UNI Global Union, HK Norway and FSU Norway welcome the launch of Norges Bank Investment Management’s (NBIM’s) Expectation Document on Human Capital Management. The document is an important signal to companies around the world that the massive investor is increasing scrutiny of worker treatment.
The NBIM manages the funds of the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund – the world’s second largest investor with more than $1.3 trillion in assets including shareholdings in more than 9,000 companies across 70 countries.
Importantly, the document includes expectations that employers will respect trade union rights as a pillar of workforce management, stating that: “Good labour relations, including freedom of association and collective bargaining, provide a foundation for companies to adopt and implement human capital management strategies effectively” and that “Companies should engage with workers and their representatives, such as trade unions.”
These expectations reflect one of the key points that the trade unions raised when consulting with the fund manager on the paper’s development: that respect for freedom of association and collective bargaining are not one theme amongst many in being a good employer, but the linchpin.
Nevertheless, the unions are disappointed that the expectations paper did not go further in establishing NBIM’s leadership on human capital management best practices. The unions believe that social dialogue should be fully embedded as an integrated part of workforce management through clear, explicit expectations of trade union involvement within each step of their expectations on policies, risk management, and disclosure.
Most importantly, however, is how this document is put into practice effectively and we look forward to working with NBIM to do so. We have called upon NBIM to: