Electronics manufacturer Hewlett Packard (HP) has begun imposing limits on the number of students and temporary workers that may be employed in its Chinese factories. Its company policy — Hewlett Packard Enterprise Student and Dispatch Worker Standard for Supplier Facilities in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) — states that during peak production periods, students and temporary workers should not comprise more than 20% of the workforce. Students and temporary workers are frequently hired during periods of high productivity when factories need to fulfil rush orders. They are often subjected to long working hours and low wages.
According to HP policy, students are not permitted overtime, with working hours defined as no more than 8 hours per day or 40 hours per week. Student wages, prohibition of deductions for educational fees and placement fees, as well as the prohibition of work in high-risk or hazardous environments, are also defined in the policy document. Since 2013, the HP audits identified only a limited number of violations of hours and shifts worked by students (including in the 2019 audit cycle). All cases have been investigated and remediated as appropriate.