Aurora Objektwäsche GmbH - Code of ConductThis Aurora Objektwäsche GmbH code of conduct, dated April 2021, stipulates the values and principles the suppliers of aurora Objektwäsche GmbH (hereinafter referred to as “aurora”) have committed to implementing in their supply chains.
This code of conduct has been established in accordance with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the OECD Guidelines, the ILO Core Labor Standards, the amfori BSCI Code of Conduct (January 2014), and the applicable legal framework.
The code of conduct contains the following sections:
II. Basic requirements to business partners
This code of conduct lays out a set of principles and values that reflect the beliefs of aurora Objektwäsche GmbH and its expectations towards its business partners.
The aurora code of conduct is based on international conventions such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Guidelines on Children’s Rights and Entrepreneurship, the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the OECD Guidelines, the amfori BSCI Code of Conduct, as well as the UN Global Compact and the International Labor Organization (ILO) Conventions and Recommendations that are essential for improving working conditions in the supply chain.
Business partners who adopt the aurora Code of Conduct must comply with the principles set out in this document and meet their responsibilities to respect human rights within their spheres of influence.
aurora Objektwäsche GmbH maintains a constructive and open dialog with its business partners and stakeholders in order to support the principles of socially responsible business.
Apart from this, it considers the establishment of stable working relationships between employees and management to be an indispensable prerequisite for sustainable economic activity.
II. Basic requirements to business partners
aurora Objektwäsche GmbH expects that all of its business partners comply with the aurora code of conduct. Business partners monitored for compliance with the principles below also must document that they (a) take all necessary steps to ensure their own compliance with the aurora code of conduct, and (b) take reasonable steps to ensure that all of their own business partners that are involved in the production processes comply with the aurora code of conduct as well.
Right to Freedom of Association and Right to Collective Bargaining
(a) respect the right of workers to form trade unions in a free and democratic manner;
(b) do not discriminate against workers on the basis of trade union membership; and
(c) respect the right of workers to use collective bargaining.
Business partners shall not prevent workers’ representatives from contacting or interacting with workers in the workplace. When operating in countries where trade union activity is illegal or where free and democratic trade union activity is not permitted, business partners shall consider this principle by allowing workers to freely choose their own representatives with whom the company can maintain a dialog on workplace issues.
Business partners must not discriminate against, exclude, or favor any persons based on their gender, age, religion, race, caste, birth, social background, disability, ethnic or national origin, nationality, membership in employee organizations including trade unions, political membership or views, sexual orientation, family obligations, marital status, or any other feature that may result in discrimination. In particular, workers must not be subjected to harassment or disciplinary action on the above grounds.
The business partners are in compliance with this principle when they respect the right of workers to adequate remuneration that is sufficient to provide them and their families with a decent living and to social benefits granted by law, without prejudice to the specific expectations set out in the context of this agreement.
Business partners shall pay at least the statutory minimum wages or, if higher, the industry standards approved on the basis of collective bargaining.
Wages shall be paid in legal tender, in a timely manner, regularly and in full. Partial payment in kind is permitted in accordance with ILO requirements. The wage level shall reflect the qualifications and educational level of workers and shall relate to regular working hours.
Deductions are only permitted subject to the conditions stipulated by law or laid down in collective agreements.
Reasonable Working Hours
Business partners are in compliance with this principle when they ensure that workers are not required to work more than 48 regular hours per week without prejudice to the specific expectations set out in the context of this agreement. However, aurora accepts the exceptions established by the ILO.
Applicable national legislation, industry benchmark standards, or collective agreements shall be interpreted within the international framework conditions stipulated by the ILO.
The upper limit for the number of working hours as named above may be exceeded in the exceptions stipulated by the ILO. In such cases, overtime work shall be permitted.
The use of overtime work should remain an exception. It should be voluntary, remunerated at a premium rate of not less than one and a quarter times the regular rate, and it should not entail a significantly higher probability of occupational risks. Business partners shall also grant their employees the right to take breaks to rest on every working day as well as the right to having at least one day off every seven days, except where collective agreements stipulate any exceptions.
Business partners comply with this principle when respecting the right of workers and local communities to healthy working and living conditions, without prejudice to the specific expectations set out in this agreement. Vulnerable individuals such as, among other persons, adolescent workers, young mothers, and pregnant women, as well as people with disabilities, are granted special protection.
Business partners are expected to comply with health and safety legislation or, if national legislation is inadequate or poorly implemented, with international standards.
Active cooperation between the management and workers or their representatives is essential to implement systems that ensure a safe and healthy working environment. This can be achieved by establishing health and safety committees.
Business partners must have systems in place to identify, assess, prevent, and control potential risks to workers’ health and safety. They must take effective measures to prevent potential accidents, injuries, and illnesses of employees in connection with or in the course of work. Such measures are to mitigate the hazards associated with the working environment as far as is reasonably practicable.
Business partners must strive to improve worker protection in the event of accidents, among other things by compulsory insurance schemes.
Business partners must take all measures that are appropriate within their spheres of influence to ensure stability and safety of the facilities and buildings they use, including employee housing facilities provided by the employer, and to protect them from any foreseeable emergencies.
Business partners must respect the employees’ right to leave the company premises without having to request the company’s permission in order to remove themselves from imminent danger.
Business partners must provide appropriate occupational healthcare and related facilities.
Business partners must provide access to potable water, safe and clean dining and resting areas, clean and safe food preparation and storage areas. Apart from this, business partners must provide effective personal protective equipment (PPE) to all employees free of charge at all times.
No Child Labor
Business partners are in compliance with this principle when they do not directly or indirectly employ any children below the legal minimum age for compulsory education, and in no case younger than 15 years of age, except where the exceptions accepted by the ILO apply.
Business partners must establish reliable age determination mechanisms in the scope of their recruitment processes to protect children from any form of exploitation. These must never lead to any degrading or undignified treatment of workers.
Particular care is required regarding the dismissal of children, who may end up in more dangerous forms of employment such as prostitution or drug trafficking. Business partners keeping children away from the workplace must take the initiative to identify measures to ensure protection of affected children. Business partners should attempt to provide decent work for an adult household member of the child’s affected family in alignment with the respective situation.
Special Protection for Adolescent Workers
Business partners are in compliance with this principle if they ensure that adolescents do not perform any night work and are protected from working conditions that jeopardize their health, safety, morals, and development without prejudice to the specific expectations stipulated under this principle.
If adolescent workers are employed, business partners should ensure that (a) the type of work they perform does not impair their health or development; (b) their working hours do not interfere with participation in vocational training programs accepted by the competent body or with their ability to benefit from the training.
Business partners shall establish the mechanisms required to prevent, identify, and limit harm to adolescent workers, with a special view to adolescent workers’ access to effective complaint mechanisms as well as to occupational health and safety training systems and programs.
No Precarious Employment
Business partners are in compliance with this principle if they: (a) ensure that their employments do not cause any insecurity or social or economic vulnerability of their workers; (b) operate based on an accepted and documented employment established in accordance with national law, custom, or practice and international labor standards (based on the option that provides the greater protection), without prejudice to the specific expectations set out in this chapter.
Business partners must provide workers with comprehensible information on their rights, obligations, and working conditions, including terms on working hours, remuneration, and payment, before entering into the employment.
Business partners must strive to provide decent working conditions that support workers, which means women and men alike, also in their roles as parents or carers, in particular for any migrant and seasonal workers whose children may have been left behind in migrants’ hometowns.
Business partners must not use employments in ways intentionally inconsistent with the intent of the law. This shall include, among other things, (a) training programs not intended to provide skills or regular employment, (b) seasonal or casual work used to undermine worker protections, and (c) labor-only contracts. Furthermore, subcontracting must never be used to undermine the right of workers.
No Forced Labor
Business partners must never resort to any form of servitude, forced or compulsory labor, slave labor, human trafficking, or involuntary labor.
Business partners risk accusations of complicity if they profit from such forms of labor on the side of their own business partners.
Business partners must apply particular care in direct and indirect use and recruitment of migrant workers. Business partners must grant their employees the right to leave their jobs and terminate their employment with the employer, subject to a reasonable period of notice.
Business partners must ensure that their workers are not subjected to inhumane or degrading treatment, corporal punishment, mental or physical coercion, and/or verbal abuse.
Any disciplinary action must be recorded in writing and must be verbally explained to employees clearly and comprehensibly.
Business partners are in compliance with this principle when they take the necessary measures to prevent environmental damage, without prejudice to the specific expectations set out in this chapter.
Business partners should review their operations for any significant environmental impacts and establish effective directives and procedures to reflect their environmental responsibilities. They shall ensure implementation of adequate measures to reduce impairment of the community, natural resources, and the environment as a whole.
Business partners are in compliance with this principle when they do not engage in corruption, extortion, or embezzlement, or in any form of bribery, including, among other things, the promise, offer, or granting of improper financial or other inducements, without prejudice to the objectives and expectations set out in this chapter.
Business partners are expected to maintain accurate information about their operations, structure, and performance and to disclose this information in accordance with applicable regulations and industry benchmark practices.
Business partners shall not participate in the forgery of such information or in any act of deception along the supply chain.
They must also collect, use, and otherwise process any personal data (including that of employees, business partners, customers, and consumers within their sphere of influence) with reasonable care. Such collection, use, or other processing of personal data shall take place in accordance with the legal provisions and requirements concerning data protection and information security.