Labour and Working Conditions

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The scope of labour and working conditions assessment and management includes human resources policies, staff and workforce planning, occupational health and safety, equal opportunity, staff development and training, and grievance and bargaining mechanisms.

For hydropower projects at the preparation stage, assessments should establish compliance requirements for the labour force, identify any risks or challenges that have arisen in relation to the project location, and inform the development of labour policies, plans and procedures. At the implementation stage, the focus should be on construction-related activities and implementation plans. At the operations stage, labour and work conditions issues will be centred on operation and maintenance of assets, monitoring and implementation of plans and programmes, and a diversity of corporate activities.

Adhering to good practice in this area can help to protect employee and contractor opportunity, equity, diversity, health and safety. The intent is that workers are treated fairly and protected.

Understanding good practice

International industry good practice in labour and working conditions for hydropower projects is defined in the Hydropower Sustainability Guidelines on Good International Industry Practice (HGIIP).

The guidelines were published by the International Hydropower Association and are governed by the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Council, a multi-stakeholder group of representatives of civil society, industry, governments and financial institutions.

Assessing project performance

Two assessment tools are available to measure hydropower project performance:

The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol (HSAP)  is used by independent accredited assessors to consider whether a project has achieved good and best practice at different stages of its life cycle. Labour and Working Conditions is addressed in P-16 for the preparation stage, I-12 for the implementation stage and O-12 for the operation stage.

The Hydropower Sustainability ESG Gap Analysis Tool is used by independent accredited assessors to help project teams address any gaps against good practice in environmental, social and governance topics across 12 assessment sections. Labour and Working Conditions is addressed in Section 2.

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