Updated 01 2022
This document deals with the standards of conduct and behaviour, which we see as fundamental in our provision of goods and services.
It explains our requirements regarding ethical standards, and although our dealings with customers often take place in cultures, which are different from our own and have a different set of norms and values which we respect, certain standards are universally valid and must apply to all of our commercial activities.
In general, all goods and services provided by HF Group must be produced in conformity with the United Nations Charter, Chapter IX, Article 55, governing international economic and social co-operation with specific reference to workers’ rights and working conditions.
More specifically, this Code adopts the following principles:
1. Supplier Relationships Principles
We seek to develop long-term business relationships with our customers who should have a natural respect for our ethical standards in the context of their own particular culture. Our relationships with customers are based on the principle of fair, open and honest dealings at all times and in all ways. We specifically require our customers to extend the same principle to all those with whom they do business, including employees, sub-contractors and other third parties.
We have specific requirements relating to employment conditions based on a fundamental respect for human rights.
(i) Forced Labour
We will not tolerate forced labour, bonded labour or labour which involves physical or mental abuse. This means that suppliers must not use or threaten workers with any physical punishment, verbal or sexual harassment, or dominate or restrain workers by force, authority or threats.
(ii) Child Labour
Exploitation of child labour is totally unacceptable under any circumstances.
Customers must not employ any person under the minimum legal working age applicable to their country, and under no circumstances must they employ anybody under the age of 14 years.
Wages and benefits paid for a standard week must meet at a minimum; local legal standards or industry benchmark standards, whichever is the higher. In any event wages should always be enough to meet basic needs and to provide some discretionary income.
All workers shall be provided with written and understandable information about their employment conditions with respect to wages before they enter employment, and about the particulars of their wages for the pay period concerned each time that they are paid.
(iv) Freedom of Association and the Right to Collective Bargaining
Workers, without distinction, have the right to join or form trade unions of their own choosing and to bargain collectively.
Worker’s representatives must not be discriminated against and must have access to carry out their representative functions in the Workplace.
Where the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining is restricted under law, the customer will facilitate and not hinder the development of parallel means for independent and free association and bargaining.
HF Group will not discriminate in hiring, compensating, access to training, promotion, termination or retirement based on race, caste, national origin, colour, religion, age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, union membership or political affiliation.
(vii) Working Hours
Working hours must comply with national laws and benchmark industry standards, whichever affords the greater protection.
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 on average. Overtime shall be voluntary, shall not exceed an average of 12 hours per week, shall not be demanded on a regular basis and shall always be compensated at a premium rate.
(viii) Regular Employment
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, sub-contracting, or home working arrangements.
Equally obligations under apprenticeship schemes where there is no real intent to import skills or provide regular employment, must not be avoided, nor shall any obligations be avoided through the excessive use of fixed term contracts of employment.
(ix) Working Conditions
Customers must ensure that they abide by all local laws relating to health and safety in the workplace and residentially where facilities are provided. It is imperative that any amendments to these laws are implemented immediately and that all standards of health and safety are maintained at the forefront of local custom and practice or to benchmark industry standards, whichever affords the greater protection.
A safe and hygienic working environment must be provided.
Adequate steps must be taken to prevent accidents and injury to health arising out of, associated with, or occurring in the course of work, by minimising, so far as is reasonably practical, the causes of hazards inherent in the working environment.
Workers must receive regular and recorded health and safety training, and such training will be repeated for new or reassigned workers.
Access to clean toilet facilities and to potable water, and if appropriate, sanitary facilities for food storage must be provided.
Accommodation where provided, must be located separately from the workplace, be clean, safe and meet the basic needs of the workers.
Responsibility for the observation of the code with regard to health and safety must be assigned to a senior management representative.
Customers are expected to adhere to all local laws with respect to protection of the environment.
It is a joint responsibility of HF Group and our customers to actively work to improve the environment and to proactively pursue any local initiatives that bring about that improvement.
Disclosure and Inspection
We require customers to make full disclosure of all facts and circumstances concerning production, use of sub-contractors and the use of other third parties
We hold you totally responsible for compliance to this Code and require that monitoring is an integral part of the day-to-day management process.
If any customer is found to be in breach of this Code of Conduct and is not prepared to take corrective action, we will not hesitate to end our business relationship including the right to cancel any outstanding orders without recourse to compensation.
The provisions of this Code constitute minimum and not maximum standards, and this code should not be used to prevent customers from exceeding these standards. Customers applying this code are expected to comply with national and other applicable law, and where the provisions of law and this Code address the same subject, to apply that provision which affords the greater employee protection.
Bribery and Corruption
We have a zero-tolerance approach to bribery and corruption in all our dealings with customers. We therefore expect our customers to comply with all applicable laws, regulations, codes and sanctions relating to anti bribery and anti-corruption including but not limited to the UK Bribery Act 2010. Such compliance should include but not be limited to the following:
- A clear statement to all your employees that they are not permitted to pay a bribe or make facilitation payments or other cash payments to government officials to secure or speed up processing of official business;
- The requirement to make charitable and/or sponsorship contributions should not form part of contract negotiations;
- We expect that our customers, their owners & senior management have not been involved previously in bribery and corruption related matters;
We expect you to procure compliance with this section if you engage the services of any sub-contractors or agents or any other associated party in providing goods or services to us.
End of Document