Headquartered in the Republic of Korea, KT Corporation, formerly Korea Telecom, is a telecommunications services company founded in 1885 and publicly listed in 1981. KT had 54 million subscribers in the Republic of Korea in 2020. It also operates internationally with a presence in 13 countries across Africa, Asia and the US.
KT supports access to digital technologies through centres providing digital access to children from vulnerable social groups. It also provides discounts to low-income mobile subscribers. KT discloses metrics in reference to its employees with disabilities and has several products to accommodate users with disabilities. The company follows best practice by disclosing how the economic value it generates is distributed among its stakeholders.
Through its programme IT Supporters, KT’s current and former employees have been providing training sessions for the last 14 years to help students bridge the digital divide as well as senior citizens acquire digital literacy.
KT supports open and inclusive innovation through its various open source projects, its venture capital fund, and its support for start-ups, non-profits and social enterprises. The company also supports the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and uses the SDG framework to guide its goals and progress.
KT has an opportunity to support intermediate and technical digital skills development and school connectivity. The company should consider carrying out a third-party assessment of the impact of its existing programmes on advancing digital skills.
Little evidence was found regarding responsibility for cybersecurity at the senior level of the company or how the company monitors and responds to security incidents. KT can make its data breaches public. The company can also provide greater disclosure on its initiatives to strengthen child online safety.
KT commits to respecting human rights and the ILO core labour rights, but it does not require its business relationships to commit to respecting all of the ILO core labour rights. The company identifies, assesses and takes action to address the salient human rights risk in its own operations and in its business relationships. Moreover, it discloses how it engages with stakeholders whose human rights could be impacted by its operations. Additionally, KT has a grievance mechanism accessible to both workers and external stakeholders to raise human rights concerns and complaints.
KT publicly commits to respecting the health and safety of workers, and it places health and safety expectations on its business relationships and monitors their performance. The company also discloses the proportion of its workforce covered by collective bargaining agreements. However, it lacks relevant disclosure in relation to working hours and living wages. For example, the company states that it ensures fair compensation, but it is unclear if this is enough for the employee and their family to maintain a decent standard of living. The company provides a breakdown of employees in different employee categories by gender. However, it does not disclose this information against any other indicators of diversity or provide breakdowns for its entire workforce.
KT has a global tax strategy. However, the company does not disclose if this strategy is overseen by a board or executive-level group or individual. Furthermore, the company does not disclose income tax payments for individual tax jurisdictions. The company also does not have a publicly available policy statement prohibiting bribery and corruption. It does, however, have a grievance mechanism for stakeholders to raise bribery and corruption concerns and complaints. KT specifies that it does not make political contributions, as part of its overarching approach to lobbying and political engagement. However, it does not disclose its lobbying expenditures.