Novartis supports the ‘living wage’ principle in the United Nation’s Universal Declaration on Human Rights: ‘Everyone who works has the right to just and favorable remuneration ensuring…an existence worthy of human dignity.’ In fact, Novartis was among the first to sign the UN Global Compact, a commitment to human rights and fair working conditions.
We demonstrate this commitment by paying our employees a living wage. Making this commitment is easy, but calculating a living wage is tough. That’s because standards of living and costs of living vary widely from one country to another. Political and economic factors make the job even more complex. There’s little agreement on what a ‘living wage’ means.
So in 2005, Novartis asked the nonprofit association Business for Social Responsibility to help us determine living wage levels around the world. Together, we developed customized calculations for different countries, and we periodically adjust them to account for changing circumstances, such as inflation.
We’re proud to lead in setting living wages for associates. Each year, Novartis Group companies review salaries for all associates and adjust salaries that fall below the living wage level. In 2013, four associate salaries were adjusted.