The corporate principles of ONEA Care GmbH (ONEA Care)

– when providing intermediary employment services for non-EU health personnel –

(as amended on: 04.11.2021)

Preliminary Statement

As a recruitment and consultant company specializing in providing intermediary services on employment of non-EU health personnel (from “third countries”) in the German healthcare system, we aim for supporting our clients faithfully in competing for qualified professionals on a worldwide basis as well as supporting health personnel in new, high-quality working and social environments. The following corporate principles interpret this as an individual liability; we recognize our responsibility for this as a non-governmental entity in the international employment of health personnel. These principles are also mandatory for our business partners in Third World countries. ONEA Care aspires to encourage its business partners to implement these corporate principles and verify compliance with them regularly.

Clause 1

Commitment to the fair and ethical practice of provision of intermediary services

Conscientious intermediation:

As an intermediate party, ONEA Care primarily acknowledges its responsibility to observe legal aspects, particularly the requirements of German labour laws, the right of residence, and social rights. In its agreements with German healthcare clients, ONEA Care only obliges them to enter into contractual agreements with health personnel that comply with the requirements of German labour laws (individual and group labour law).

In addition, ONEA Care aims for creating high-quality working conditions for health personnel that meets German standards and a future working environment free of discrimination. It is also essential for ONEA Care that the health personnel could live freely in Germany, particularly concerning the implementation of freedom of opinion, creation of associations, and realization of personal rights.

In this respect, only an intermediation practice that does not burden health personnel with improper accommodations and thus does not push them for such (life) situations, which may result in a waiver of protective mechanisms and, therefore, a loss of rights and legal proposition, is considered conscientious.

Ethical provision of intermediary services:

A new directive on involvement of highly-skilled professionals, adopted by the EU Parliament and Council in the autumn of 2021, makes it clear that the active policies to involve foreign workers shall not be implemented in fields with a scarcity of labour in (developing) countries. It is unethical to create a “brain drain” situation by hiring or providing intermediary services when employing personnel from specified countries in such professions (additionally see also the declaratory part 41 of the directive). [1]

ONEA Care undertakes not to assist in the employment of professionals from third countries where there is a shortage of healthcare workers so that intermediation would not increase such shortages at a local level.

Moreover, ONEA Care will neither provide nor accept such intermediary services that infringe on health personnel’s rights and legal position. In this regard, ONEA Care establishes appropriate verification procedures, particularly concerning cooperation with business partners abroad, the course of action and way of representation of a client to health personnel, and the selection of its clients.

ONEA Care’s highest priority is to develop such a concept of a medical worker as a person in the intermediation activities that meets the expectations of those in need of care: a dignified and respectful approach that, beyond that, takes into account responsibility for the common good.

Clause 2

Commitment to the so-called WHO Code of Business Ethics for the international recruitment of health personnel (“WHO Code”) [2]

ONEA Care acts as an entity in accordance with clause 2.1 of the WHO Code, which is responsible for implementing the WHO Code and is liable according to its contents. In particular, this applies to the following:

  • provision of the intermediary employment and recruitment services for health personnel in accordance with the principles of transparency, fairness, and assisting the sustainability of healthcare systems in developing countries (clause 3.5 of the WHO Code);
  • ransparent attitude toward health personnel regarding the contractual obligations of qualified staff under any existing employment contracts in their home country (clause 4.2 of the WHO Code);
  • consideration of the principles and liabilities of the Code in all labour relationships organized via intermediation, regardless of the duration of the latter (clause 4.7 of the WHO Code).

Clause 3

Commitment to the concept of freedom from charging for employment assistance under the principle of “payment by the employer” and limitation of binding exceptions

Commitment to the concept of freedom from charging for employment assistance:

Conscientious intermediary services are those that do not burden Third World health personnel with fees and do not require them to waive their rights and legal position because of the current situation of economic pressure. For this reason, ONEA Care offers free intermediary employment services for health personnel. Within the contractual agreements with a client, ONEA Care ensures that payment for ONEA Care services is made solely by a client.

The principle of “payment by the employer” and limiting the use of so-called binding exceptions:

ONEA Care, through contractual agreements with its clients, guarantees the application of the so-called “employer pays” principle; ONEA Care directly accepts responsibility for its observance.

This principle applies to fees, duties, expenses, costs or other financial obligations (collectively referred to as the “costs”) in connection with the employment brokering process to be charged to the medical staff, regardless of the manner in which they are owed or the timing of their repayment. Mainly there are no charges, in particular, no charges for the following services:

  • conducting or arranging job interviews;
  • application for residence and/or work permits (including visas), as well as travel permits (out of the country);
  • any services related to the preparation of documentation, including notarization and translation;
  • medical examinations and obtaining medical reports, including for purposes of background checks, recommendations and safety purposes;
  • transportation services and personnel location in connection with travel from a third country to Germany, including the vehicles used or accommodation prior to moving into the flat in Germany;
  • Checking linguistic and professional skills and abilities before or after arrival, training or orientation.

In this respect, ONEA Care agrees with its customers that in the event of termination of the medical personnel’s employment with the employer, the so-called “binding exceptions” on reimbursement of their expenses for relocation to Germany (including expenses for job placement mediation), as well as expenses for their training and advanced training in Germany are only allowed to the extent that they comply with the principles of German labour law.

The same applies to ONEA Care’s contractual relationship with foreign business partners, in particular language schools, with which the respective medical personnel coordinate language training. If the contract between the medical personnel and the language school includes a so-called binding exception, ONEA Care will require the language school to ensure that such a clause is permissible under the principles of local law. The same applies if there has not been a direct contractual agreement between the medical personnel and the language school, and an outside company is responsible for organizing and conducting the language training.

ONEA Care will establish appropriate verification procedures and include appropriate contractual provisions to ensure this fact in contracts with business partners in third countries.

Clause 4

The rights and legal status of the medical personnel involved in intermediary services

ONEA Care emphasizes the special protection of the rights and legal position of medical personnel. ONEA Care has developed its own corporate principles based on international agreements and guidelines, the stated purpose of which is to protect the rights and legal position of medical personnel in the context of international employment intermediation services.

These include international conventions protecting human rights, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights [3] These include international conventions protecting human rights, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights [4] of December 16, 1966.

The International Labou Organization’s (ILO) Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work of June 1998 [5], as well as the General Principles and Operational Guidelines on Fair Employment as defined by the ILO are also of great importance. [6] ONEA Care also refers to the ILO’s Fair Employment Practices Initiative (FRI).

Also, along with the so-called International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) standards, there are practical proposals for [7] conditions and goals for hiring skilled workers at the international level.

Clause 5

Relevance of corporate principles

ONEA Care will evaluate its corporate principles quarterly, beginning 1 January, 2022, based on the current status and legal status, as well as taking into account individual commitment review procedures and adjusting them as necessary.

Clause 6

Language version

In addition to German, ONEA Care provides these corporate guidelines also in English, Portuguese and Russian.

* * *

[1] It is not yet published in the EU Official Journal; the text is available on the EU website at the following link: https://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/PE-40-2021-INIT/DE/pdf

[2] The title in English is “WHO Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel,” available on the WHO website at the following link: https://www.who.int/hrh/migration/code/WHO_global_code_of_practice_EN.pdf

[3] Available on the UN website at the following link: https://www.ohchr.org/en/professionalinterest/pages/ccpr.aspx

[4] Available on the UN website at the following link: https://www.ohchr.org/en/professionalinterest/pages/ccpr.aspx

[4] Abrufbar über die Webseite der UN unter folgendem Link: https://www.ohchr.org/en/professionalinterest/pages/cescr.aspx

[5] Available on the UN website at the following link: https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—ed_norm/—declaration/documents/normativeinstrument/wcms_716594.pdf

[6] Available on the UN website at the following link: https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—ed_protect/—protrav/—migrant/documents/publication/wcms_536755.pdf

[7] Available on the UN website at the following link: https://iris.iom.int/sites/g/files/tmzbdl201/files/documents/IRIS%20Standard%20Report%20.pdf

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