At Benchmark, we employ a comprehensive ethical trading policy that ensures the protection of workers rights throughout our entire supply chain.
Employment is freely chosen
That there is no forced, bonded or use of involuntary prison labour
That workers are not required to lodge deposits or identify papers with their employer and are free to leave their employer after giving reasonable notice.
Freedom of Association and respect rights of collective bargaining
Workers have a right to join or form trade unions of their own choosing and to bargain collectively.
The employer adopts an open attitude towards the activities of trade unions and their organisational activities.
Workers representatives are not discriminated against and have access to carry out their respective functions in the workplace.
Working conditions are safe and hygienic
A safe and hygienic working environment shall be provided. Adequate steps shall be taken to prevent accidents and injury to health arising out of, associated with, or occurring in the course of work, by minimising (as far as reasonably practicable) the causes of hazards in the working environment
Workers shall receive regular and recorded health and safety training, and such training shall be available for new starters as part of the induction process
Access to clean toilet facilities and to potable water and if appropriate, sanitary facilities for food storage shall be provided.
If accommodation is provided it shall be clean, safe and meet the basic needs of the workers.
Child Labour shall not be used
There shall be no recruitment of child labour
Children and young persons under 18 shall not be employed at night or in hazardous conditions.
These policies and procedures shall conform to the provisions of the relevant ILO standards.
Living Wages are paid
Wages and benefits paid for a standard working week meet, at a minimum, national legal standards or industry benchmark standards whichever is higher. Wages should always be enough to meet basic needs and provide some discretionary income.
All workers shall be provided with understandable written information about their employment conditions in respect of wages before they enter employment and about the particulars of their wages for each pay period when they are paid.
Deductions from wages as a disciplinary measure shall not be permitted nor shall 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.
Working hours are not excessive
Working hours must comply with national laws and benchmark industry standards (whichever gives greatest protection).
Workers shall not (on a regular basis) work in excess of 48 hours per week.
Workers shall be provided with at least 1 day off for every 7 day period.
Overtime shall be voluntary and shall not exceed 12 hours per week. Overtime shall not be demanded on a regular basis and shall always be compensated at a premium rate.
No discrimination is practiced
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, union membership or political affiliation.
Regular employment is provided
To every extent possible work performed must be on the basis of recognised employment relationships established through national law and practice.
Obligations to employees under labour or social security laws and regulations arising from the regular employment relationship shall not be avoided through the use of labour-only contracting, sub-contracting and home-working arrangements, or through apprenticeship schemes where there is no real intent to impart skills or provide regular employment, nor shall such obligations be avoided through excessive use of fixed-terms contracts of employment.
No harsh or inhumane treatment allowed
Suppliers provide a workplace in which any form of harassment is unacceptable. Examples include physical abuse or discipline, the threat of physical abuse, sexual or other harassment or verbal abuse of other forms of intimidations.
Entitlement to work
Only workers with a legal right to work in the country shall be employed.
For both workers and agency workers, original documents should be reviewed and then returned to workers to verify right to work.
Labour providers should only supply workers registered with them
Relationships with labour providers should be covered by a SLA which meets all national legal requirements
Labour providers should be independently audited on a regular basis to ensure compliance with national requirements/legislation.