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9 November 2020
CSR: the Fair Wage Network provides tools to help companies develop fair pay practices for direct employees and those of suppliers
The Fair Wage Network was created back in 2009, the day after the first Fair Wage Conference organised by the Fair Labor Association in Washington. The organisation, founded with the aim of regrouping “all actors of the supply chain” and those involved in the field of CSR, who are willing to commit to striving to “promote better wage practices”, has developed a methodology and survey expertise that enables companies – increasing numbers of which are taking the issue of decent wages seriously – to look...
27 October 2020
Switzerland: debate over the ‘Multinationales responsables’ (Responsible Business) initiative intensifies with just one month left before its referendum vote
Launched in 2015 and hotly debated ever since, the Responsible Business initiative that targets all Swiss-based companies and multinationals operating both nationally and abroad, in the areas of human rights and the environment, will finally be put to a popular vote on 29 November. The text being submitted calls for a paragraph to be added to the Swiss Constitution that would intend for...
20 October 2020
CSR: when auditors cease working with companies accused of bad practice
On October 19 the UK subsidiary of the professional services consultancy firm PwC, confirmed it was ceasing its auditing services that date back to 2014 of the online Boohoo clothing sales business. The reason behind the decision to quit are reports of bad practices at a Boohoo subcontractor’s factory in Leicester that found safety rules being violated and workers being paid less than the minimum wage. Revealed by The Guardian newspaper publication, these shortcomings, akin to modern slavery, were confirmed...
23 July 2020
Great-Britain : new app to combat modern slavery in agricultural work
This new UK app aims to inform companies and workers in order to help tackle worker exploitation in the agricultural sector, and is an attempt to respond to labour exploitation situations that have come to light as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. The Farm Work Welfare app was commissioned by the Church of England’s modern anti-slavery programme – The Clewer Initiative – and was developed in collaboration with key organisations in the field, including the UK’s leading labour exploitation...
16 July 2020
United States: California wants to eliminate piecework payment in the clothing industry
Working conditions for female textile and clothing workers in California are expected to improve as a result of the proposed Garment Worker Protection Act. This legislation, authored by South San Diego Democrat Lorena Gonzales, received Senate approval in June and is set to go before the Assembly at the end of July. Barring any last-minute surprises, the Democrat majority-led chamber will approve the text, and Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom will then only have to sign it off. Within the text is the elimination of...
15 July 2020
Germany: federal government confirms adoption of controversial draft legislation on corporate due diligence ahead of the 2021 elections
On 14 July, Federal Ministers of Economic Cooperation and Development, and Labour and Social Affairs, Gerd Müller and Hubertus Heil respectively, confirmed that the draft law on companies’ due diligence as regards compliance with social minimum standards and environmental standards in supply chains would be submitted to the German Bundestag before the current parliamentary term ends...
9 July 2020
CSR: Covid-19 outbreaks in the heart of the EU have uncovered working conditions that are sometimes akin to modern-day slavery
The coronavirus has acted as a messenger. After an entire meat slaughtering sector was stigmatized in Germany, the hot seat of shame has been passed to the British online clothing company Boohoo, accused of using quasi-slavery suppliers and  of contributing to the spread of Covid-19. Both cases have sparked strong reactions. In Germany, measures have been taken to combat the precarious situation in the meat industry, while in the UK, Boohoo is being dropped both by its customers and investors.
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
8 July 2020
South Korea: government re-launches ratification process of fundamental ILO conventions in order to avoid EU trade retaliation
Under pressure from the European Union for non-compliance with the free trade agreement, South Korea’s government announced that it had relaunched the process of ratifying the ILO conventions on freedom of association, the right to organize and bargain collectively, and the prohibition of forced labour (albeit only one of the conventions, with the other still requiring some legal adaptation). This free trade agreement, which entered into force in 2015, intends for these fundamental conventions to be ratified as...
30 June 2020
Asian garment sector on the cusp of a “humanitarian crisis”
An investigation conducted by the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC) has reached an indisputable verdict: the anticipated impact of the Covid-19 epidemic on the fashion and garment industry would represent a veritable “humanitarian crisis”. The first signs began to emerge as early as March, when a report indicated that, in Bangladesh, more than half of suppliers had experienced mass cancellations of orders, either completed or in production, as a result of the pandemic (see article n°11941),...
26 June 2020
Germany: government scales back ambitions for corporate duty of vigilance bill
In an article published on Thursday 25 June, the business daily Handelsblatt lifts the lid on the broad outlines of a bill being prepared, which would introduce a duty for companies to be vigilant when it comes to social and environmental standards in supply chains (Sorgfaltspflichtengesetz). The bill, the presentation of which has been delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic and consequent lockdown, is important as it is intended to serve as a model for similar future European Union legislation that Germany wants to...