We are committed to respecting the rights of all our workers, whether they be permanent, temporary or casual, indigenous or immigrants from other Indonesian islands or elsewhere.

Training and skills

The Group undertakes to train and motivate its staff and workforce, to help employees improve their skill levels and to extend their education and qualifications. It has built a first-class residential training facility on its project in East Kalimantan. Training also takes place in the field. For example, sprayers applying chemicals or pesticides in the field are given suitable training and provided with appropriate protective clothing and masks; showering facilities are available and required to be used, and sprayers receive regular medical checks.

Safety, health and housing

The Group gives priority to the health and safety of its employees, whether permanent, temporary or casual, and those affected by its activities. The managers of all of the Group's estates and mills hold a monthly meeting with key staff to review health and safety. During 2017, independent health and safety inspections were carried out on the Group's North Sumatran and Kalimantan estates. There were no fatalities amongst its workforce or contractors working on its estates during 2017.

Medical care is provided on the plantations in polyclinics staffed on a daily basis by trained employees. Additionally, doctors visit these clinics once or twice a week. On its Kalimantan project, the Group employs a full-time doctor. The Group pays for hospital treatment if this is required.

The Group provides good-quality housing for its employees, together with clean, potable water and proper sanitation. Kindergartens are provided for very young children, as is transport for older children to nearby government schools. In remote locations, where schools are not available, the Group assists by providing land and some buildings so that government schools can operate on the plantations.

Legal rights

The Group makes sure the statutory rights of all its workers are respected and we are committed to consulting our workers. Workers are all represented by a trades union for collective wage bargaining and discussion of health, safety and other matters affecting employees. The Group ‘s wages are never less than the minimum wage set by the provincial government. In 2017, some 27% of the Group's employees were women; the Group operates gender committees on all its estates intended to encourage participation of women in the workforce. We have clear policies, strictly enforced, to prevent children working or any form of forced labour.

In shaping its relationship with its employees, smallholders, service providers and suppliers, the Group endorses the relevant conventions of the International Labour Organisation. These are: 29 and 105 (forced labour); 87 and 98 (freedom of association, right to organise and collective bargaining); 100 (equal pay for men and women); 111 (anti-discrimination); 138 and 182 (child labour).

The Group has a whistleblowing line which all employees can use to raise issues of concern. Phone calls can be made anonymously to the head of the Group's Indonesian internal audit department (+62 813 7602 9872), or by email to different addresses in Indonesia or the UK (abc.indonesia@mpevans.co.uk; abc.uk@mpevans.co.uk). Where known, the identity of any caller is protected, generally being restricted to the head of internal audit and our Indonesian President director. By preserving their anonymity, we defend whistle blowers from reactions by others. The Group rewards those who bring forward material concerns through confidential annual appraisals.