Excellent Limited Code of Conduct
Excellent Limited recognise that it is important to take responsibility for how our products are being produced.
Therefore, we, in co-operation with our suppliers and their sub-suppliers, find it important to make sure that this Code of Conduct is implemented and enforced.
We also emphasise that this Code of Conduct is a non negotiable standard of performance, and that we in co-operation with our supplier identify the need for improvements that safeguard this minimum level of performance to be achieved within a pre-determined timeframe.
In this Code of Conduct we focus on the relationships we have with our suppliers. The Code of Conduct is part of the overall Excellent Limited policy framework and is streamlined with other policies that cover areas such as quality, human resources management and environment.
We base our Code of Conduct on the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other relevant international conventions and agreements, and recognize our responsibility to observe those rights that apply to our performance and the performance of our suppliers. The following conditions are to be observed in our supply chain:
Policy and Definition
Excellent Limited does not accept child labour. The word “child” is defined as any person less than fifteen (15) years of age (according to the International Labour Organisation, ILO, Convention nr 138). Unless local minimum age law stipulates a higher age for work or mandating schooling in which case the higher age would apply.
Implementation of Excellent Limited policy on Child labour
We are concerned about the children’s situation of children in many parts of the world. We acknowledge the fact that child labour does exist and can't be eradicated with rules or inspections, as long as the children’s social situation is not improved. We want to actively work with factories and with NGO's (Non Government Organisations) in third world countries, to try to improve the situation for the children affected by our ban on child labour. If a child is found working in any of the factories producing our products, we will request the factory to make sure that the measures taken are in the child's best interest. We will, in co-operation with the factory, seek to find a satisfactory solution, taking into consideration the child's age, social situation, education, etc. We will not ask a factory to dismiss a child without a discussion about the child's future. Any measures taken should always aim to improve, not worsen each individual child's situation. Any costs for education, etc. have to be paid by the factory. We will firmly demand that the factory employs no further children. We recommend factories with predominantly female workers to arrange day care for children below school age.
In countries where the law permits apprenticeship programmes for children between 12 and 15 years of age, we will accept that children of this age work a few hours per day. The total numbers of hours daily spent on school and light work should never exceed 7 (seven) hours (ILO convention No. 33).
The factory must be able to prove that this work is not interfering with the child's education, that the work is limited to a few hours per day, that the work is light and clearly aimed at training, and that the child is properly compensated. If we have any reason to doubt that these conditions are met, such apprenticeship programmes will not be accepted in factories producing products for Excellent Limited.
We acknowledge that according to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, a person is a child until the age of 18. We therefore recommend our suppliers to make sure, that employees in the age group 15-18 years are treated accordingly. Limits for working hours and overtime for this age group should be set with special consideration to the workers' low age.
All workers producing products for Excellent Limited should be entitled to his or her basic rights: We do not accept that bonded workers, prisoners or illegal workers are used in the production of goods for Excellent Limited. i.e. any involuntary or uncompensated labour of any kind, including prisons labour and forced labour.
If foreign workers are employed on contract basis, they should never be required to remain employed for any period of time against their own will. All commissions and other fees to the recruitment agency in connection with their employment should be covered by the employer.
Under no circumstances do we accept that our suppliers or their subcontractors use corporal punishment or other forms of mental or physical disciplinary actions, or engage in sexual harassment. All workers should be entitled to an employment contract.
Freedom of Association
Workers shall be free to join associations of their own choosing. Factories or suppliers must not interfere with workers who wish to lawfully associate, organize or bargain collectively. The decision whether or not to do so shall be made solely by the workers.
The factory shall employ workers on the basis of their ability to do the job, not on the basis of their personal characteristics or beliefs. The factory shall employ workers, pay workers wages and provide benefits without regard to race, colour, gender, nationality, religion, age, maternity or marital status.
Working hours and wages
All workers shall have a working contract stipulating working hours and wages according to national laws and regulations. Working hours shall be in line with national laws and regulations. Where such regulation is lacking or enforcement and control non-existent, workers are not to work more than 60 hours per week (including overtime). Overtime shall be voluntary. Annual leave and overtime payment is also according to national laws and regulations. Minimum wages are fixed according to local agreements or shall at least be in accordance with national minimum wage. Wages shall be paid regularly and on time. The workers should be granted their stipulated annual leave and sick leave without any form of repercussions. Female workers should be given their stipulated maternity leave in case of pregnancy. Dismissal of pregnant female workers is not acceptable. In developing countries, we recommend our suppliers to provide the workers with at least one free meal daily.
Working and housing conditions
Factories must treat all workers with respect and dignity and provide them with a safe and healthy environment. Factories shall comply with all applicable local laws and regulations regarding working conditions including worker health and safety, sanitation, fire safety and risk protection.
The temperature in the factory should be tolerable as a working environment, and the ventilation should be adequate. Heaters or fans should be provided when needed.
The lighting in each workplace should be sufficient for the work performed, at all times of day. Sanitary facilities should be clean, and the workers should have access without unreasonable restrictions. The number of facilities should be adequate for the number of workers in the factory. Sanitary facilities should be available on each floor, and preferably separated for men and women.
If a factory provides housing facilities for its staff, the requirements regarding safety and factory conditions should also cover the housing area. All workers must be provided with their own individual bed, and the living space per worker must meet the minimum legal requirement. Separate dormitories, toilets and showers should be provided for men and women. There should be no restriction on the
Workers’ right to leave the dormitory during off-hours. We want to particularly stress the importance of fire alarms, fire extinguishers, unobstructed emergency exits and evacuation drills in dormitory areas.
Building and Fire Safety
Workers shall have access to free personal protective equipment were required and be trained in the use of such equipment. This includes safety measures for machinery. Factories must be sufficiently lighted and ventilated, aisles accessible, and hazardous materials sensibly stored and disposed of.
All workers should be aware of the safety arrangements in the factory, such as emergency exits, fire extinguishers, first aid equipment, etc. An evacuation plan should be displayed in the factory, the fire alarm should be tested regularly and regular evacuation drills are desirable. All exit doors should open outwards. Exits should not be blocked by cartons, fabric rolls or debris, and should be well lit. If emergency exits are locked, the keys should be placed behind breakable glass next to the doors, and thus be available to all staff at all times.
First aid equipment must be available in each factory, and at least one person in each department should have training in basic first aid. It is recommended that a doctor or nurse should be available at short notice, in case of an accident in the factory. The employer should pay any costs (not covered by the social security) which a worker may incur for medical care, following an injury during work in the factory.
Monitoring and Enforcement
Excellent Limited expects all its suppliers to respect the above Code of Conduct and to actively do their utmost to achieve our standards. We trust our own staff to take a lot of responsibility in their work, and we expect from our suppliers that they do the same.
AGREEMENT, Code of Conduct
Excellent Limited reserves the right to make unannounced visits to all our factories producing goods for Excellent Limited at any time. Excellent Limited has the right to immediately terminate the cooperation and cancel existing orders with the supplier who does not comply with the Code of Conduct, if corrective measures are not taken within an agreed time limit. In such cases we will in co-operation with the supplier develop an action plan, including a timeframe, to secure future compliance.