Generic Labour Conditions Question 4

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Question

EN: Does this CoC include at least two of the following workers rights: 1. to have a formally registered employment relationship 2. to have a maximum working week of 48 hours with voluntary and paid overtime of 12 hours maximum 3. to have a sufficient living wage?
NL: Bevat deze Code of Conduct minimaal twee van de volgende drie arbeidsrechten: 1. een wettige arbeidsovereenkomst 2. een werkweek van maximaal 48 uur met vrijwillige, betaalde overuren tot maximaal 12 uur 3. een leefbaar loon?
DE: Beinhaltet der Verhaltenskodex zumindest zwei der folgenden Arbeitsrechte: 1. ein formell registriertes Arbeitsverhältnis 2. eine Arbeitswoche von maximal 48 Stunden sowie freiwillige, bezahlte Überstunden (max. 12 Std.) 3. ein zum Leben ausreichendes Gehalt?

References

The standard for employment security is partly based on ILO Convention 158. The working week standard is based on the “maximum hours of work” ILO conventions nr. 1 and nr. 14.

The issue of ‘living wage’, based on ILO convention 131 (Minimum Wage Fixing) differs from the local minimum wages, that are often not sufficient to cover basic needs. To be clear, a living wage should cover "basic needs": food, water, and shelter, but also sanitation, education, and healthcare. Currently there are some clear references that indicate living wages for each region: the Wage Ladder and the Asia Floor Wage. Also this question refers to criterion 14 'Employment Rights' and 17 'Human Rights' of the Sustainability Code 1 2 from the German Council of Sustainable Development.

Although the ambition for living wages are very high, some companies (e.g. those who are member of the Ethical Trading Initiative ETI, Fair Wear Foundation FWF and companies that follow SA8000) acknowledge this standard, which is a start. We find it is important that companies endorse this labor right, as these companies implicitly and consequently agree to pay ‘fair prices’. Companies can be held accountable for this promise they make.

For further information on this topic you can read the Clean Clothes Campaign article.

Ranking guidelines

Only reward a ‘Yes’ if two of the three standards are clearly mentioned. Please mention in the remark section where you exactly found the statements.

Note that many Codes of Conduct refer to minimum legal wages and industry wages. Following the expertise of the Clean Clothes Campaign, legal minimum wages and industry wages do not always cover living costs. Therefore, only reward a ‘Yes’ on this point for those codes that clearly and unconditionally refer to wages that cover living costs. NOTE: there is a difference in paying living wages, encouraging suppliers to pay living wages and striving to pay all employees living wages. Striving to pay living wages is counted as a 'Yes', only encouraging is considered as not strong enough and therefore counted as a 'No'.


A 'Yes' is also applicable when:

  • ... all the brand products are made in ‘low risk’ countries, see the list as defined by Maplecroft (or the brand has published a Fair Wear Foundation or SA 8000 report where these initiatives specifically state the brand produces only in low-risk countries).
  • ... the brand follows the SA8000 standards and provides a link to SA8000 standards.
  • ... the brand mentions to follow the GOTS or IVN standards.
  • ... the entire production is GOTS or IVN certified. These certifications include labor conditions standards that are based on the ILO guidelines and that are sufficient for this question.
  • ... the brand follows the Fair for Life labor conditions standards for hired labour. For Fair for Life labor conditions standards, see link for labour conditions questions 2&3 below. In Fair for Life labor conditions standards all these standards are mentioned.


A 'No' is applicable when the brand follows the WFTO or BSCI standards, since these standards do not correspond with our measured standards.


NOTE: When a brand is a member of an acknowledged Multi Stakeholder Initiative, but the brand has also published its own CoC on the website, the brand's CoC is decisive.

NOTE: When a brand uses a CoC of an acknowledged MSI, a link to the homepage of this MSI is good enough to use this CoC.

Answering guidelines

Yes:

Rankers Note: for #2, this text has been removed since it's too long: Overtime work may be only mandatory when it is needed and the company is party to a collective bargaining agreement freely negotiated with worker organisations representing a significant portion of its workforce.

  • In FLA Workplace Code of Conduct: 1. Yes, legally-binding employment relationships; 2. Yes, maximum working week is 48 hours and a maximum of 12 overtime, unless clearly defined exceptional circumstances are met; 3. Yes, compensation for a regular work week that is sufficient to meet the workers’ basic needs and provide some discretionary income. http://bit.ly/1rozn2z
  • In ETI Base Code: 1. Yes, legally binding employment relationships (see link, point 8); 2. Yes, maximum working week is 48 hours and a maximum of 12 overtime, unless clearly defined exceptional circumstances are met (see link, point 6); 3. Yes, commitment to implement payment of living wages (see link, point 5). http://www.ethicaltrade.org/eti-base-code
  • In IVN labor conditions standards: 1. Yes, legally-binding employment relationships; 2. No, mentioning of protracted working hours, maximum workweek and hours of overtime is not specified; 3. Yes, commitment to implement payment of living wages. http://www.naturtextil.com/profile/quality-seals/best.html
  • All products are made in [...], which [is a low risk country / are low risk countries] as defined by MADE-BY.

No:

  • 1. Not mentioned; 2. No, maximum working week is [...] hours, but hours of overtime is not specified and it is not clear whether [overtime is voluntary / overtime may be mandatory /]; [OR] No, supplier must comply with applicable laws and regulations regarding work hours, but maximum workweek and hours of overtime is not specified / may be mandatory / Only compliance with local laws mentioned*; [OR] No, maximum working week is 48 hours and a maximum of 12 overtime, 'except under extraordinary circumstances', which can mean anything; 3. No, mentioning of minimum wage / legal wage / industry wage, not living wage / Only compliance with local laws mentioned* (see link, pages ...).
  • 1. Not mentioned; 2. Work hours refer to legal standards but not a specific amount of hours; 3. No, mentioning of minimum and industry wage, not living wage.
  • These rights are not mentioned in [Brand]'s supplier Code of Conduct.

?:

  • [Brand] provides a Code of Conduct (CoC), but this is not a supplier CoC.
  • [Brand] states all suppliers should have signed its supplier Code of Conduct (CoC), but [Brand]'s supplier CoC is not published.
  • [Brand] mentions a supplier Code of Conduct (CoC), but no CoC found on website.
  • [Brand] provides a supplier Code of Conduct (CoC), but suppliers are only encouraged to comply with the CoC.
  • See remark for labor conditions policy question 1.


-* You can pick the topic that applies to 'your' brand.

Note: when linking to a downloadable source document, please refer to the page(s) where to find the respective information with: (see link, page [..]).

Optional, but only for ? Answers, feel free to write at the end of a remark: Sustainability information should be easily accessible for consumers to make responsible choices.

Further resources