Better Work - a joint programme of the UN’s International Labour Organization and the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group – assesses compliance with core international labour standards and national legislation in 1,450 apparel factories employing more than 1.9 million workers across seven countries.
The Transparency Portal makes key findings from Better Work assessments public, revealing which factories have been found ‘non-compliant’ on issues such as occupational safety and health, child labour, forced labour, discrimination, worker compensation, contracts and freedom of association.
Better Work uses a comprehensive set of questions, known as the Compliance Assessment Tool, or CAT, to complete unannounced, two-day, two-person assessments. To take one example, Better Work enterprise answer the question ‘Does the employer terminate workers who are pregnant or on maternity leave or force them to resign?’ as one component of their discrimination assessment.
Overall, the CAT covers more than 200 issues, but on average across countries, 26 of these are highlighted here on the Transparency Portal.
Factories can respond to non-compliance findings directly to this website. For example, they may submit a photo showing that an emergency exit that was found to be blocked is now clear.
A factory’s compliance findings remain on the Transparency Portal until a new Better Work assessment report is published, at which point the site is updated to reflect just the most recent data.