ETHICAL CODE OF CONDUCT
VILDNIS - ETHICAL CODE OF CONDUCT
Social responsibility is embedded in VILDNIS’s foundation, and it is important to us that all workers involved in manufacturing garments and accessories for VILDNIS are treated well and fairly.
All suppliers, including subcontractors, to VILDNIS must comply with the following Ethical Code of Conduct:
- The supplier shall not engage in or support the use of child labour, with children being defined as under 15 years of age.
- The supplier may however employ young workers from 15-17 years old, provided they shall work only outside of school hours if they are subject to compulsory education laws. Under no circumstances shall any young worker’s school, work and transportation time exceed a combined 10 hours per day, and in no case shall young workers work more than 8 hours a day. Young workers may not work during night hours between 11pm and 6am.
- The supplier shall not expose children or young workers to any situations – in or outside of the workplace – that are hazardous or unsafe to their physical and mental health and development.
FORCED OR COMPULSORY LABOUR
- The supplier shall not engage in or support the use of forced or compulsory labour, including prison labour; shall not retain original identification papers; and shall not require workers to pay ‘deposits’ to the organisation upon commencing employment.
- Neither the supplier nor any entity supplying labour to the supplier shall withhold any part of any worker’s salary, benefits, property or documents in order to force such worker to continue working for the supplier.
- The supplier shall ensure that no employment fees or costs are borne in whole or in part by workers.
- Workers shall have the right to leave the workplace premises after completing the standard workday and be free to terminate their employment provided that they give reasonable notice to their employer.
- Neither the supplier nor any entity supplying labour to the supplier shall engage in or support human trafficking.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
- The supplier shall provide a safe and healthy workplace environment and shall take effective steps to prevent potential health and safety incidents and occupational injury or illness arising out of, associated with or occurring in the course of work. The supplier shall minimise or eliminate, so far as is reasonably practical, the causes of all hazards in the workplace environment, based upon the prevailing safety and health knowledge of the industry sector and of any specific hazards.
- The supplier shall assess all the workplace risks to new, expectant and nursing mothers including those arising out of their work activity, to ensure that all reasonable steps are taken to remove or reduce any risks to their health and safety.
- Where hazards remain after effective minimisation or elimination of the causes of all hazards in the workplace environment, the supplier shall provide workers with appropriate personal protective equipment as needed. In the event of a work-related injury the supplier shall provide first aid and assist the worker in obtaining follow-up medical treatment.
- The supplier shall appoint a senior management representative to be responsible for ensuring a safe and healthy workplace environment for all workers and for implementing the health and safety requirements in this ethical code of conduct.
- A health and safety committee, comprised of a well-balanced group of management representatives and workers, shall be established and maintained. Unless otherwise specified by law, at least one worker member on the committee shall be by recognised trade union representatives, if they choose to serve. In cases where the union does not appoint a representative or the supplier is not unionised, workers shall appoint a representative as they deem appropriate. The committee’s decisions shall be communicated effectively to all workers. The committee shall be trained and retrained periodically in order to be competently committed to continually improving the health and safety risk assessments to identify and then address current and potential health and safety hazards. Records of these assessments and corrective and preventive actions taken shall be kept.
- The supplier shall provide to workers, on a regular basis, effective health and safety training, including on-site training and, where needed, job-specific training. Such training shall also be repeated for new and reassigned personnel, where incidents have occurred, and when changes in technology and/or the introduction of new machinery present new risks to the health and safety of personnel.
- The supplier shall establish documented procedures to detect, prevent, minimise, eliminate or otherwise respond to potential risks to the health and safety of personnel. The supplier shall maintain written records of all health and safety incidents that occur in the workplace and in all residences and property provided by the supplier, whether it owns, leases or contracts the residences or property from a service provider.
- The supplier shall provide, for use by all workers, free access to: clean toilet facilities, potable water, suitable spaces for meal breaks, and, where applicable, sanitary facilities for food storage.
- The supplier shall ensure that any dormitory facilities provided for workers are clean, safe and meet their basic needs, whether it owns, leases or contracts the dormitories from a service provider.
- All workers shall have the right to remove themselves from imminent serious danger without seeking permission from the supplier.
FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION & RIGHT TO COLLECTIVE BARGAINING
- All workers shall have the right to form, join or organise trade unions of their choice and to bargain collectively on their behalf with the supplier. The supplier shall respect this right and shall effectively inform workers that they are free to join a worker organisation of their choosing without any negative consequences or retaliation from the supplier. The supplier shall not interfere in any way with the establishment, functioning or administration of workers’ organisation or collective bargaining.
- In situations where the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining is restricted under law, the supplier shall allow workers to freely elect their own representatives.
- The supplier shall ensure that union members, representatives of workers and any worker engaged in organising workers are not subjected to discrimination, harassment, intimidation or retaliation for being union members, representatives of workers or engaged in organising workers, and that such representatives have access to their members in the workplace.
- The supplier shall not engage in or support discrimination in hiring, remuneration, access to training, promotion, termination or retirement based on race, national or territorial or social origin, caste, birth, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, family responsibilities, marital status, union membership, political opinions, age or any other condition that could give rise to discrimination.
- The supplier shall not interfere with the exercise of worker’s rights to observe tenets or practises or to meet needs relating to race, national or social origin, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, family responsibilities, union membership, political opinions or any other condition that could give rise to discrimination.
- The supplier shall not allow any behaviour that is threatening, abusive, exploitative or sexually coercive, including gestures, language and physical contact, in the workplace and in all residences and property provided by the organisation, whether it owns, leases or contracts the residences or property from a service provider.
- The organisation shall not subject workers to pregnancy or virginity tests under any circumstances.
- The supplier shall treat all workers with dignity and respect. The organisation shall not engage in or tolerate the use of corporal punishment, mental or physical coercion or verbal abuse of workers. No harsh or inhumane treatment is allowed.
- The supplier shall comply with applicable laws, collective bargaining agreements (where applicable) and industry standards on working hours, breaks and public holidays. The normal work week, not including overtime, shall be defined by law but shall not exceed 48 hours.
- Workers shall be provided with at least one day off following every six consecutive days of working. Exceptions to this rule apply only where both of the following conditions exist:
- National law allows work time exceeding this limit; and
- A freely negotiated collective bargaining agreement is in force that allows work time averaging, including adequate rest periods.
- All overtime work shall be voluntary, except as provided in 7.4 below, shall not exceed 12 hours per week and shall not be requested on a regular basis.
- In cases where overtime work is needed in order to meet short-term business demand and the supplier is party to a freely negotiated collective bargaining agreement representing a significant portion of its workforce, the supplier may require such overtime work in accordance with such agreement. Any such agreement must comply with the other requirements of this working hours element.
- The supplier shall respect the right of workers to a living wage and ensure that wages for a normal work week, not including overtime, shall always meet at least legal or industry minimum standards, or collective bargaining agreements (where applicable). Wages shall be sufficient to meet the basic needs of workers and to provide some discretionary income.
- The supplier shall not make deductions from wages for disciplinary purposes. Exception to this rule applies only when both of the following conditions exist:
- Deductions from wages for disciplinary purposes are permitted by national law; and
- A freely negotiated collective bargaining agreement is in force that permits this practise.
- The supplier shall ensure that worker’s wages and benefits composition are detailed clearly and regularly to them in writing for each pay period. The supplier shall lawfully render all wages and benefits due in a manner convenient to workers, but in no circumstances in delayed or restricted forms, such as vouchers, coupons or promissory notes.
- All overtime shall be reimbursed at a premium rate as defined by national law or established by a collective bargaining agreement. In countries where a premium rate for overtime is not regulated by law or there is no collective bargaining agreement, workers shall be compensated for overtime at the supplier’s premium rate or at a premium rate equal to prevailing industry standards, whichever is higher.
- The supplier shall not use labour-only contracting arrangements, consecutive short-term contracts, home-working arrangements and/or false apprenticeship or other schemes to avoid meeting its obligations to workers under applicable laws and regulations pertaining to labour and social security.
The provisions of this Ethical Code of Conduct constitute the minimum and not maximum standards, and this code shall not be used to prevent suppliers from exceeding these standards.
Suppliers applying this code are expected to comply with national and other applicable law and, where provisions of law and this base code address the same subject, to apply that provision which affords greater protection of workers.
In the case of announced or unannounced audits for the purpose of establishing its compliance with the requirements of this ethical code of conduct, the supplier shall fully cooperate with the external auditors.
All subcontractors must be audited and approved by VILDNIS prior to the commencement of any work on the brand’s products.