Recommendation to exclude G4S PLC from the Government Pension Fund Global
On April 8, 2019, the Council on Ethics recommended that G4S PLC (G4S) be excluded from the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) because of an unacceptable risk of the company contributing to systematic human rights violations.
G4S is a British company that provides security services in over 90 countries. The Council has assessed the company’s operations in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, where its employees are mostly migrant workers. In its assessment, the Council rests on ILO standards on labour rights.
The Council’s investigations show that workers have paid recruitment fees to work for the company, and that workers have taken out loans in their home country to be able to pay the fees. When the workers arrive in the Gulf, they must spend a significant part of their salary to pay off this debt, and therefore have little chance of leaving. Many also received far lower wages than agreed, and in the Emirates, the workers got their passport confiscated. The Council’s investigations also revealed long working days, a lack of overtime payment and examples of harassment.