Worker Welfare Standards 

Management Systems

  • Maintain clearly defined and documented policies and procedures for the implementation and the management of these standards.
  • Maintain up-to-date employment records for each worker (including temporary and seasonal workers).
  • Ensure terms of employment and disciplinary policies are clearly communicated to each worker in a language understood by the worker. The terms of employment including a job description, wages to be paid, benefits, starting date and the period of employment should be discussed.
  • Ensure disciplinary policies and procedures are documented, understandable, and communicated to workers.

Child Labor & Young Workers

  • In accordance with International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention 138, every worker employed must be at least fifteen (15) years of age unless a higher age is specified by local law.
  • Ensure sensitive and appropriate solutions are sought in cases where child labor has been identified. Solutions should be those that ensure the child’s removal from the
  • worksite, but that do not place them in a more vulnerable situation.
  • Ensure protection of young workers (under 18 years of age) with regards to safe working conditions, types of work, and hours of work.

Involuntary Labor

  • There is no use of forced or compulsory labor in all its forms, such as forced prison, bonded and indentured labor.
  • Workers will not lodge “deposits” or original documents with their employer, such as original citizenship or employment documents such as passports or visas.

Employment Policies, Hiring Procedures & Discrimination

  • Discrimination in any form is prohibited and workers are treated with respect and dignity. If they are deemed able, there shall be no discrimination against any employee or prospective employee in hiring, wages, benefits or any other capacity, on the basis of race, creed, color, national or ethnic origin, gender, age, disability, union or political
  • activity, marital status, pregnancy, religious views or sexual orientation.
  • Equal opportunities for all workers are sincerely and thoroughly respected.

Working Hours & Rest Days

  • Maintain detailed records of working hours for all workers that include normal and overtime working hours and any breaks taken.
  • Ensure normal working hours are set in accordance with local laws.
  • Ensure overtime hours do not exceed local legally defined limits, but in any case total working hours (normal + overtime) shall not exceed sixty (60) hours in any seven (7) day period.
  • In response to qualified harvest season requirements and/or exceptional circumstances, working hours may exceed 60 hours in a 7 days period if all the following conditions are met.
  • Additional hours are allowed by national law.
  • There is collective agreement between the work force and the employer; with clear work expectations and defined wages;existing health and safety standards remain in effect and in order to protect the workforce.
  • The employer must demonstrate, communicate and be prepared to verify the additional requirements and/or exceptional circumstances to justify excess working hours.
  • Overtime expectations shall be clearly communicated to all workers and agreed to by each worker. Additional overtime needs related to seasonal production (e.g., sowing, harvesting, pollination, etc.) shall be clearly defined, communicated and agreed to by workers in advance.
  • Ensure that all workers receive at least one (1) full rest day in every seven (7) calendar days unless in response to qualified harvest season requirements and/or exceptional circumstances.

Wages & Benefits

  • At a minimum, ensure wages and benefits provided meet or exceed legal minimums and/or industry standards and/or applicable collective agreements.
  • Ensure workers are paid on a regular basis in accordance with local law, but in any case at least once per calendar month, in cash or cash equivalent (e.g., check or direct deposit).
  • Ensure that wage deductions, access to food, water, toilets, or medical treatment are not used as a disciplinary measure.

Harassment & Abuse

  • Strictly prohibit the use of verbal, physical or psychological threats, abuse or harassment of any kind, sexual or otherwise.
  • Provide a formal and documented procedure for workers to raise suggestions, complaints and grievances in a confidential and safe manner.

Freedom of Association & the Right to Collective Bargaining

  • Ensure workers have the freedom to choose to establish, affiliate and take action in free and independent legal workers’ organizations without interference or reprisals.

Worksite Health & Safety

  • All workers will be provided a safe and hygienic working environment at all times. Workplaces should be void of threats to one’s health, and precautions to prevent accident and injury should be taken.

Regular Employment

  • Employment should be in terms of established employment relationships as recognized through nation law.
  • The use of Farm Labor Contractors (FLC) or third party employers should not hinder or prevent workers’ rights or the obligations to workers under the regular employment
  • relationship terms.