TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR BETTER WORK ASSESSMENT, ADVISORY AND TRAINING SERVICES
Better Work is a partnership programme between the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) with the goal of reducing poverty in countries by expanding decent work opportunities. The programme seeks to improve competitiveness of the industry by enhancing economic performance and improving compliance with national labour law, the principles of the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, certain international standards and good practices. It combines independent assessments with advisory and training services to support practical improvements through workplace cooperation.
By registering to participate in Better Work assessment, advisory and training services, the Enterprise agrees to these Terms and Conditions, which provide the framework for cooperation between Better Work, representing the ILO and the IFC, and the individual supplier enterprises (hereinafter “supplier”) that wish to participate in the programme.
In order to measure and ensure gains in working conditions, Better Work, in cooperation with participating enterprises, will assess and report on the suppliers’ working conditions and implementation of management systems, according to national law, international core labour standards and, where national law either fails to address or lacks clarity around a relevant issue regarding conditions at work, according to benchmarks established by Better Work based on international labour standards and good practices (hereinafter referred to as “Relevant Standards”). The areas subject to assessment (referred to as “Compliance Points”), are set out in Annex 1. They may be modified by Better Work from time to time.
Compliance data indicating suppliers by name may be publicly disclosed for those suppliers that Better Work has assessed two or more times. The names of suppliers that do not allow Better Work Enterprise Assessors to access their facility and its premises in order to conduct an assessment also may be publicly disclosed. Access denials are publicly reported when there are two instances of refusal to allow Better Work to conduct an assessment, unless the refusal occurs when there is more than one other (non-Better Work) audit/inspection taking place on the same day, or due to force majeure (e.g., electricity outage, natural disaster)
Better Work will also provide advisory services related to improving social dialogue, enterprise compliance with Relevant Standards, and implementation of management systems. Advisory services may include self-diagnosis by the supplier of these issues.
Better Work may offer an adjusted assessment, advisory and training service package based on criteria such as the supplier’s compliance with Relevant Standards, effectiveness of the Bipartite Committee (described below), implementation of management systems, commitment to learning, social dialogue, and other criteria.
All assessment, advisory and training materials and reports produced by Better Work are the intellectual property of Better Work.
Better Work will share assessment and advisory materials and reports with the Enterprise. Assessment and advisory materials and reports on the supplier(s) concerned will be provided to third parties registered with Better Work for which the Enterprise has approved third party access (“authorised third parties”). The Enterprise may not disclose such materials and reports to any other third party, including any current or potential international buyer or vendor, unless expressly agreed to in writing by Better Work.
Better Work will notify governmental authorities as well as authorized third parties in case Better Work discovers or reasonably suspects non-compliance by the supplier in respect of issues identified in the relevant Zero Tolerance Protocol, such as serious human rights violations, child labour, forced labour, imminent and significant threats to worker health and safety, and particularly egregious violations of freedom of association. Authorized third parties also will be informed about strikes if the supplier does not inform them itself within 48 hours of being requested to do so by Better Work.
By accepting these Terms and Conditions, the Enterprise agrees to:
undertake to improve working conditions, acting in full collaboration and partnership with Better Work;
provide Better Work enterprise advisors full access to the enterprise and its premises, including surrounding or off-site areas (such as dormitories), as well as to all relevant documentation required by enterprise advisors in order to perform their tasks;
allow Better Work enterprise advisors to freely interact with shop stewards, union representatives, worker representatives, workers and other relevant persons, both inside and outside the enterprise and its premises, and without any repercussions for their interaction with the program;
provide access as specified under paragraphs b and c above during both announced and unannounced visits; refrain from any acts or omissions that may hamper the ability of Better Work enterprise advisors to perform their tasks;
form a Bipartite Committee of at least 6 persons consisting of equal numbers of management and union representatives to lead improvement initiatives; if there is no union in the enterprise, the Bipartite Committee should consist of an equal number of representatives appointed by management and of worker representatives freely chosen by workers, through an election or other comparable means;
the publication of its supplier compliance data with mention of its name and the supplier’s name, as well as the publication of its name and the supplier’s name in the event that access to the enterprise and its premises for assessment is denied on two or more occasions, as provided in paragraph 4 above;
make available advisory materials relating to the supplier’s self-diagnosis to authorized third parties, as referred to in paragraph 5 above;
the notification of governmental authorities and authorised third parties, in cases where Better Work discovers or reasonably suspects non-compliance by a supplier in respect of issues identified in the relevant Zero Tolerance Protocol, as provided in paragraph 9 above;
the provision of information about strikes to authorised third parties, unless the supplier informs them itself within 48 hours of being requested to do so by Better Work, as provided in paragraph 9 above;
provide full wages to all enterprise employees for the time they are supporting Better Work activities, including participating in assessments, advisory services, training and Bipartite Committee activities;
adhere to the Better Work Anti-Bribery Policy set forth in Annex 2;
provide payment to Better Work as stipulated in the invoice for assessment, advisory and training services;
allow annual access to collect data for monitoring and evaluation and for statistical analysis using worker and management surveys; and
participate in the baseline data collection and yearly impact review to analyze causal links between project interventions and outcomes.
In accordance with these Terms and Conditions, Better Work agrees to:
undertake to assist enterprises in improving working conditions and overall business competitiveness;
carry out assessment visits in a fair and objective manner;
attempt to minimize any disruption to operations during assessment visits;
abide by its Anti-Bribery Policy (see Annex 2);
keep confidential any commercial information regarding business operation that is not related to social dialogue, including industrial action, enterprise compliance with Relevant Standards, or implementation of management systems;
provide advisory and training services related to improving social dialogue, enterprise compliance with Relevant Standards, and implementation of management systems; and
consider in good faith, any allegation of misconduct by a Better Work enterprise advisor in the execution of his/her duties.
Following the Enterprise’s initial registration with Better Work, assessment, advisory and training services will continue until either party terminates the registration by giving two months written notice to the other party. Enterprise registration fees are not subject to refund. Upon termination by Better Work, Better Work may discontinue in-factory assessment, advisory and/or training services before the end of the service delivery cycle at its discretion. However, the Enterprise can continue to participate in industry seminars and other shared learning events for factories organized by Better Work through the end of the service delivery cycle.
Better Work may amend these Terms and Conditions and Annexes from time to time, in which case the Enterprise will be requested to accept the amended Terms and Conditions. If the Enterprise declines to accept the amended Terms and Conditions, the Enterprise registration is suspended.
Better Work will issue an invoice every 12 months for the next yearly cycle of services. Enterprises are required to inform the relevant Better Work Country Programme of any changes in supplier information.
These Terms and Conditions supersede all prior terms and conditions, and memoranda of understanding regarding assessment, advisory and training services between the Enterprise, and the ILO and the IFC’s Better Work Programme, which are deemed terminated upon the acceptance of these Terms and Conditions.
While every possible care is taken to ensure that any disclosed compliance data are accurate, Better Work cannot guarantee their accuracy at all times. In case Better Work discloses compliance data that are inaccurate at the time of collection, Better Work shall issue a corresponding corrigendum and disclose, publish and distribute it in the same manner as the inaccurate compliance data were disclosed, published and distributed.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, in view of the fact that Better Work does not derive any profit from the assessment, advisory and training services it provides, Better Work (the ILO and the IFC) shall not be liable for any loss the Enterprise may suffer as a consequence of any disclosure of the Enterprise’s compliance data in line with these Terms and Conditions, including any possible loss of business, or as a consequence of reliance on advice provided by Better Work.
Better Work and the Enterprise will use their best efforts to amicably settle any dispute, controversy, or claim arising out of these Terms and Conditions. Where the parties wish to seek such an amicable settlement through conciliation, the conciliation will take place in accordance with the Conciliation Rules of the UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), or according to such other procedure as may be agreed between the parties in writing.
Any dispute, controversy, or claim between Better Work and the Enterprise arising out of these Terms and Conditions, unless settled amicably under the preceding paragraph within one hundred twenty (120) days after receipt by one party of the other party’s written request for such amicable settlement, will be referred by either party to arbitration in accordance with the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules then in effect. The parties will be bound by any arbitration award rendered as a result of such arbitration as the final adjudication of any such dispute, controversy, or claim.
Nothing in these Terms and Conditions or relating thereto shall be construed as constituting a waiver of the privileges and immunities of the ILO or the IFC.