When your factory is able to produce high-quality products at a low cost, and in a short period of time, what other selling points can your factory attract to your customer or end-user?
Have you ever heard of Apple’s manufacturer – Foxconn “Sweat Factory” in Shenzhen, China? Foxconn exploits the rights of labor. Labor not only work in harsh environments, but continue to work overtime at low wages; they are psychologically and physically tortured, and eventually lead to a series of tragic suicides.
Sedex Audit is to protect the rights and interests of the labor. Sedex (Supplier Ethical Data Exchange) is a non-profit organization established in the UK, to monitor the factory’s ethical audit and verify whether the factory can provide a humane working environment in all aspects.
Several important inspection items in Sedex Audit.
(1) Labor freedom
In a free society, labor can choose to work freely and perform any work without coercion. Sedex Audit checks whether the labor in the factory have involuntary work, and they are treated fairly and reasonably when they leave the company.
In addition, labor has the freedom to join or organize unions to protect their rights. Sedex Audit evaluates employers’ responses and attitudes towards union activities.
(2) Safety and health environment
The factory must provide a safe and hygienic environment to ensure that labor work in a suitable environment. This includes work facilities and sanitation facilities. If the factory has accommodation for employees, the dormitory environment is included in the inspection. Sedex Audit evaluates whether the factory can provide labor with an appropriate environment to work and rest.
In addition to equipment, the training is important, Sedex Audit will also check whether the factory will train new labor or regularly record the health status and safety training for all employees.
(3) Working hours
The Factory must comply with the local labor laws. In addition to voluntary overtime work, the weekly working hours cannot exceed 48 hours. Overtime will also be compensated accordingly. Vacations should also comply with the laws and contracts to allow workers sufficient rest time.
(4) Prevent discrimination
In any case, including hiring, training, dismissal, promotion…, labor will not be discriminated against because of gender, race, nationality, religion, age, marital status, sexual orientation, or political background.
If your factory meets the standards after the audit, you will pass the Sedex Audit and become a conscience enterprise. Regardless of product quality, labor welfare, or factory environment, it is a role model for all industries! Some merchants or consumers will focus on whether the company has conducted the Sedex Audit when purchasing products. This inspection will definitely help your company to stabilize the market!
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