The ETI Base Code
Employment is freely chosen
- There is no forced, bonded or involuntary prison labour.
- Workers are not required to lodge "deposits" or their identity papers
with their employer and are free to leave their employer after
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.
- The employer adopts an open attitude towards the activities of trade
unions and their organisational activities.
- Workers representatives are not discriminated against and 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 employer facilitates, and does not hinder,
the development of parallel means for independent and free
association and bargaining.
Working conditions are safe and hygienic
- A safe and hygienic working environment shall be provided, bearing in
mind the prevailing knowledge of the industry and of any specific
hazards. Adequate steps shall 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 practicable, the
causes of hazards inherent in the working environment.
- Workers shall receive regular and recorded health and safety training,
and such training shall be repeated for new or reassigned workers.
- Access to clean toilet facilities and to potable water, and, if
appropriate, sanitary facilities for food storage shall be provided.
- Accommodation, where provided, shall be clean, safe, and meet the
basic needs of the workers.
- The company observing the code shall assign responsibility for health
and safety to a senior management representative.
Child labour shall not be used
- There shall be no new recruitment of child labour.
- Companies shall develop or participate in and contribute to policies
and programmes which provide for the transition of any child found to
be performing child labour to enable her or him to attend and remain
in quality education until no longer a child; “child” and “child labour”
being defined in the appendices.
- Children and young persons under 18 shall not be employed at night
or in hazardous conditions.
- These policies and procedures shall conform to the provisions of the
relevant ILO standards.
Living wages are paid
- Wages and benefits paid for a standard working week meet, at a
minimum, national legal standards or industry benchmark standards,
whichever is 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 in 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.
- Deductions from wages as a disciplinary measure shall not be
permitted nor shall any deductions from wages not provided for by
national law be permitted without the expressed permission of the
worker concerned. All disciplinary measures should be recorded.
Working hours are not excessive
- Working hours comply with national laws and benchmark industry
standards, whichever affords 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 7 day period on average. Overtime shall be voluntary,
shall not exceed 12 hours per week, shall not be demanded on a
regular basis and shall always be compensated at a premium rate.
No discrimination is practised
- There is no discrimination in hiring, compensation, access to training,
promotion, termination or retirement based on race, caste, national
origin, religion, age, disability, gender, marital status, sexual
orientation, union membership or political affiliation.
Regular employment is provided
- To every extent possible work performed must be on the basis of
recognised employment relationship established through national law
- 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, subcontracting,
or home-working arrangements, or through
apprenticeship schemes where there is no real intent to impart skills
or provide regular employment, nor shall any such obligations be
avoided through the excessive use of fixed-term contracts of
No harsh or inhumane treatment is allowed
- Physical abuse or discipline, the threat of physical abuse, sexual or
other harassment and verbal abuse or other forms of intimidation
shall be prohibited.
The provisions of this code constitute minimum and not maximum standards, and this
code should not be used to prevent companies from exceeding these standards.
Companies applying this code are expected to comply with national and other
applicable law and, where the provisions of law and this Base Code address the
same subject, to apply that provision which affords the greater protection.
Note: We have made every effort to ensure that the translations of the ETI Base Code and
Principles of Implementation are as complete and accurate as possible. However, please note
that in both cases it is the English language documents which should be treated as the official