The provenance of our products is something that has become a major concern for many consumers across the west, especially when it comes to the world of technology. Tales of dangerous working conditions, poor pay and non-existent labor laws dog the production of new devices incessantly, making an ‘ethical’ purchase difficult.
Technology companies are aware of this, and Microsoft has become the latest to do something about it, by starting at home. Over the next year, Redmond is to ensure that all of its suppliers based in the USA provide their employees with at least 15 days of paid leave per year. This will ideally comprise at least 10 days of paid leave and 5 sick days, or 15 days of unrestricted paid time-off.
This will apply to suppliers with 50 or more employees in the USA, and eligible workers will have to have been with their firm for over 9 months and have completed significant work for Microsoft. Aware of the extra costs that this will likely incur, Microsoft has also taken extra precautions to make sure that the resulting extra strain will be easy to bear.
Microsoft’s determination to see the welfare of these workers improved is a result of two different factors. The first is simple, better rested workers are happier workers, and happier workers are harder workers; by working to improve the condition of these employees they will in-turn see an improvement in the efficiency and quality of services received, and a greater output of resources delivered. Secondly, and more simply, this is good PR.
Though only a baby step, this is certainly in the right direction. As the technology industry continues to inch further into the public eye, expect to see more developments like this across the coming months.
Do you believe it is Microsoft’s responsibility to ensure the rights of its suppliers’ employees? Let us know in the comments below.Further reading: Apple, Google, Microsoft, Samsung