PC VENDOR HP has issued guidelines to its Chinese suppliers' factories, including Foxconn, to limit the use of student labour.
Claiming to be the first to do so, HP has announced the guidelines to avoid headlines like those received by its competitors, while at the same time addressing "the increase in the use of student and dispatch workers, such as temporary, auxiliary and substitute workers, in manufacturing facilities across China".
Under the new rules, HP said student and temporary workers must be able to leave their jobs at any time without facing penalties.
The guidelines will also cap working hours for students below China's legal limit, as well as only allowing students to work in jobs that complement their areas of study.
"All regulations regarding legal working age, work environment, working hours, and contractual and term limits for student and temporary workers will be reinforced," HP said. While that's not quite the same thing as saying its rules will be enforced, at least it sounds much the same.
HP said it will ask its suppliers to comply with the guidelines immediately, and the firm will monitor progress through increased audits.
"HP will collect key performance indicators (KPI) information from suppliers on a more frequent basis to manage supplier performance against these expectations and to address other persistent supply chain issues, such as excessive working hours," the company said.
In the meantime, we will just have to wait and see how other PC hardware vendors react to the news. Will Apple follow suit? µ