The OCED Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises have been updated to reflect changes in the social expectations on business over the last decade. All OECD member countries and 12 additional countries have endorsed the updated 2011 Guidelines.

The Guidelines are a comprehensive code of conduct that provide recommendations for socially-responsible business conduct by multinational enterprises wherever they operate. This includes New Zealand companies whose immediate operations are domestic, but who participate in an international supply chain, as well as those with international operations.

The Guidelines provide voluntary principles and standards for responsible business conduct in areas such as employment and industrial relations, human rights, environment, information disclosure, combating bribery, consumer interests, science and technology, competition, and taxation.

Although the Guidelines are voluntary, they do provide a format for raising issues about a company's activities and business behaviour. Issues can be brought to the attention of the national contact point (NCP) of the country where a problem has occurred. In New Zealand, the Ministry of Economic Development is the NCP for the Guidelines.

Further information is available on the MED website [click here] and www.oecd.org/daf/investment/guidelines.