Mexico: Harmon Hall-01
Compensation, fair treatment, intimidation, management systems
Harmon Hall is a large English language school chain in Mexico, with a network of 110 English schools in 63 cities and over 40,000 students in the entire system. Harmon Hall also has two K-12 schools and plans to grow this business line. IFC provided Harmon Hall with an $7.9 million equity investment.
In December 2011, the CAO received a complaint raising concerns regarding employment rights, healthcare, compensation, and fair treatment for workers employed by Harmon Hall. Specifically, the complainants contend that poor working conditions, inadequate wages, and extensive working hours are contrary to Mexican legal regulations and employment law. The complainants requested confidentiality.
CAO accepted the complaint in January 2012, and initiated an assessment to explore options for addressing the issues raised with the parties. During the assessment, both parties agreed to a collaborative problem-solving process facilitated by the CAO to develop corrective actions in response to concerns raised in the complaint. CAO assumed a monitoring role for a period of six months after the agreed actions were developed and implemented. However, two individual cases within the complaint remain unresolved. Hence, CAO’s dispute resolution function concluded its involvement and a compliance appraisal of the two unresolved cases was initiated on July 23, 2013.
CAO completed the appraisal in August 2013. Having considered the issues raised in the unresolved complaints and conducted a review of documentation related to the investment, CAO has not identified substantial concerns regarding environmental and/or social outcomes, and/or issues of systemic importance to IFC/MIGA of the type that would warrant a compliance investigation.
CAO closed the case on August 30, 2013. CAO's Appraisal Report and Assessment Report are available under 'View Documents' below.
Updated: August 30, 2013