Proximus presents a new charter, reinforcing its societal commitments in the context of the fiber roll-out

A Proximus delegation composed of CEO Guillaume Boutin, Chairman Stefaan De Clerck and Corporate Affairs Lead Dirk Lybaert was invited this morning to the Mobility, Public Enterprises and Federal Institutions Commission of the Chamber of Representatives, to give an update on the company’s bold2025 strategy and answer the questions of the members of Parliament. In response to recent press reports, they also presented a new charter, formalizing six specific commitments of Proximus related to fiber deployment sites.

In the wake of the January press reports mentioning alleged violations of social legislation on fiber construction sites, Proximus announced additional measures to ensure that all activities on sites commissioned by Proximus or its partners are performed in full compliance with social legislation, while respecting strict requirements related to the safety and working conditions of employees.

This resulted in a thorough review of internal processes, an evaluation of the ways of working with first-line construction partners and the development of a charter detailing Proximus' commitments related to integrity, ethics and employee wellbeing. The measures discussed in the charter reflect these essential values, focusing on:

  1. guaranteeing the quality of the partners that Proximus works with, through certification requirements and codes of conduct
  2. limiting the number of layers in the chain of subcontractors
  3. ensuring the well-being of workers through strict safety requirements and regular controls on facilities and social administration
  4. offering trainings to partners and their employees to comply with quality,and safety standards
  5. organizing regular evaluation meetings with authorities in charge of Control of Social Legislation
  6. seeking adherence to these commitments by all Proximus subsidiaries with activities in fiber deployment.

The principles of the charter have been discussed with RSZ/ONSS last week.

Meanwhile, it has become clear that the alleged employment of illegal workers was not linked to Proximus nor to its joint ventures. Proximus deplores the angle and tone of voice in some of the mentioned press articles and the reputation damage this caused, based on incomplete or in some cases incorrect information.

The authorities confirmed that based on the elements of the file, there is no intention to issue an infraction report to Proximus. The company acknowledges that a number of infringements, mainly related to the use of the “check in at work” application, have been identified on fiber construction sites of its partners.

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With this charter, we want to underline that ethical behaviour, compliance with social regulations and respect of strict safety and wellbeing standards are of utmost importance to us. We expect all our partners, subcontractors and subsidiaries to adhere to these high standards. I am satisfied that we had the opportunity to clarify some elements to the MPs today, showing that we fully assume our societal role. More than ever, we are committed to collaborating with all parties on an efficient and responsible fiber roll-out, which is crucial for the digital future of this country.