Becoming a living wage employer
AstraZeneca in the Pharmaceutical sector has committed to pay a living wage. After having undertaken an in-depth assessment of the pros and cons of implementing the Living Wage, it has first become a living wage employer in the UK.
Monitoring living wage thresholds
AstraZeneca is also making efforts to extend such policy to all other countries from which it operates. In its 2014 Human Rights Employee Practices Review, the company included a number of questions in order to develop a global position on the living wage.
The findings from 106 countries revealed that ‘100% of AstraZeneca countries believed their compensation package met all the needs that are defined as constituting a living wage’, with the conclusion that ‘AstraZeneca rates of pay are better than the recognised standard’.
Since 2018, and with the purpose of ensuring such record over time, AstraZeneca is using the FairWageNetwork database on living wage thresholds (existing in more than 200 countries) to systematically compare average wages among its companies to such living wage thresholds.
A commitment to human rights and to fair pay
AstraZeneca has incorporated in its business process the principles set out in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Labour Organization’s standards.
They are also participating actively in the implementation of the United Nations Global Compact Principles on Human Rights. Fair pay is among those basic principles, and AstraZeneca global reward policies is aimed at serving its commitment to human rights: as indicated in its code of Ethics, ‘we pay what is fair and just for the work our employees do’.
Pay elements are not only enshrined in the code of Ethics of the company, but also in its Global Code of Conduct. The company committed to improve working conditions of women and to improve its performance in terms of gender pay gap and opportunities.
The wage policy as a tool to attract and retain talents
Wage practices also represent a lever in AstraZeneca Human Resources policy. With a global workforce of around 57,500 people in more than 100 countries, and with high value added processes and products, skills and capabilities of its employees are among AstraZeneca strong assets.
The wage policy can help attracting, retaining and stimulating skills and talents through an appropriate policy rewarding competences and performance. As stressed by the company, ‘employees are encouraged to perform and develop to their full potential, and we try to support them by the right organisation design, culture, IT and processes’.