Indicator 6.2.6 of the RSPO Principles and Criteria (P&C) 2018 requires that a Decent Living Wage (DLW) is paid to all workers. The indicator further contained a Procedural Note stating that the Secretariat will endeavour to carry out DLW country benchmarks for palm oil producing countries in which RSPO members operate and for which no Global Living Wage Coalition (GLWC) benchmarks exist. To that effect, the RSPO has published a guidance on the method for calculating a DLW in June 2019. However, in the absence of benchmarks, the National Interpretation Working Groups (NIWGs) have found it challenging to interpret Indicator 6.2.6 into the context of their respective National Interpretation (NI) of the P&C.
Considering this, the Standards Standing Committee has developed a framework on DLW for NI to be used as an interim measure in interpreting Indicator 6.2.6 pending the establishment of RSPO endorsed DLW benchmarks in the respective countries. This interim measure was endorsed by the RSPO Board of Governors on 7th November 2019.
In this regard, RSPO has developed a strategy which includes streamlining initiatives and activities on DLW benchmarking, through partnership with other schemes and/or collaboration with other relevant stakeholders. The benchmarking exercises will be led by the RSPO Secretariat in consultation with relevant stakeholders in their respective countries.
The interim measure requires that for countries where no living wage standard is established, until such time that an RSPO endorsed benchmark for the country is in place, national minimum wages shall be paid to all workers.
In addition, the Unit of Certification (UoC) shall conduct an assessment of the prevailing wages and in-kind benefits provided to workers in the UoC aligned with the RSPO Guidance for Implementing a Decent Living Wage and the RSPO Guidance on Calculating Prevailing Wages which is available in PDF format. A separate excel sheet i.e. a tool for calculating the value of housing in the UoC is also provided to assist RSPO members with their respective assessments. The RSPO Secretariat will organise capacity building, training and other socialisation programs for the relevant stakeholders on this matter.
For countries which are currently developing or will be developing their National Interpretation, this interim measure will replace the text, under the Procedural Note of indicator 6.2.6 of the P&C 2018.
For any further queries, kindly contact Kamini Visvananthan at [email protected].