HCL commits to integrating accessible design principles in its products and creating an inclusive workplace. It also discloses the number of people with disabilities it employs. Further, HCL demonstrates leading practice by disclosing how the economic value it generates is distributed among stakeholders.
HCL has a programme for high school graduates providing training in analytics, the cloud, engineering and software development. HCL also provides digital literacy programmes in India and has mobile app development training for youth in the UK. Its charity arm HCL Foundation’s Samuday programme introduces technology solutions for schools in India. The company also supports school connectivity through its Happy Schools programme.
HCL’s commitment to open source standards is evident in its various active open source projects. The company supports the tech start-up ecosystem through a start-up accelerator programme. It also collaborates with universities on research and contributes resources to support university research on sustainability issues.
HCL lacks initiatives that contribute specifically to promoting universal and affordable access to digital technologies. It also has an opportunity to provide digital opportunities for women and girls. Additionally, the company should disclose its income taxes paid and employment in its main markets of operation.
While the company discloses the number of research labs it has around the world, it can improve its disclosure by also reporting the location of these labs. The company can also disclose how it applies ethical considerations in its R&D activities.
Core Social Assessment
The core social indicators assess societal expectations of business conduct that companies should meet if they aspire to be part of a system transformation that leaves no one behind.
HCL has a publicly available human rights policy, and it commits to respecting the human rights that the ILO has declared to be fundamental rights at work. However, no evidence was found that the company carries out human rights due diligence and has a process to identify its human rights risks and impacts. Additionally, while the company has a due diligence process for slavery and human trafficking in its supply chain, it does not disclose a process to identify, assess and take action on salient human rights risks in its own operations and supply chain. HCL does have a grievance mechanism allowing workers, but not external stakeholders, to make human rights complaints.
HCL publicly commits to respecting worker health and safety, and it places health and safety expectations on its business relationships and monitors their performance. However, the company provides no relevant information in reference to living wages, working hours and collective bargaining. For example, the company does not have a time-bound target for paying its workers a living wage. In relation to workforce diversity, the company provides a breakdown of employees in different employee categories by gender, and it has a public commitment towards gender equality and women’s empowerment. However, the company can disclose a breakdown of employee numbers against other indicators of diversity and include its entire workforce in this reporting.
HCL has a UK specific but not a globally applicable tax strategy. Furthermore, the company does not disclose its income tax payments for all of its tax jurisdictions. The company prohibits bribery and corruption, and it includes anti-bribery and anti-corruption clauses in contracts with its business relationships. Additionally, the company has a grievance mechanism for bribery and corruption, but it is unclear if all stakeholders are able to raise concerns and complaints through this mechanism. HCL states that it does not make political contributions, but it does not disclose its overarching approach to lobbying and political engagement in a public policy statement.