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  • 2016 Corporate Responsibility Report
2016 Corporate Responsibility Report

2016 audit results

A total of 73 social audits, 13 on direct and 60 on indirect suppliers of Deutsche Telekom, were conducted in 2016 through the auditing program set up and managed at Group level. Just like in previous years, our activities were focused on suppliers in Asia, particularly China and a few neighboring countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, India and Vietnam. We also conducted social audits in Mexico, Brazil and eastern Europe.

Audited suppliers included manufacturers in the areas of IT hardware, software and services as well as networks and devices. No cases of corruption or bribery nor any critical violations of compliance policies or the right to intellectual property were found during the audits.


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The 2016 audit results at a glance

Legend: Area (Number of violations)
Antonio Veloso

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Antonio Veloso

Detailed results

We do not audit all of our suppliers (over 30,000) equally but instead focus on strategically important or high-risk supplier groups. We focus on roughly 200 suppliers that are regularly audited every three years. The majority of these audits are conducted within the scope of the Joint Audit img Cooperation (JAC).

A total of 535 violations of Deutsche Telekom supplier requirements were identified during the audits conducted in 2016, 17 of which were unacceptable incidents. The audits also uncovered additional critical findings at 49 suppliers – 197 individual cases in total. Click here for some examples of unacceptable and critical violations as well as the measures taken to improve these situations.

468 of the identified violations (52 of which were critical) were remedied by the end of 2016. The improvement measures had not yet been effectively concluded in the other cases. Most of the violations related to occupational health and safety (47 percent), This reflects an increase of 3 percentage points compared to 2015. The number of corporate ethics violations also increased slightly (from 16 to 18 percent). This can particularly be attributed to inadequate CR management and, especially with regard to procedures and policies, risk assessment, ‑risk monitoring, reporting and training. Working hour violations came in third with 12 percent (2015: 12 percent).

CR report from the previous year

Examples of problematic findings

Area   Findings at suppliers   Initiated improvements Status
(end of 2016)
Business ethics  

No process in place to protect intellectual property or confidential information.


Introduction of a process to protect the intellectual property and confidential information of the supplier and its customers.

Discrimination   All male employees interviewed said they were checked for tattoos during the application process.   Making sure that applicants are no longer checked for tattoos. Ongoing
  Conducting pregnancy tests during recruitment.   Removed pregnancy test item from health certificate report. Completed
Environmental protection   No environmental permit or similar permit obtained from local authorities.  

An environmental permit was issued.

  Improper disposal of hazardous waste from sludge containing aluminum.   Making sure that hazardous waste from sludge containing aluminum is disposed of by a qualified specialist. Ongoing
Health and safety   No effective fire alarm system installed.   Purchased and installed a fire alarm system. Completed
  Emergency exit signs were hung in the wrong places.   The emergency exit signs were repositioned and hung in compliance with legal regulations. Completed
Wages and performance-related remuneration   Overtime was not recorded, making it impossible to assess whether employees were being paid overtime rates specified by law.   Making sure all employees are paid overtime rates specified by law. Ongoing
  Due to a structural calculation error, employees were receiving insufficient basic wages for full hours worked if they did not show up to work on all work days in a month.   Making sure all employees are paid the wage rates specified by law. Ongoing
  Overtime rates for temporary workers were too low.  

Temporary workers are no longer being hired.


Employees being let go were not being paid their final salary payment within seven days as required by law.


Making sure that employees leaving the company receive their final salary payment within seven days.

  Employees did not start receiving social security coverage from their employer until they had completed a two-month trial period.  

The local social security office confirmed that this regulation is permitted by law.

  No union organizations or works council in place.   A union organization or works council is being formed. Ongoing
  Not all employees had full social security coverage and a retirement plan or full maternity leave.   Making sure all employees have full social security coverage as specified under law. Ongoing
  Employees had to pay a certain amount of money as a deposit on work clothes loaned to them by their employer.  

Making sure that employees no longer have to pay a deposit for work clothes or similar.

  Part of the wages exceeding minimum wage as well as overtime were being paid in cash. Payments were documented.  

Wages need to be regularly reviewed as to whether they are fair or at least in line with the subsistence level.

Working hours   Considerably more overtime was being worked that permitted by law.   Measures were taken to gradually reduce overtime so that compliance with national working hour regulations can eventually be achieved. Completed

Child and juvenile labor

  Young employees had to pay the costs for a health test conducted during recruiting themselves.  

Making sure the costs for the health test are paid by the company.


Young employees were working night shifts and overtime.

  Making sure that young employees no longer work night shifts or overtime. Ongoing
Disciplinary measures   Fines were being used as a disciplinary measure. Employees not in compliance with internal guidelines were subject to pay deductions.   Making sure fines are no longer used as a disciplinary measure. Ongoing
  According to work instructions and the employment contract, employees are under the obligation not disclose the amount they are being paid. Violation of this regulation is seen as a serious matter that can lead to termination of employment; it also makes it difficult to exercise the right to collective bargaining.   The reasons specified in the work instructions for determining a serious violation are being reviewed and adjusted as necessary. This particularly applies to the requirement that employees refrain from disclosing wages. Ongoing