Since our establishment in 1972, Barkers has acquired an unmatched reputation in the New Zealand apparel industry for producing clothes that combine quality materials and classically tailored cut garments to create an effortless style. This success has been built on the principles of honesty, integrity, trust and pride in all our relationships with customers, suppliers and colleagues.
Adherence to these principles has been integral to our success. In accordance with these principles we have an obligation to ensure that those contributing to our success are in no way deprived of their human rights and legal entitlements. At Barkers we want to be sure that we are doing the right things to help protect the future interests of our customers, staff, stakeholders and local & international communities. We therefore commit to this Code of Conduct as the basis of all of our operations and business transactions.
Barkers are committed to the basic principles of human rights in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and other applicable United Nations instruments, and the Conventions of the International Labor Organization (ILO). This Code of Conduct outlines the internationally acceptable standards of employment that shall be ensured and protected under all circumstances by Barkers and our business partners.
Barkers will endeavor to ensure that all suppliers and business partners meet this goal. Any breaches that we become aware of will be sanctioned within the scope of our influence.
This Code of Conduct provides a set of minimum standards only, National legislation or legal requirements which are more stringent than those in this Code of Conduct will in all cases take precedence and shall be observed by Barkers and its business partners. All business partners must guarantee the observation and protection of the minimum standards in this Code of Conduct for each and every person working in their companies, regardless of the type of employment.
Obligations of our business partners
Barkers strive to build continuing business relationships with all of our business partners. We therefore expect that our business partners operate in accordance with the Barkers tenets of honesty, integrity, trust and pride. Thus, respect of this Code of Conduct and its contents is an essential component of conducting business with Barkers. All suppliers must therefore comply with the minimum social requirements contained herein.
Business partners must ensure that this Code of Conduct is easily accessible to all employees and displayed in the workplace in the local language, and orally explained to those who are illiterate. Business partners must ensure that employees are aware of their rights and obligations under this Code of Conduct and the applicable local laws. Business partners must communicate the contents of this code to all their direct business partners and subcontractors and provide adequate monitoring of the implementation of the stipulated standards.
Business partners must appoint persons who are responsible for the implementation of the standards of this Code and name them as contact persons to Barkers
In addition to the basic human rights outlined in this Code of Conduct, Barkers and all its business partners shall ensure full compliance with all domestic legal requirements.
Barkers business partners commit to make all necessary efforts required to ensure compliance with this Code of Conduct and all applicable legal requirements. Business partners are obliged to disclose all documents, data and information that may be necessary for the verification of these efforts to Barkers, or a third party authorised by Barkers. Business partners will also make all facilities available for inspection to Barkers or a third party authorised by Barkers.
However, it is our goal to develop social performance in the production of goods for Barkers. Barkers reserve the right to terminate business relations whenever certain breaches of basic human rights, willful violations of the standard, systematic forgery and/or persistent lack of cooperation are found.
Basic Standards of Employment
- Freedom of Association
1.1. It is the right of employees and workers to set up or join workers' organizations of their own choice (including unions) for collective bargaining.
1.2. When national law restricts the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining, employees and workers shall be allowed to form bodies for the representation of their interest and to enter into direct exchange with the employer (parallel means).
1.3. Workers representatives of trade union members are not discriminated against or penalized because of their membership or affiliation with trade unions and their legitimate activities.
- Working Atmosphere
2.1. All employees and workers must be treated with respect and dignity.
2.2. Any kind of corporal punishment, psychological, sexual or verbal harassment and abuse, and any other form of intimidation are prohibited.
2.3. Disciplinary measures have to be in line with national law and Internationally recognized human rights.
- Working Hours
3.1. Working hours are to be set in accordance with local law and afford the protection of health & safety and the welfare of workers.
3.2. In any case, workers must not work more than 48 hours in a regular working week.
3.3. Overtime must not exceed 12 hours per week on a regular basis, must be voluntary and compensated.
3.4. All employees and workers must take at least 24 hours off after 6 consecutive days of work.
3.5. Suppliers shall comply with national and local laws for worker entitlements to public and annual holidays.
4.1. All employees and workers have to receive payment for work finished in regular working hours, which is at least equal to minimum wage levels, and when possible, the living wage for that location paid, whichever is higher.
4.2. Overtime work must be paid at a premium rate.
4.3. Other employee benefits such as workers insurances, accommodation or accommodation allowances, provision of meals or meal allowances in addition to the basic compensation payments is also encouraged.
- Conditions of Employment
5.1. Employment must be based on a formal document such as a working contract or letter of appointment.
5.2. This document must detail the terms and conditions of employment including wages, period of payment, benefits, leave entitlement and period of notice.
5.3. Deductions from wages not provided for by Law shall not occur without the express permission of the worker concerned, and any disciplinary measures shall be recorded.
- Health and Safety at Work
6.1. The workplace must not harm employees' or workers' health and safety.
6.2. A safe and hygienic working environment shall be provided.
6.3. Access to clean drinkable water, clean toilet facilities, and sanitary conditions for food preparation and storage must be provided.
6.4. Occupational health and safety practices have to be promoted, which prevent accidents and injury in the course of work or as a result of the operation of employer facilities. These safety practices and procedures must be communicated to the employees and workers.
6.5. The same principles apply to all social facilities and accommodation facilities if provided by the employer.
6.6. Suppliers shall provide personal protective equipment is available for workers use and they are trained to use it.
6.7. Safeguards on machinery must meet or exceed legal requirements.
- Forced Labor
7.1. All employees and workers must take up and maintain their occupation with the company based on their own free will.
7.2. Any regulation which limits the employees· personal freedom of movement and any form of forced, bonded or prison labor is strictly forbidden.
- Child Labor
8.1. All suppliers will be subject to Barkers Child Labor Free audit, and must pass this audit compliance to qualify as a Supplier to Barkers. Not withstanding the Child Labor Free audit, every Supplier must comply with the following Code of Conduct as a minimum:
8.2. Child labor is strictly prohibited, as defined by ILO and UN conventions and/or by national law. The age of admission to employment shall not be less than the age of completion of compulsory schooling, and, in any case, not less than 15 years (or 14 where national law permits in accordance with ILO convention 138).
8.3. A business partner will be held directly responsible if violations to the prohibition of child labor are detected at their own production units or at subcontractors' facilities.
8.4. Appropriate measures to improve the situation of the individuals must be taken immediately, considering the age, the social background and the education of the child in order to secure the child's wellbeing in future.
8.5. Regulations for the protection or young workers must be followed, and workers under the age of 18 must not be employed to work at night in accordance with ILO Convention 090.
9.1. All employees and workers have to be treated equally.
9.2. No discrimination is tolerated on the basis of gender, religion, age, race, social background, caste, nationality, ethnic and national origin, membership in workers' organisations, disability, sexual orientation, political affiliation, or any other personal characteristics.
- 10. Environmental Compliance
10.1.Barkers requires all Suppliers to adhere to the highest standards of Environmental compliance sustainable practices and minimize environmental impacts, including but not limited to – water usage, waste water treatment, solid waste disposal, hazardous chemical storage and disposal, air emissions.
10.2.At a minimum all Suppliers will comply with national and local environmental regulations and standards.
10.3.Work closely with Barkers to develop and improve our environmental impact by researching and developing new technologies for cleaner manufacturing of products, use of sustainable and ethical fabrics and components, reduced energy and emissions, reduce waste through innovative use of textile offcuts etc.
Cooperation and Development
In addition to these standards of employment, we expect our business partners to be cooperative and to demonstrate a willingness to support our activities to actively contribute to the development of their countries.
We are particular in our expectation but at the same time we are aware of the difficulties regarding the implementation of some of the standard requirements. In the first instance Barkers will work with the supplier and where possible support to remedy any breaches of this policy, or assist in attainting the required standard whether that support be financial or in the form of training etc. In the event that a serious violation has made it may be necessary to terminate business with the supplier, we offer our support in finding solutions for difficult situations and for the development of the supplier to make re-establishment of business possible.
Furthermore we consider it to be a matter of prudence and fairness to grant reasonable periods for the development of a partner's performance towards compliance with this standard. During this period of development Barkers will strive to support and assist the partner's efforts to improve.
Any person who receives information on breaches of this standard or active infringement of the rights as set out and reinforced in this standard, shall contact Barkers directly and inform us as detailed as possible about violations.
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