In March 2020 Ethical Consumer viewed Baylis and Harding website for information on how the company managed workers' rights in its supply chain. The sections on sustainability, policies, ingredients and the modern slavery statement were viewed.
Supply chain policy (poor)
A strong policy would include the following commitments: no use of forced labour, permission of freedom of association, payment of a living wage, the restriction of working hours to 48 hours plus 12 overtime (without exception), no use of a child labour (under 15 or 14 if ILO exempt), no discrimination by race, sex or for any other reason.
The company's policies sections stated: "Baylis & Harding have Zero Tolerance in relation to the following issues: Child Labor, Imprisoned/Forced Labor." However, as the company did not define the age of child, the clause on child labour was not considered adequate.
The company stated that it had a Global Sourcing agreement. However, this did not appear to be publically available.
The company was considered to have a poor supply chain policy.
Stakeholder engagement (poor)
Ethical Consumer deemed it necessary for companies to demonstrate stakeholder engagement, such as through membership of the Ethical Trade Initiative, Fair Labour Association or Social Accountability International. Companies were also expected to engage with Trade Unions, NGOs and/or not-for-profit organisations which could systematically verify the company's supply chain audits, and for workers to have access to an anonymous complaints system, free of charge and in their own language.
The modern slavery statement said that the company had a Whistleblowing policy. However, this was not publically available and no further information was found.
Its approach to stakeholder engagement was considered poor overall.
Auditing and Reporting (rudimentary)
Ethical Consumer deemed it necessary for companies to have an auditing and reporting system. Results of audits should be publicly reported and quantitatively analysed. The company should have a scheduled and transparent audit plan that applies to their whole supply chain, including some second tier suppliers. The company should also have a staged policy for non-compliance. The costs of the audit should be borne by the company.
The modern slavery statement said that all Tier 1 suppliers had annual SMETA audits and that "we have enhanced our requirement for all manufacturing sites to complete 4 tier audits from 2019." The company was therefore considered to have a clear audit schedule that covered its whole supply chain, including some tier 2 suppliers. No information was found about whether the company had a staged policy for non-compliance and bore the audit costs. No results were found.
The company was considered to have a rudimentary approach to auditing and reporting.
Difficult issues (rudimentary)
Ethical Consumer also deemed it necessary for companies to address other difficult issues in their supply chains. This would include ongoing training for agents, or rewards for suppliers, or preference for long term suppliers. It would also include acknowledgement of audit fraud and unannounced audits, and measures taken to address the issue of living wages, particularly among outworkers, and illegal freedom of association.
The modern slavery statement said: "During 2017/2018 we made it a requirement that all agencies engaged in the provision of temporary staff to Baylis & Harding are licensed members of the Association of Labour Providers and for these agencies, we have introduced an audit programme to review their internal policies and commitment to address Modern Slavery." It stated that it provided training for Baylis & Harding staff on the risks of Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking, as well as external training for those involved in risk assessment and formulation of policy. However, it did not mention specific training for those in the purchasing departments.
As the company was considered to be taking steps to address the difficult issues of agency workers, it was considered to have a rudimentary approach to difficult issues.
Overall the company received Ethical Consumer's worst rating for Supply Chain Management and lost a whole mark in this category.
baylisandharding.com (19 March 2020)