Fair Wear: code of labour practices
A code of conduct, based on The International Labour Organization’s Fundamental Conventions, and applied for fashion companies
The basis of the collaboration between Fair Wear and a member is the Code of Labour Practices. The core of this code is made up from eight labour standards derived from ILO Conventions and the UN’s Declaration on Human Rights. This means the Fair Wear Code of Labour Practices is based on internationally recognised standards which have been set through tripartite negotiation.
1. Employment is freely chosen
There shall be no use of forced, including bonded or prison, labour. (ILO Conventions 29 and 105)
2. There is no discrimination in employment
Recruitment, wage policy, admittance to training programmes, employee promotion policy, policies of employment termination, retirement, and any other aspect of the employment relationship shall be based on the principle of equal opportunities, regardless of race, colour, sex, religion, political affiliation, union membership, nationality, social origin, deficiencies or handicaps (ILO Conventions 100 and 111).
3. No exploitation of child labour
There shall be no use of child labour. The age for admission to employment shall not be less than the age of completion of compulsory schooling and, in any case, not less than 15 years.” (ILO Convention 138) “There shall be no forms of slavery or practices similar to slavery, such as the sale and trafficking of children, debt bondage and serfdom and forced or compulsory labour. […] Children [in the age of 15-18] shall not perform work which, by its nature or the circumstances in which it is carried out, is likely to harm their health, safety or morals.” (ILO Convention 182)
4. Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining
The right of all workers to form and join trade unions and bargain collectively shall be recognised. (ILO Conventions 87 and 98)
The company shall, in those situations in which the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining are restricted under law, facilitate parallel means of independent and free association and bargaining for all workers.
Workers’ representatives shall not be the subject of discrimination and shall have access to all workplaces necessary to carry out their representation functions. (ILO Convention 135 and Recommendation 143)
5. Payment of living wage
Wages and benefits paid for a standard working week shall meet at least legal or industry minimum standards and always be sufficient to meet basic needs of workers and their families and to provide some discretionary income. (ILO Conventions 26 and 131)
Deductions from wages for disciplinary measures shall not be permitted nor shall any deductions from wages not provided for by national law be permitted.
Deductions shall never constitute an amount that will lead the employee to receive less than the minimum wage.
Employees shall be adequately and clearly informed about the specifications of their wages including wage rates and pay period.
To learn more about Fair Wear’s work on Living Wages, click here.
Click here for the Wage Ladder.
6. Reasonable hours of work
Hours of work shall comply with applicable laws and industry standards. In any event, workers shall not on a regular basis be required to work in excess of 48 hours per week and shall be provided with at least one day off for every seven-day period. Overtime shall be voluntary, shall not exceed 12 hours per week, shall not be demanded on a regular basis and shall always be compensated at a premium rate. (ILO Convention 1)
7. Safe and healthy working conditions
A safe and hygienic working environment shall be provided, and best occupational health and safety practice shall be promoted, bearing in mind the prevailing knowledge of the industry and of any specific hazards. Appropriate attention shall be paid to occupational hazards specific to this branch of the industry and assure that a safe and hygienic work environment is provided for. Effective regulations shall be implemented to prevent accidents and minimise health risks as much as possible (following ILO Convention 155). Physical abuse, threats of physical abuse, unusual punishments or discipline, sexual and other harassment, and intimidation by the employer is strictly prohibited.
8. Legally binding employment relationship
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 arrangements, or through apprenticeship schemes where there is no real intent to impart skills or provide regular employment. Younger workers shall be given the opportunity to participate in education and training programmes.