VITAE APPAREL SUPPLIER CODE OF CONDUCT
We have used the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) Base Code, UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions and environmental laws and conventions including the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Convention on Biological Diversity as a guideline to develop our standards and codes of conduct.
At Vitae Apparel, our objective is to function at the highest level of ethical standards and maintain constant awareness and control of our social and environmental impact. Our “Supplier’’ (including final assembly or other manufacturing facility) Code of Conduct (‘Code’) sets the minimum expectations on social and environmental responsibility for suppliers and also applies to Vitae Apparel.
Vitae Apparel’s suppliers must comply fully with all local and international legal requirements relevant to the conduct of their businesses and must adopt and follow practices which safeguard workers’ rights, safety, and protection of the environment.
It is our intent to only develop partnerships with suppliers who are committed to meeting the standards outlined in this Code and any non-compliance with this Code or with local and international legal requirements will result in the supplier relationship with Vitae Apparel being reviewed and re-evaluated.
Freely Chosen Employment
- All labour must be voluntary.
- Suppliers cannot use forced, trafficked, illegal, prison labour, indentured labour, bonded labour or other forms of forced labour, nor can they engage in human trafficking or slavery.
Freedom of Association
- Suppliers will respect the legal rights of workers to freely, and without harassment or undue penalty, participate in worker organizations of their choice.
- Worker representatives will not be discriminated against and will be able to carry out their responsibilities in the workplace.
- Where, for legal reasons, independent freedom of association or collective bargaining is restricted, suppliers must allow parallel means for association and bargaining.
Safe and Hygienic Working Conditions
- Suppliers will ensure that workers are provided with a safe, clean and healthy work environment, including but not limited to facilities, accommodation, canteens and toilets including free potable water, toilet paper and soap.
- At a minimum, suppliers will comply with local health and safety regulations including building and structural as well as fire and electrical regulations.
- Clean food storage and preparation facilities will be provided if appropriate, and in all cases, clean and potable water will be provided free of charge to all workers.
- New and existing workers shall be provided with regular health and safety training.
- Women who are pregnant will not be required to do work that is prejudicial to the health of the mother or child.
- Suppliers must not use child labour, in line with relevant ILO conventions and national law
- No hazardous or night work is to be completed by any young worker under the age of 18.
Wages & Benefits
- Suppliers will comply with the local requirements for wages and benefits or according to prevailing industry standards. If the two are conflicting the higher standard will be applied.
- At a minimum, wages must always be enough to meet basic needs and to provide some discretionary income. Workers will be provided with clear and written information (e.g. pay checks) at least monthly.
- There will be no deductions from wages without the prior written consent from workers or unless permitted under applicable law. All deductions must be recorded.
- There will be no deductions made for disciplinary purposes.
- Suppliers are responsible to ensure all workers are enrolled in and covered by social insurance, including but not limited to commercial injury insurance where appropriate.
- Suppliers will ensure that the total hours worked do not exceed 60 hours in any seven day period inclusive of overtime, unless exceptional circumstances occur which can be evidenced.
- Overtime must be voluntary and workers must be compensated according to local law or industry standard (whichever is higher).
- Suppliers must give workers a 7th day of rest, i.e., work a maximum of 6 consecutive days or where permitted by national law 2 days off in every 14 day period.
- Suppliers will not practice any form of discrimination in hiring and employment, inclusive of discrimination on the basis of age, race, colour, sexual preference, gender, religion, disability, marital status, union membership or political affiliation.
- Women who are pregnant will not be discriminated against in hiring, training or retention.
- Suppliers must ensure that all workers are covered by all legally mandated requirements or industry standards (whichever is higher), including migrant, juvenile or young, contract/temporary, home workers, pregnant or disabled workers.
- This Code applies to all workers, regardless of worker category or status (including, but not limited to, migrant, pregnant, juvenile or young, disabled, contract/temporary and home workers.
- All work performed must be on the basis of a recognized employment relationship established through applicable law and practice.
- Every worker shall be provided with a written contract, in their own language, that stipulates conditions for the employment. The contract must outline the location, requirements and tasks of the job for which they are being hired for.
- All workers must be informed of, and understand, all employment terms included in their work agreement and / or contract before leaving their original location of residence. Terms and conditions of employment should be provided in a clear, transparent, verifiable and easy to understand manner, and in accordance to national laws, regulations, employment contracts and applicable collective agreements.
- Suppliers must ensure all workers understand the contract details and are provided the contract with reasonable notice for review with a 3rd party if desired prior to signing.
- Obligations to workers, 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, fixed-term contracts or through apprenticeship schemes where there is no real intent to impart skills or provide regular employment.
Harsh or Inhumane Treatment
- Suppliers will treat workers with respect and cannot use or threaten to use any form of physical, sexual, psychological or verbal abuse, harassment or intimidation.
- Suppliers will have formal grievance and disciplinary procedures in place. Suppliers must maintain records of disciplinary actions and grievances received and how they were remediated.
Entitlement to Work
- Suppliers will only employ or use workers with a legal right to work in the country. All workers, including migrant and employment agency staff, must be validated by the supplier for their legal right to work by reviewing original documentation.
- All original right to work (including work permits), identification documentation (including passports and other identity papers), travel documentation, and other personal legal documentation must be retained by the worker.
- Suppliers will only use registered employment agencies.
- Suppliers must not accept any fee or deposit from workers for employment. Fees associated with employment are the sole responsibility of the employer.
- All workers are to have full freedom of movement, including within a country, region or area and to leave a country, region or area.
- Workers must not receive financial penalties or be punished for terminating employment. Workers do not require permission to change employer.
- All workers must have access to grievance process and dispute resolution mechanisms, as well as to effective and appropriate remedies.
Protecting the Environment
- All Suppliers must conduct operations in a manner consistent with local and international environmental laws, regulations and conventions, including but not limited to air, water, land, chemicals and waste management
- Suppliers are encouraged to implement systems to monitor and minimize the impact of their operations on the environment.
- Suppliers must immediately inform Vitae Apparel if they are cited as having breached an environmental limit or regulation at any of their sites.
- A remediation plan for any breaches should be immediately established by the Suppliers and communicated to Vitae Apparel.
- All equipment must be regularly maintained and meet permit requirements.
- Each facility must maintain an inventory of chemicals used in operations and production, including supplier identification for each chemical product and safety data sheet (SDS).
- All employees must be trained on chemical hazards, risk, proper handling and what to do in case of emergency or spill.
- Open burning and dumping of waste on-site must be forbidden and any onsite incineration must be controlled.
- All hazardous waste transporters, treatment and disposal facilities must be licensed and permitted.
- All equipment must be regularly maintained and meet permit requirements.
- Suppliers are not permitted to subcontract any part of the work without the express written consent of Vitae Apparel.
- Any Suppliers or homeworkers proposed as sub-contractors must also meet the standards outlined in this Supplier Code of Conduct
Ethical Business Practices
- Suppliers shall operate in full compliance with all industry regulations and applicable laws as well as Vitae Apparel’s business requirements.
- Suppliers must conduct their business ethically without bribery, corruption, or any type of fraudulent business practice.