IRBC Agreements and the role of the NCP
In 2014, with broad support in political circles and from the Dutch Government, Dutch employers and employees began to negotiate International Responsible Business Conduct agreements at sector level. Such agreements - based on the OECD Guidelines for mne's - give businesses the opportunity to extend their influence by collaborating with government, trade unions and NGOs in structured, problem-solving approaches to complex issues.
The agreements have two main goals:
- The first is to improve circumstances for groups affected by specific risks (e.g. child labour, low wages, human rights violations or environmental pollution) within a period of three to five years after an agreement has been concluded.
- The second is to offer a collective solution to problems that businesses are unable to solve, or solve entirely, on their own.
Support for these voluntary agreements is broad. Sectors themselves are initiating negotiations with NGOs, trade unions and government. Agreements have already been concluded in various sectors, and more are currently being negotiated.
Please see the overview of Agreements that have already been concluded or are being negotiated at the SER website. This website also elaborates on why IBRC agreements have been concluded and the stakeholders involved.
The Dutch NCP, responsible for promoting the OECD Guidelines for multinational enterprises, have occasionally been asked to do a prescan of the Agreements to check if they are 'OECD Guidelines proof'.