closure audits, our Muar site (Malaysia) was the best performer with full compliance, for which it received RBA platinum recognition. Our other sites received RBA silver recognition and improvement plans have been implemented to reinforce existing social management systems. Furthermore, the internal audit program related to labor and human rights has been strengthened and standardized to foster continuous improvement of our sites’ performance. I 103-3 I

Emmanuelle Luce, Sustainability Champion, Crolles (France) (portrait)
Emmanuelle Luce

Sustainability Champion, Crolles (France)

French labor regulations are already demanding, yet our customers expect more from our manufacturing sites in terms of CSR performance. The RBA audit program is very challenging as it requires us to prove the effectiveness of our CSR management system, but it also enables us to better mitigate our risks and continuously improve our social performance. As the Crolles site (France) Sustainability Champion, I’m proud and enthusiastic to be part of this!”

RBA Responsible Workplace program

Responsible Workplace program workshop (photo)


Continuously improving protection for foreign migrant workers

Building on the Workplace of Choice pilot, the Responsible Workplace program was launched by RBA in 2018 to improve workers’ awareness of their labor rights, develop communication and amplify workers’ voices. Our Muar site (Malaysia) has been engaged in the program from the beginning.

In 2019, 285 workers, both foreign and local, were interviewed anonymously on recruitment and working conditions. The survey results have enabled the site to identify opportunities to enhance employee protection and satisfaction and take action. One of the outcomes was a dialog session with foreign workers to provide more information on their contracts and strengthen the predeparture procedures and documentation.

As well as the surveys, members of the site’s human resources team took part in worker–management communication training and around 150 foreign workers hired in 2019 completed an RBA predeparture orientation program.

RBA audit results for ST operations in 2019 SDG 8.7

Number of audits


Figures from 2015 onwards can be found in the table on People indicators

Labor, Ethics and Management systems

Environment, Health and Safety

Total of major non-conformances


Total of major non-conformances


Working hours


Industrial hygiene


Freely chosen employment


Occupational injury and illness




Emergency preparedness


Supplier responsibility


Occupational safety


Audits and assessments


Energy consumption and GHG emissions


Advancing labor and human rights

As a member of the French business human rights initiative ‘Entreprises pour les Droits de l’Homme’ (EDH), ST’s CEO has signed the French version of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s (WBCSD) call to action for business leadership on human rights. The call to action was signed by top executives from 40+ WBCSD and EDH member companies. It calls on businesses to embed human rights in corporate culture, set clear expectations for suppliers and business partners, and drive meaningful engagement and collaboration with peers, governments and civil society.

Reflecting our commitment to this issue, ST’s Muar site (Malaysia) was invited to speak at the first National Conference on Human Trafficking in August 2019, jointly organized by the National Council on Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants and Joining Hands Against Modern Slavery, a coalition of non-governmental organizations working towards ending modern slavery. The findings and recommendations will be presented to the Malaysian government as part of its preparations for its National Action Plan on Anti-Trafficking in Persons.

Our Calamba site (the Philippines), which holds RBA platinum status, received the RBA Factory of Choice award for its 2019 achievements. The award demonstrates the site’s deep commitment to sustainability and the success of its quarterly ‘employee day’, where workers provide feedback to management on relevant topics, as well as its successful implementation of changes to improve the working environment.

ST Calamba received RBA

Factory of Choice


Contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals

Our commitments and programs as described above contribute to:

SDG 8 decent work and economic growth (official icon)

SDG target 8.7 – Take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labor, end modern slavery and human trafficking, and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labor.

SDG target 8.8 – Protect labor rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers.




100% of priority, major and minor non-conformances closed during the RBA closure audit.

65% of findings closed (26/40).
Objective maintained in 2020.

100% of all manufacturing sites audited every 2 years for compliance with the RBA standard.

100%. 11/11 manufacturing sites audited.
Objective maintained in 2020.