Respecting human rights
We are committed to safeguarding and promoting respect for fundamental human and labour rights across all spheres where we have an influence, in particular among our employees and our contractual partners.
To demonstrate this commitment, we ensure all our policies and practices are in line with:
- the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- the core international standards of the International Labour Organisation
- UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (“Ruggie Principles”)
In addition, we support the principles on human and working rights set out in the UN Global Compact initiative; regarding specific International Standards related to the insurance sector, the Group signed up the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and subscribed the Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI); both initiatives were created and supported by the United Nations.
The Group's policies and guidelines contribute to ensuring respect for human rights, with particular reference to the Code of Conduct, the Integration of Sustainability into Investments and Active Ownership Group Guideline, the Responsible Underwriting Group Guideline, and the Ethical Code for suppliers.
Together, these Group policies and guidelines contribute to ensuring respect for human rights in all its forms and across all our value chain. For example, the Integration of Sustainability into Investments and Active Ownership Group Guideline filter allows us each year to identify and exclude from our investments those companies that have committed serious human rights violations.
In order to reinforce, where necessary, the controls already in place on this topic, an in depth analysis has been set up, in line with the most important international principles and tools, including the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the core international standards of the International Labour Organisation and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.* The analysis focused on direct human rights risks, i.e., the potential risk of human rights violations for our employees, clients, and suppliers, considering that our indirect human rights risks are already monitored thanks to the human rights criteria expressed in the Responsible Underwriting Group Guideline (RUGG) and in the Integration of Sustainability into Investments and Active Ownership Group Guideline.
For this purpose, we have identified a list of the key human rights potentially impacted by the Group’s operations in the various businesses, such as Equal opportunities and non-discrimination (including equal remuneration), Employee relocation (e.g., migrant workers, displacement), Freedom of association and collective bargaining.
For each of the key human rights potentially impacted by our operations, we identified the tools already implemented to mitigate risks, assessing their level of control, considering it in line with their positioning and practices common to the sector.
The Group will maintain its ongoing monitoring action in order to guarantee an increasingly virtuous and responsible behavior in all of its businesses.
We provide a working environment that is free from any form of discrimination, harassment, intimidation or bullying, and we promote diversity and inclusion, because we believe that cooperation between people with different skills, perspectives, backgrounds and cultures is a key element to enabling business growth and innovation.
We also recognise our employees' right to freedom of association and collective bargaining, and do not tolerate any form of illegal labour or exploitation, or mandatory, forced and child labour.
The fundamental rights of workers are also reiterated in the European Social Charter, prepared in conjunction with the Group's European Works Council, in the Code of Conduct and in the Generali Group’s Charter of Sustainability Commitments.
In-house training on human rights
We believe that it is fundamental to train and raise the awareness of our people in relation to the issues covered in our Code of Conduct. In 2022, 65,474 employees (+11%) have completed the Code of Conduct training courses.
In order to guarantee a responsible business along our supply chain, respecting all the principles of human and labor rights, Generali requires that its contractual partners respect, at all levels of their supply chain, the principles outlined within the Group policies, such as: the Ethical Code for suppliers of the Generali Group, the Code of Conduct for Purchasing and the internal Group Policy for outsourcing activities, as well as the main national and international standards, for example, the Fundamental Convention of the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
We strive to manage the relationships with our suppliers in a responsible way - we oppose modern slavery and human trafficking in all of its forms, and we do not tolerate it in our supply chain.
Compliance with these requirements is guaranteed through specific monitoring procedures. In the event of non-compliance, the Group searches for an adequate solution with the contractual partner and, in worst cases, implements proper sanctioning mechanisms, which could lead to the contract’s termination.
Responsible investments and underwriting
The Group pays particular attention also to the indirect impacts on human rights that can be caused by insurance and investment activities.
In the Integration of Sustainability into Investments and Active Ownership Group Guideline we describe the process by which the potential human rights risks are taken into account in investment decisions. The Group integrates the traditional financial risk assessment with the analysis aimed at detecting policies, performances, practices and sustainability impacts of the issuing companies, in order to exclude companies considered not in line with our principles. In particular, as regards ESG, we consider high-risk investments, financial instruments issued by companies involved in serious or systematic violations of human rights or companies who produce weapons that could violate fundamental humanitarian principles (cluster bombs, anti-personnel mines, nuclear weapons).
In the Responsible Underwriting Group Guideline, the Group has set up a specific process aiming at identifying and evaluating counterparties with a higher exposure to ESG risks, such as the ones involved in the production of weapons that violate the main international conventions and in systematic violations of human rights, in order to properly discuss and evaluate their insurability within the Group. We identify the main ESG risks relating to P&C insurance activities, in specific sensitive sectors, such as defense or pornography.
How we monitor respect for human rights
Compliance with the core international standards of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) is monitored by the Group Sustainability and Social Responsibility and Group HR, which sends a written questionnaire to Group's companies across the world on an annual basis.
In 2022, this monitoring covered 85% of the Group, and generated the following results:
- child labour: there are no group workers under 16 years of age;
- forced labour: the are no cases of mandatory or forced labour, or any other irregular form of labour in the group
- freedom of association and collective bargaining: 95.2% of employees are covered by collective bargaining agreements and, where these are not in force, employees are hired through a formal written employment contract.
How to report a suspected violation of human rights
Alleged human rights breaches can be reported - anonymously where permitted by law - through the channels set out in the Code of Conduct.
* The analysis covered a list of vulnerable groups, such as our own employees, women, children and migrant workers.