Wesfarmers human rights and modern slavery statement
Wesfarmers Limited (Wesfarmers) opposes slavery in all its forms. This statement is made pursuant to Section 54, Part 6 of the United Kingdom’s Modern Slavery Act 2015 and sets out the steps Wesfarmers has taken to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place in our supply chains or in any part of our business.
From its origins in 1914 as a Western Australian farmers’ cooperative, Wesfarmers has grown into one of Australia’s largest listed companies. With headquarters in Western Australia, our diverse business operations cover: supermarkets, liquor, hotels and convenience stores; home improvement; office supplies; department stores; and an industrials division with businesses in chemicals, energy and fertilisers, industrial and safety products and coal. We work within a large, diverse supply chain of business partners and stakeholders. We recognise that each entity in this chain has its own independent duty to respect human rights.
Supply chain overview
We directly source products for resale from a range of locations. The breadth, depth and interconnectedness of our supply chain make it challenging to effectively manage business and sustainability issues. We require our business partners and stakeholders to adhere to ethical business conduct consistent with our own, and are committed to working with them to fulfil this common goal.
Consistent with the principles set forth in our Code of Conduct and Ethical Sourcing Policy, Wesfarmers is committed to making positive economic, social and environmental contributions to society, consistent with the principles of honesty, integrity, fairness and respect. We prohibit discrimination, forced, trafficked and child labour and are committed to safe and healthy working conditions, including the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining. We will only work with suppliers who operate in line with our Code of Conduct and Ethical Sourcing Policy. Our suppliers must agree to remedy any noncompliances, and to pursue continuous improvement.
Addressing human rights impacts
We recognise that we must take steps to identify and address any actual or potential adverse impacts with which we may be involved whether directly or indirectly through our own activities or our business relationships. We manage these risks by integrating the responses to our due diligence into our internal systems, acting on the findings, tracking our actions, and communicating with our stakeholders about how we address impacts.
- Ethical sourcing audit programs – To mitigate the risk of unethical practices occurring in our supply chains, we apply an ethical sourcing audit program to higher risk suppliers. Suppliers are considered lower risk if they operate in more regulated countries or if they are supplying proprietary brands.
This year, our audit program covered 3,211 supplier sites used to manufacture house-brand products for resale, across our international and local supply chain.
Factories in the audit program are required to have a current audit certificate, which means they have been audited by us or another party whose audits we accept. Those audits identify a range of non-compliances, from minor non-compliances such as minor gaps in record keeping to critical breaches, such as incidents of bribery or forced labour.
Forced labour indicators, such as restriction of movement, intimidation and threats, retention of identity documents, withholding of wages, debt bondage, abusive working and living conditions and excessive overtime are explored as part of the ethical audit formats approved under our audit program.
- Remedy – Where a non-compliance is identified, the supplier site is required to fix the issue, within an appropriate period of time, depending on the nature of the non-compliance. Supplier sites are ‘conditionally approved’ if non-critical non-compliances have been identified and notice has been given that they must be fixed. If a supplier site then addresses a non-compliance, it can move to becoming an ‘approved’ supplier site.
If critical breaches are identified, they must be addressed immediately. If they are addressed satisfactorily, a supplier site can then become approved. In this way, our audit process is contributing to improving conditions for workers by working with supplier site owners to address any issues. If a supplier site is not willing or able to address a critical breach, our business will not continue to buy from that supplier site.
- Ethical sourcing training – We keep our buying and sourcing teams up-to-date on our ethical sourcing commitments and how their actions may impact worker rights. We regularly deliver ethical sourcing training to our team members in our retail businesses and supply chains to refresh their knowledge on this subject.
We continue to build the awareness and knowledge of our employees and workers on human rights, including labour rights, encouraging them to speak up, without retribution, about any concerns they may have, including through our grievance channels. We also promote the provision of effective grievance mechanisms by our suppliers.
We will track and publicly report on progress on an annual basis in our Sustainability Report.