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.’
Novartis seeks to pay fair wages meeting or exceeding the amount for basic living needs in line with its UN Global Compact commitment.
In 2000, Novartis was one of the first international companies to implement a commitment to pay a living wage to all of its employees. “Living Wage” is a Novartis initiative and commitment to associates, which usually is above minimum wage requirements. Living Wages are updated annually for Novartis by the non-governmental organization Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), adjusting for changes in inflation, food prices, and other market conditions. Living Wages focus on meeting basic living needs for associates and their families, where legal minimum wages tend to focus on poverty levels for individuals.
Each year, Novartis Group companies review salaries for all associates and adjust salaries that fall below the living wage level. In 2018, we widened the scope for the Living Wage survey to be inclusive of all countries where we have Novartis own associates (in previous years the scope was limited to countries with a footprint of 50 employees and above). We covered 106 countries (vs 76 countries in 2017). We identified 56 cases across seven countries where employee wages were below the agreed living wages. Based on the results, our local HR teams have already made the relevant adjustments.