Improving working conditions in your clothing supply chain

8: Legal employment

In every country, workers have legal rights which should be respected by employers.  In most production countries, laws conform to basic international standards, but they are not always followed or enforced.  Sometimes factory managers deliberately break the law – by not paying pension or other taxes.  In other cases, ignorance of the law may be the root cause.

A very common issue is the lack of a permanent employment contracts or formal employment relationships, even though law provides for it.  Very often, this is tied to unstable relationships between brands and suppliers.  Factories with unstable customers are unlikely to be stable employers – why commit to your employees if your customers won’t commit to you? Developing a good understanding of the labour laws in countries where you produce, and of the relationship between sourcing strategy and the treatment of employees, are great places to start.

Consult our resources to learn more about what your brand can do to support legal employment of garment workers.