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Labour rights

BP operators at Khazzan drilling rig

In our 2018 report, we highlighted concerns related to workforce welfare and labour rights standards that were identified through onsite assessments undertaken as part of our risk-prioritized modern slavery risk management. We used the learnings from the 2018 assessments to inform the development of a more systematic approach to managing labour rights and modern slavery risk.
In 2019 we developed and issued the bp labour rights and modern slavery principles, which have been approved by our group operating and risk committee.
New requirements and guidance on identifying and managing labour rights and modern slavery risks have been introduced into our operating management system to support conformance to the principles. This will help our businesses to assess the risk and put in place effective controls in a proportionate and systematic way, building on existing processes such as supplier pre-contract due diligence, worker induction and contractor management.


bp labour rights and modern slavery principles

We’re committed to respecting workers’ rights, in line with the International Labour Organisation Core Conventions on Rights at Work and we expect our contractors, suppliers and joint ventures we participate in to do the same.


Our expectation is that workers in our operations, joint ventures and supply chains are not subject to abusive or inhumane practices, such as child labour, forced labour, trafficking, slavery or servitude, discrimination, or harassment.


To assist in communicating these expectations to our businesses, contractors and suppliers we’ve developed the bp labour rights and modern slavery principles. The principles clarify our position on a range of issues, including workers having clear employment contracts, employer-pays principles in relation to recruitment fees, and not withholding worker passport or identity documents. They build on and add to the existing high-level requirements and expectations in our code of conduct, human rights policy and supplier expectations.


The principles are now being cascaded through our businesses and will be communicated to our contractors and suppliers through our procurement processes.

Working with contractors and suppliers 

In 2019 we continued working with our contractors and suppliers in response to the labour rights issues and modern slavery indicators identified during modern slavery risk reviews in previous years.


  • The dry dock yard that provides maintenance and repair services to BP Shipping in Dubai has agreed a corrective action plan to address issues among their contractors including remediation of recruitment fees and passport retention. 
  • In Malaysia, a supplier for which we’ve undertaken a pilot labour rights assessment, has completed corrective actions relating to the recruitment and employment of foreign workers.
  • At Oman’s Khazzan and Ghazeer fields, systematic monitoring processes have been put in place, including pre-deployment checks and site walkovers and worker surveys. The number of workers charged recruitment fees in the last two years when mobilized to the site has been significantly reduced. In addition, a contractor self-verification process to assess conformance with bp Oman’s worker welfare and human rights policy has been put in place and is regularly reviewed by bp.
  • In Mauritania and Senegal, we’ve put in place action plans with certain contractors and suppliers to correct issues around inadequate grievance procedures, poor communication of policies and unclear wage information.


Working with others in our industry

We’re working with others in our industry to find ways of standardizing our human rights due diligence and assessment processes. Together we’ve developed a system that enables participating energy companies to share contractors’ responses to a standard human rights due diligence questionnaire.


This approach encourages focus on shared industry expectations for labour rights performance and means contractors need to make just one rather than multiple submissions to energy companies.


It also enables bp and other participants to improve due diligence and respect for human rights in our supply chains.