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February 08, 2013 at 07:45 AM EST
HP Introduces New Responsible Supplier Guidelines for Student, Dispatch Workers in China
Company Launches Industry-First Initiative to Protect High-Risk Workers, Promote Responsible Workforce Practices

PALO ALTO, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 02/08/13 -- In an effort to proactively address the significant increase in the use of student and dispatch workers -- such as temporary, auxiliary and substitute workers -- in manufacturing facilities across China, HP (NYSE: HPQ) today issued new guidelines and measurement processes for its suppliers with operations in that country.

The guidelines are a first for the information technology industry.

HP's new guidelines for student and temporary workers, developed in consultation with key stakeholders such as China's Center for Child Rights and Corporate Social Responsibility, reinforce regulatory requirements while introducing additional "beyond regulatory" expectations for suppliers.

"HP has a history of leadership in proactively addressing labor issues and driving supply chain improvements," said Tony Prophet, senior vice president, Worldwide Supply Chain Operations, HP. "We have worked closely with leading Chinese stakeholders to develop our new student and temporary worker guidelines to ensure the highest standards of ethical workforce management."

In addition to mandating fair remuneration and social insurance, HP's guidelines focus on the following:

  • All work must be voluntary: Student and temporary workers shall be free to leave work at any time upon reasonable notice without negative repercussions, and they must have access to reliable and reprisal-free grievance mechanisms.
  • Local regulations must be reinforced or exceeded: All regulations regarding legal working age, work environment, working hours, and contractual and term limits for student and temporary workers will be reinforced. Additionally, HP guidelines limit student working hours to below the legal limit.
  • Number of student workers must be limited: HP's guidelines specify the acceptable levels of student workers to ensure the direct labor force in manufacturing facilities is composed primarily of full-time workers.
  • Student work must complement the primary area of study: Student workers should only engage in work activities that complement the primary degree they are seeking to obtain.

Suppliers are being asked to comply with these guidelines immediately and will be measured through ongoing social and environmental responsibility (SER) audits as well as HP's key performance indicator (KPI) program, which regularly collects key SER performance information on suppliers.

Moving forward, HP will collect KPI information from suppliers on a more frequent basis to manage supplier performance against these expectations and to address other persistent supply chain issues, such as excessive working hours. In addition, HP is concurrently implementing a new industry-standard audit protocol and collection tool based on recent Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) provisions that have a "zero tolerance" policy for the worst cases of nonconformity to working-hours standards.

"Student and temporary workers are two very vulnerable groups within the Chinese workforce. They are often entering the workplace with limited experiences and support," said Sanna Johnson, executive director, Center for Child Rights and Corporate Social Responsibility. "These guidelines are a clear recognition of HP's commitment to see its workforce as both a resource of today and tomorrow."

These initiatives are a part of HP's larger Supply Chain Social and Environmental Responsibility program and underscore its leadership in managing its supply chain to the highest ethical standards.

HP has one of the industry's most extensive supply chains, comprising more than 1,000 production suppliers, tens of thousands of nonproduction suppliers, and spanning more than 45 countries and territories. The company has developed guidelines and trainings for the management of migrant workers and conducts regular audits of its suppliers to evaluate compliance with its SER standards program, performing more than 898 audits on behalf of more than 813,000 employees since the program's launch.

Worldwide, HP continues to work with suppliers to deliver substantial and lasting social and environmental performance improvements on a broad range of topics, including labor and ethics, health and safety, environment, and management systems.

Additional information on HP's commitment to supply chain responsibility is available at www.hp.com/hpinfo/globalcitizenship/society/supplychain.html.

About HP
HP creates new possibilities for technology to have a meaningful impact on people, businesses, governments and society. The world's largest technology company, HP brings together a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure to solve customer problems. More information about HP is available at http://www.hp.com.

This news release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. If such risks or uncertainties materialize or such assumptions prove incorrect, the results of HP and its consolidated subsidiaries could differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements and assumptions. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including but not limited to statements of the plans, strategies and objectives of management for future operations; any statements concerning expected development, performance, market share or competitive performance relating to products and services; any statements regarding anticipated operational and financial results; any statements of expectation or belief; and any statements of assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. Risks, uncertainties and assumptions include macroeconomic and geopolitical trends and events; the competitive pressures faced by HP's businesses; the development and transition of new products and services and the enhancement of existing products and services to meet customer needs and respond to emerging technological trends; the execution and performance of contracts by HP and its customers, suppliers and partners; the protection of HP's intellectual property assets, including intellectual property licensed from third parties; integration and other risks associated with business combination and investment transactions; the hiring and retention of key employees; assumptions related to pension and other post-retirement costs and retirement programs; the execution, timing and results of restructuring plans, including estimates and assumptions related to the cost and the anticipated benefits of implementing those plans; the resolution of pending investigations, claims and disputes; and other risks that are described in HP's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including HP's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2012. HP assumes no obligation and does not intend to update these forward-looking statements.

© 2013 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. The information contained herein is subject to change without notice. HP shall not be liable for technical or editorial errors or omissions contained herein.

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