Unilever is an Anglo–Dutch multinational consumer goods company co-headquartered in Rotterdam, the Netherlands and London, United Kingdom and operating worldwide. It produces food, beverages, cleaning agents and personal care products under 400 different brand names.
Unilever’s Code of Business Principles lays out the general principles setting out standards of behavior for all of Unilever’s employees and the third parties who represent Unilever or act on their behalf. Unilever also has a Responsible Sourcing Policy, based on twelve fundamental principles including fair wages, minimum age for work, freedom to join trade unions, respect for land rights of communities including indigenous peoples, and preservation of the environment.
The Unilever’s Code Support Line was launched for those to which the Code of Business Principles applies to ask questions about the Code or report any suspected or actual breach of it. Suppliers, their employees, and their contractors can also use the Code Support Line to report breaches of the Responsible Sourcing Policy. The Code Support Line is an externally hosted confidential web and telephone support line, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Line can also contacted by fax or email.
Who can access it?
The Code Support Line can be accessed by Unilever’s employees, third parties, government agencies, NGOs, members of the public, suppliers, employees of a supplier, and contractors of a supplier.
Unless the complainant identifies his/herself, all reports filed online through the support line are considered confidential and anonymous. If it is important for the complainant to remain anonymous, they should not report information in a manner that may personally identify them.
How does it work?
Actual or suspected breaches of the Code of Business Principles or the Responsible Sourcing Policy can be reported by phone or online. Breaches can be reported confidentially and anonymously (where permitted by law).
Prior to reporting a breach of the code through the Code Support Line, employees should consider communicating their concerns to their Line Manager, local Code Officer, or a member of their local Code Committee (Heads of Finance, Human Resources, Legal and Supply Chain). If these reporting channels prove undesirable or ineffective, employees can resort to the Code Support Line. It can be accessed through the Code Support Line portal. Here, users can choose whether they want to ask a question or raise a concern and whether they want to do this via telephone or online.
The Code Support Line states that any concerns raised will be fully investigated by a Unilever manager/team appointed by the Local Code Committee, and if substantiated appropriate action will be take.The Responsible Sourcing Policy further states that Unilever will investigate any reported non-conformity made in good faith and discuss findings with the supplier. If remediation is required, the supplier will be expected to inform Unilever and implement a corrective action plan and timeline to effectively and promptly resolve the failure.
After submitting a report the complainant will receive a report key, by which the complainant can check back on the status of their concern or question here.