Since 1948, the United Nations has celebrated Human Rights Day on December 10, arising from its Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) A milestone document, it proclaims the inalienable rights that everyone is entitled to – regardless of race, color, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Available in more than 500 languages, it is the most translated document in the world, more than any version of the Bible.
As a “common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations”, the UDHR is a global blueprint for international, national, and local laws and policies with its declaration of 30 basic human rights. and a bedrock of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.
The 2030 Agenda for sustainable development explicitly recognizes it is grounded in UDHR and has to be implemented in a manner that realizes human rights.
So, how does this large topic connect with the rights accorded to your own team, whether outsourced or internal employees?
Well, here are 8 federal rights, mandated in various ways across state lines, that are to be accorded your employees.
- The Minimum Wage
- Workplace Safety
- Health Coverage
- Social Security
- Unemployment Benefits
- Whistleblower Protections
- Family Leave
- Employment-Based Discrimination
However, looking to several of the 30 rights listed on the UDHR, you might find those that, if honored in your work place, can deliver additional strong benefits. See what we mean with this sampling:
- No discrimination – All are entitled to all human rights, regardless of any distinguishing features; when this is emphasized, it encourages all to speak up, even when not sure of the results. Who knows how many ways your employees might help speed results, reduce costs, improve inventory management, etc. if they know they can speak up without fear?
- No torture and inhuman treatment – no degrading treatment or punishment. Letting your team know that bullying, teasing, discriminatory behaviors or language will not be tolerated, certainly eases tensions and improves productivity and absenteeism.
- Freedom of thought and religion – Certainly, freedom of thought, while occasionally may appear out of order, can, if encouraged, provide surprising contributions to your business and produce a stronger sense of loyalty from your team. There are no bad ideas, except those never heard!
- Right to privacy – There can be so many ways one’s private life – whether religious, health or family – can conflict with the expectations of business and one’s job. Do you trust your employees to be truthful when needs conflict and they want to attend to the personal over the professional? Your ability to handle this well can depend on how you establish and implement company values and culture. This can be tricky; we excel at this so don’t hesitate to reach out for some tips on building a company environment that leads to well-deserved trust on both sides.
- Right to education, free in the elementary stages – This can be a huge benefit to you, offering training to your employees. Not only do you improve their skills on your behalf, you also convey your desire to see them grow and advance on your team; it tells them they’re a valuable part of your business.
You’ll find all 30 Human Rights from the U.N. listed here; you may find more than what we’ve sampled here can have impact for your business. We’d love to know! And, next month’s blog will build on this topic as we cover the importance of Civil Rights.