IWAY has evolved over time. In 2020, IKEA introduced a new generation of requirements and ways of working to reflect the changing world.
"In the past, we demanded that suppliers adhere to our social and environmental requirements, and we spent all our efforts to verify their compliance. However, we realised that audits alone do not motivate our suppliers to develop beyond the minimum requirements. To create a stronger positive impact and continuously develop, there are two essential enablers, besides auditing. One is to empower and have regular conversations with suppliers, and the other is to trust them in leading change. Still, audits remain a very important part of the IWAY system, and compliance is, and remains, important."
Among the new IWAY topics is the response to new forms of work, such as work in the gig economy. It involves independent contractors or freelancers using digital platforms to provide services like home deliveries, installation, or consulting. They work independently and do not have an employment relationship with digital platforms. In addition, laws around labour conditions and the social protection of workers in this emerging economy are relatively new or still being developed.
To address this, Joana and the team worked to create additional IWAY requirements to ensure digital platform workers have decent and meaningful work. Minimum requirements include limiting IKEA-related working hours to 60 hours per week and providing at least six consecutive hours of rest within 24 hours. Furthermore, suppliers should ensure that digital platform workers earn at least the equivalent to the legal minimum wage for IKEA-related services.
"There's a lot of talk about automation and people not having jobs in the future. So, we are empowering suppliers to give their workers opportunities to learn skills that are not necessarily connected to their current jobs but, in the future, will increase their chances of getting new jobs. And why is this so important? Because tomorrow some of the current jobs probably will not exist. And people with different skills will have much better opportunities to adjust", says Joana.