Petra is fully committed to upholding the human rights of all of its stakeholders, including its employees, contractors and partners, and as such has a policy of fair dealing and integrity in place in terms of the conduct of its business.
This commitment is based on the belief that business should be conducted honestly, fairly and legally. We expect all employees to share our commitment to high moral, ethical and legal standards.
Our Code of Ethical Conduct explicitly includes ‘Principle 4: Not only do we respect human rights, but we actively advance them’, thereby formally stating our commitment to human rights. The Code sets out and communicates our values right down through the organisation and is an intrinsic part of our employee/contractor induction and training on key ethical matters.
Petra remains firmly committed to actively advance human rights in areas within its control, including gender equality, respect for freedom of thought and association, the prohibition of slavery, child labour and discrimination of customs and cultures. Any violations of these principles can be anonymously reported at all levels within the organisation and from external third parties through the Company’s whistleblowing programme.
The Company complies with and supports the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as all legislation pertaining to human rights in the countries where it operates. In addition, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (the ‘Ruggie Principles’) are currently being studied to identify how these principles could be advanced through the way in which Petra conducts its business.
Human rights issues are covered by our operational policies and procedures, with the Company’s Employment Equity policy and its Disciplinary Code and Procedures expressly forbidding any kind of discrimination. Should a human rights grievance occur, it is either managed through the operational grievance procedures or, where they are seen as substantive in nature, by the collective bargaining processes that are in place with recognised labour unions.
In South Africa we organise training in human rights for union representatives through the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration and they, in turn, disseminate their knowledge to all employees.
We have aligned our principles with the International Labour Organisation Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. This means we have zero tolerance for child labour, forced labour, or discrimination, and we respect the right of our workers to form unions. We are pleased to report that there is no risk of child labour or forced labour taking place at any of Petra’s operations, due to our rigorous recruitment and pre-employment vetting process.
Petra has judged that human rights are not a material risk to the business as the Company operates within constitutional democracies where there are sufficient laws in place to protect human rights.