Commenting on today's agreement on a draft bill for a Due Diligence Act, Employer President Dulger said:
Berlin, 12 February 2021 A law to regulate human rights responsibility is and remains superfluous, as many companies have been committed for years and contribute significantly to higher standards, better education and thus growth and prosperity abroad. German business is fully committed to its human rights responsibilities. What is important now is that we need a moratorium on burdens and no more obstacles that are placed in the way of business and thus make an economic upswing more difficult.
The progress made, particularly by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, in the negotiations on a Supply Chain Act is commendable. It is to be welcomed that no new damaging legal action has been created against companies, but the new due diligence obligations represent considerable burdens for the companies concerned. It can also be assumed that the obligations will be passed on to small and medium-sized suppliers, thus creating new bureaucratic burdens far beyond the scope of the law.
However, central questions of detail still need to be clarified. It is important in the further process that there is no tightening and no new additional bureaucratic burdens. The law must also be practicable and implementable in daily practice. We therefore expect due diligence requirements to be limited to human rights issues and directly verifiable suppliers.
Just as German business is fulfilling its human rights responsibilities, we now expect the German government to take action at the international level to ensure that states actually assume their responsibility to protect human rights. The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights should be the benchmark here.