We wish to partner with manufacturers and suppliers that share our values. This is why we consider them based on whether they adhere to our Code of Conduct for Manufacturers and Suppliers. Our code of conduct is built upon the Ethical Trading Initiative Base Code, which reflects relevant conventions around labor practices made by the International Labor Organization (ILO).
This code is a set of guidelines that encourages the development and maintenance of practices that ensure a safe, free, and dignified workplace. When our partners sign it, they make a commitment to work towards making sure their ateliers adhere to all the workplace practices below.
1. Employment is freely chosen
1.1 No forced, bonded, or involuntary prison labor is to be allowed.
1.2 Workers are not required to lodge “deposits” or their identity papers with their employer and are free to leave their employer after reasonable notice.
2. Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining are respected
2.1 Workers, without distinction, have the right to join or form trade unions of their own choosing and to bargain collectively.
2.2 The employer adopts an open attitude towards the activities of trade unions and their organizational activities.
2.3 Workers representatives are not discriminated against and have access to carry out their representative functions in the workplace.
2.4 Where the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining is restricted under law, the employer facilitates, and does not hinder, the development of parallel means for independent and free association and bargaining.
3. Working conditions are safe and hygienic
3.1 A safe and hygienic working environment shall be provided, bearing in mind the prevailing knowledge of the industry and of any specific hazards. Adequate steps shallbe taken to prevent accidents and injury to health arising out of, associated with, or occurring in the course of, work, by minimizing, so far as is reasonably practicable, the causes of hazards inherent in the working environment.
3.2 Workers shall receive regular and recorded health and safety training, and such training shall be repeated for new or reassigned workers.
3.3 Access to clean toilet facilities and to drinkable water, and, if appropriate, facilities for food storage shall be provided.
3.4 Accommodation, where provided, shall be clean, safe, and meet the basic needs of the workers.
3.5 The company observing the code shall assign responsibility for health and safety to a senior management representative.
4. Child labor shall not be used
4.1 There shall be no new recruitment of child labor.
4.2 Companies shall develop, or participate in and contribute to, policies and programs thatprovide for the transition of any child found to be performing child labor to enable her or him to attend and remain in quality education until no longer a child; “child” and “child labor” being defined in the appendices.
4.3 Young persons under 18, shall not be employed at night or in hazardous conditions.
4.4 These policies and procedures shall conform to the provisions of the relevant ILO standards
5. Fair wages shall be paid
5.1 Wages and benefits paid for a standard working week meet, at a minimum, national legal standards or industry benchmark standards, whichever is higher. In any event, wages should always be enough to meet basic needs and to provide some discretionary income.
5.2 All workers shall be provided with written and understandable information, firstly, stipulating employment conditions in respect to wages before they enter employment, , and secondly, explaining the particulars of their wages for each specific pay period.
5.3 Deductions from wages as a disciplinary measure shall not be permitted nor shall any deductions from wages not provided for by national law be permitted without the expressed permission of the worker concerned. All disciplinary measures should be recorded.
6. Working hours are not excessive
6.1 Working hours must comply with national laws, collective agreements, and the provisions of 6.2 to 6.6 below, whichever affords the greater protection for workers. Sub-clauses 6.2 to 6.6 are based on international labor standards.
6.2 Working hours, excluding overtime, shall be defined by contract, and shall not exceed 48 hours per week.*
6.3 All overtime shall be voluntary. Overtime shall be used responsibly, taking into account all the following: the extent, frequency, and hours worked by individual workers and the workforce as a whole. It shall not be used to replace regular employment. Overtime shall always be compensated at a premium rate, which is recommended to be not less than 125% of the regular rate of pay.
6.4 The total hours worked in any seven day period shall not exceed 60 hours, except where covered by clause 6.5 below.
6.5 Working hours may exceed 60 hours in any seven day period only in exceptional circumstances where all of the following are met:
this is allowed by national law;
this is allowed by a collective agreement freely negotiated with a workers’ organisation representing a significant portion of the workforce;
appropriate safeguards are taken to protect the workers’ health and safety; and
the employer can demonstrate that exceptional circumstances apply such as unexpected production peaks, accidents, or emergencies.
6.6 Workers shall be provided with at least one day off in every seven day period or, where allowed by national law, two days off in every 14 day period.
7. No discrimination is practiced
7.1 There is no discrimination in hiring, compensation, access to training, promotion, termination or retirement based on race, caste, national origin, religion, age, disability, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, HIVstatus, union membership, or political affiliation.
8. Regular employment is provided
8.1 To every extent possible, work performed must be on the basis of a recognized employment relationship, established through national law and practice.
8.2 Obligations to employees under labor or social security laws and regulations, arising from the regular employment relationship, shall not be avoided through the use of labor-only contracting, sub-contracting, home-working arrangements, or through apprenticeship schemes where there is no real intent to impart skills or provide regular employment. Nor shall any such obligations be avoided through the excessive use of fixed-term contracts of employment.
9. No harsh or inhumane treatment is allowed
9.1 Physical abuse or discipline, the threat of physical abuse, sexual or other harassment, and verbal abuse is not allowed.
9.2. Factory housing is forbidden.