Swiss Federal Council to update OECD guidelines for multinational enterprises

The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (hereinafter “OECD Guidelines”) are a set of non-binding recommendations on responsible business conduct drawn up by the the governements of the 38 OECD members plus 12 non-member countries. The OECD Guidelines set standards for responsible business conduct across a range of issues such as human rights, labour rights, and the environment. Governments adhering to the OECD Guidelines are required to set up a National Contact Point, whose main role is to inform businesses about the OECD Guidelines and act as a mediation and conciliation platform in the event of conflicts.

Ten years after the last major revision of the OECD Guidelines in 2011, the OECD Working Party on Responsible Business Conduct concluded based on a broad public consultation that the OECD Guidelines needed an updating in several specific areas. The aim is to ensure alignment and coherence with other instruments adopted since the last revision (e.g. UN 2030 Agenda, OECD Due Diligence Guidance).

Switzerland is in favour of updating the OECD Guidelines to take account of key developments, particularly in relation to the environment, human rights and working conditions. In addition, provisions on the responsible use of digital technologies shall be added according to the Swiss Federal Council. Regarding anti-corruption, the inclusion of other abusive practices apart from bribery (e.g. in areas such as lobbying or corporate sponsorships) shall also be examined.

Therefore, on 22 June 2022, the Federal Council agreed a negotiating mandate on updating the OECD Guidelines. Negotiations with the other OECD members shall start this summer and are expected to be completed within a year.

These are the upcoming dates for our Annual General Meetings:

Thursday, 21 March 2024
Thursday, 20 March 2025