Human rights

Respect for Human Rights

Enel is committed to actively support the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. Therefore, the respect of human rights is one of the principles on which Enel's actions are based, it's a constant focus in all the countries in which the Group operates and in every company part of the Group.

On June 16, 2011 the United Nations' Human Rights Council adopted the “Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights”, which highlighted that the rights granted by the International Bill of Human Rights can be very important for companies (for example non-discrimination, rights of indigenous populations, abolition of child labor), and then established that respect of such rights must be a precise responsibility of companies.

In particular, the interpretation of this responsibility under the Guiding Principles adopts an approach which goes beyond the “legal” confines of the company and includes the whole sector: in fact it should be recalled that a company can be involved in human rights' abuses not only when it is the direct cause, but also when it contributes to such abuses or is an indirect accomplice to them.

The provisions of the guiding principles on companies define a framework, that Enel has adopted, structured as follows:


“Safeguarding human rights through appropriate policies and rules”

On February 5, 2013 Enel decided to adopt the approach indicated by the United Nations of “Protect, Respect and Remedy” through the approval by the Board of Directors of a policy dedicated to the issue of human rights, which enhances and expands the commitments already approved by the Code of Ethics, by the Zero Tolerance of Corruption Plan and by the 231 Compliance Program.

The text of the document was the result of six-month long, multi-stakeholder consultations which involved professional staff from the Group (CSR, Human Resources, Legal, Purchasing, Audit, Risk Management, etc.) and important international experts on the issue.

The policy identifies eight principles which the employees of Enel SpA and its subsidiaries must comply with in carrying out all their business, relating to two macro-issues: Labor practices and Communties and Society.
In addition, with this formal commitment, Enel openly becomes the promoter of the respect of such rights by contractors, suppliers and business partners.


“Companies must “know and show” their impacts on human rights and the measures to mitigate and correct them”

Enel performs a specific human rights due diligence process on the entire value chain in the various countries where it operates. Specifically, the process was developed in line with best international practices and includes four phases:

  • Analysis of risk perceived by key stakeholders, at individual country level, with regard to labour rights, local community rights and environment rights
  • Gap assessment to identify and analyse organisational and risk control systems
  • Development of improvement plans
  • Monitoring improvement plans


“Companies must implement remedial actions through judicial and non-judicial systems”

In each Country in which the Group operates, specific improvement plans are defined with actions aimed at covering 100% of operations and sites.

Moreover, wherever stakeholders, whether they are employees or external to the company, encounter a possible violation of the values promoted by the Group, this may be reported (this is also known as whistleblowing) using a process provided for in the Code of Ethics.


Enel Statement against workplace harassment

Enel Group promotes the principles of diversity, inclusion and equal opportunities encouraging a work environment in which people are treated with dignity, decency and respect, rejecting all forms of harassment and offensive behavior with the aim to improve access and participation in work activities and achieve higher levels of wellbeing and quality of life at work.  

This principle is embedded into Enel Group's Code of Ethics and conveniently developed through the workplace harassment policy approved in 2019. The aim of this policy is to disseminate a culture of opposition to all forms of harassment in all places where work activities are carried out and offer adequate tools to deal with situations of this type. The policy provides definitions and indications on the complaints and investigation process and on the related disciplinary and preventive measures and is applicable to employees and third parties working with Enel people in all contexts in which the Company conducts its operations. A summary of this policy is provided below: Enel Statement against harassment.


ILO Guidelines

Enel agrees with the principles regarding fundamental workers' rights and the commitment to respect, promote, and implement them in all the countries where it operates . Such principles are inspired by the Tripartite Declaration of the International Labor Organization (ILO) regarding employment, training, conditions of life and work, and industrial relations, as well as several ILO conventions on the freedom of union association, the prohibition of forced and child labor, and workplace health and safety.

In accordance with the principles of the ILO, Enel values and the commitments and responsibilities contained in the Policy on Human Rights, in 2012 Enel carried out negotiations with international union confederations regarding a Global Framework Agreement. The objective of these negotiations was to create a system for the Group-wide management of industrial relations which fully respects fundamental social rights and working practices laid out by the Policy on Human Rights.

Enel has also joined the ILO's Safe Work Without Drugs & Alcohol project, which aims to help educate workers on the dangers of drugs and alcohol, as well as a number of other health and safety initiatives. Among these is the one promoted and financed by the Italian Prime Minister, which aims to develop a business plan for the prevention of alcohol and drug use in the workplace, complemented by checks already carried out within the business. This programme has three phases:

  • Creation of a focus group between businesses and the Prime Minister's office in order to understand the needs of business;
  • Drug and alcohol training at the ILO's Turin Training Centre;
  • Launch of business plan and definition of preventative initiatives.

The business plans developed will be international in scope and will be extended across the Group.


Human Rights in the supply chain

Throughout the Enel Group, local and international regulation is applied for the protection of Human Rights.
Both Enel and the subsidiary companies of Endesa with its subsidiaries apply general conditions which oblige suppliers to respect the human rights or, in other cases, they provide with a general clause for the respect of applicable legislation.

The following are examples of clauses included in contracts.


“You undertake to endow contracted personnel with conditions which, with regard to regulations and wages, are not inferior to those contained in the collective bargaining agreements in force at the time when and in the place where their activities are carried out, as well as to duly meet your obligations regarding social security, insurance, and anything else required by the laws, regulations, and rules in force. Where provisions of the law and collective bargaining agreements are absent, you must apply the norms established by the single occupational categories concerned.”

Freedom of association

“You must ensure workers – without distinction and without prior authorization – the right to establish trade union organizations of their choosing and to join these organizations in accordance with the latter's bylaws.”

Prohibition of discrimination, abuses, and harassment

“You undertake to treat your employees with dignity and respect, and to not use any form of physical, moral, sexual, psychological, or verbal abuse against them. Furthermore, you must not discriminate against them on the basis of their race, age, gender, sexual preferences, religion, nationality, social or ethnic origins, disability, union membership, or political affiliation.” 


In order to find out more, download the Sustainability Report 2020.

Human Rights Policy

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Enel position on Colombian Coal supply

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