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Worker Exploitation

Prevent your company being linked with Worker Exploitation

Worker Exploitation – Why do firms need to ensure no worker exploitation in their supply chain? The Qatar 2022 World Cup is a clear example of how the world has become repulsed by the high worker exploitation levels. Over 6,5000 workers have lost their lives, and many more have suffered abuse from their employers.

The 2022 world cup is a once-off singular event, so the public can’t switch to an alternative provider. The best that they can do is boycott the event.

But the critical learning that firms, no matter what size, should be taking away from this tragic circumstance is that the public hates worker exploitation and abuse. Those who are found to be associated with worker exploitation will face a backlash and significant damage to their brand, image and sales.

So this blog has been written to help folks understand the importance of being active and being seen to be engaged in monitoring your supply chain to prevent worker exploitation. Consequently, if you need assistance in this area, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Table of Contents


Why should people give fair treatment to workers?

How to prevent worker exploitation?

What would people do to help prevent worker exploitation?

So what is a code of conduct?

What countries do I need a code of Conduct policy?


Why should people give fair treatment to workers?

There is growing solidarity between people from many different countries to prevent the abuse and exploitation of workers. We see campaigns from organisations such as Fair Trade International and the United Nations on this. They promote awareness to the public about how the product they are consuming can have originated from unethical means.

Today’s public demands that the supply workers involved in their products’ production, processing or delivery are treated and paid fairly. The public expects that when they purchase a product, they support better working conditions and improve the livelihoods of these workers.

They don’t want to see companies or individuals who supply them with their products exploiting workers. Instead, they want to see these firms give fair treatment to workers.


How to prevent worker exploitation?

Today, it is unacceptable for firms to take a stand-off approach to prevent worker exploitation in their supply chain. Therefore, they must be seen to and be able to demonstrate and actively work to improve the livelihoods of all workers in their supply chain, irrespective of who employs them.

First, firms should issue a formal written Code of Conduct Policy to all their supply chain partners. Secondly, they should be sending inspectors to visit the facilities of their supply chain partners to conduct an inspection to ensure that they are adhering to the code of conduct. Finally, all audit reports should be used as a communication aid for the firm to engage with its supply chain partner in areas where improvement is required.

It is also vital to remember that companies may also need to consider companies that use their products and how they treat their workers. I have many clients in this position who use Goodada’s to check their customers.


What would people do to help prevent worker exploitation?

The group of people who have an ultimate say are the public. Suppose there is a public backlash against a product or a firm supplying a product. In that case, there can be significant implications for a firm, its brand and its business.

Suppose it is discovered that a firm has exploited workers. In that case, the first thing to happen is that people will stop buying the products associated with worker exploitation.

Secondly, many staff involved in the firm may question why they would want to work in such a firm.

Thirdly, there will be a spillover to other companies associated with the same supply chain as that firm. People may ask if those firms were also complicit in worker exploitation.

Afterwards, firms will begin dissociating themselves from organisations caught up in a worker exploitation scandal.

Finally, affected firms will need to engage in massive changes in their work practices and undertake a campaign to try and rebuild their brand and company profile.


So, what a code of conduct?

There is a saying that “Prevent is better than Cure”. Thankfully many firms understand the enormous implications of being caught or associated with a supply chain worker exploitation case, even if they do not know anything about it.

So, many firms issue their own “Code of Conduct” to their direct suppliers, supply chain partners, and, in some industries, to their customers. If you want to learn about the Code of Conduct, please visit Goodada’s Code of Conduct page.

A 2014 University of London report indicates that simply putting in a policy does not work. So, firms must demonstrate that they are active in overseeing the implementation and adherence to their code of conduct.


What countries do I need a code of Conduct policy?

When folks ask me what countries do I need a Code of Conduct Policy to stop worker exploitation. I advise that in today’s world of globalised supply chains. Finding an item that is not connected or associated with many different countries and regions is challenging.

So, I advise that firms create a Code of Conduct policy and issue it out to every supplier in their supply chain, no matter what country they are in.

This universal approach with a well-worded policy gives a company a great start to reduce any chances of being associated with worker exploitation. However, they need to back it up by demonstrating that they are actively monitoring and working with companies to improve working conditions and livelihoods. Many firms use Goodada Inspections to conduct Code of Conduct Audits. They use Goodada to demonstrate and show the public that they take the issue of worker exploitation very seriously.


So, how to prevent Worker Exploitation

If you need assistance or support in designing a Code of Conduct Policy. Or if you need an independent party to visit your Supply Chain partners to review their adherence to your company’s Code of Conduct, don’t hesitate to contact me. Goodada Inspections are always available to help.

Therefore, for more information, contact:

Contact Person: Aidan Conaty

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Phone:(Europe/ Rest of the World) +353 1 885 3919 ; (UK) +44.020.3287.2990 ; (North America) +1.518.290.6604

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