The WM Ritchie Group has a long history of manufacturing involvement and, as such, expects that all its suppliers practice ethical and humane work practices. It has the longer term goal of steadily improving the working conditions of all factories that it works with. This includes both Australian and off shore manufacturing businesses.
Our supplier policy also emphasizes the importance of encouraging long term business relationships that particularly enable off shore factories to invest in ethical practices, employee training and higher than average wages with the objective of sustaining and improving the quality of employees’ working life. WM Ritchie also recognises that global influences on employment conditions and human rights are continually changing, therefore we will regularly assess these changes and review our policies accordingly.
WM Ritchie Ethical Sourcing Code of Practice (ESC) The WM Ritchie ESC will be directly overseen and reviewed at director level within our organization. Supplier adherence to the ESC will be regularly reported at WM Ritchie Board meetings. Audits of supplier factories will take place a minimum of 2 times each year but with the objective of reaching 4 times each year. When non-compliance of the ESC is reported, the responsible director will undertake remedial action with the supplier immediately and agree to a review of the improvements within a realistic time frame. If the supplier is either unwilling or unable to make these improvements, then a plan will be implemented to exit this supplier. It is a requirement that our Australian factories will be members of Ethical Clothing Australia.
1. No forced, bonded or involuntary labour.
Workers will not be required to lodge deposits or identity papers with an employer and must be free to leave the work premises when a shift has ended and terminate their employment with due or reasonable notice.
2. Health and Safety
A safe and hygienic work environment must be provided by our supplier factories. The prevailing knowledge of the industry and any specific hazards and local laws and standards will be taken into account. Appropriate procedures will be taken by all factories to prevent accidents and injuries related to the working environment and its processes. Injured workers will be treated with respect with the offer of rehabilitation and the objective of return to normal work. Workers should receive regular health and safety training and new employees informed and instructed in safe operating procedures for their specific duties. Access to clean sanitary facilities, clean and drinkable water and no restrictions to the access of these facilities is mandatory by all factories. If accommodation is provided, it should be clean and safe. A sanitary food storage and preparation area must be provided. The responsibility for health and safety within the work environment will be assigned to a senior manager.
3. Wages and Benefits
Terms and conditions of employment must be communicated clearly to all workers. Wages must be paid according to the national law or industry benchmark, whichever is the greater. There will be an emphasis on the ‘living wage’ and the ability for workers to have some discretional savings. Wages must be paid at regular intervals, according to national or industry benchmarks. Any deductions not provided for by national laws are not permitted without the expressed permission of the worker.
4. Working Hours
Workers shall not work in excess of the lesser of (a) the limits on regular and overtime hours allowed by local and national law, or (b) 50 hours a week on a regularly scheduled basis, including overtime. Workers shall be guaranteed one day off every consecutive seven-day period. Overtime shall be voluntary only and workers shall be paid in accordance with national law.
5. Child Labour
Child labour must not be used and suppliers can only employ workers who meet the minimum standard as stipulated by national laws. This policy will be severely enforced.
6. Equal Treatment
Suppliers and their factories shall not discriminate in the hiring, compensation, access to training, promotion, termination or retirement on the basis of race, caste, national origin, religion, age, disability, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, union membership or political affiliation.
7. Freedom of Association
Suppliers must ensure that their workers have the right to join or not join trade unions, workers’ associations and the ability to bargain collectively. The factory must recognize the rights of union organisations to exist and to represent workers in a constructive and peaceful way.
Physical abuse, the threat of physical abuse, sexual or other forms of harassment, verbal abuse and other types of intimidation will never be used by a supplier or factory in relation to their workers. The deduction of wages as a disciplinary measure will not be used. All disciplinary measures will be documented. All new suppliers must meet the base standards of our ESC before WM Ritchie will work with them. Factory visits will be made to discuss our ethical trading requirements and current adherence to our ESC. Only when WM Ritchie is clear that a supplier has shown a genuine commitment to ethical trading will a business relationship commence.
WM Ritchie Management Board July 2016