Issues

This page provides details of the core labour standards and working conditions that are subject to public reporting on this website. The issues are organized under categories called clusters. You can browse the issues by cluster or type a key word to filter the information. Note that the issues subject to public reporting vary slightly across countries, due to differences in national laws and priorities.

Applicable legal standards also vary across countries depending upon national law. Each country’s compliance assessment tool is available on the Better Work website.

     

Child Labour 

Child Labourers

Workers under the legal age for employment under national law

Noncompliance arises when worker(s) who were performing work for the factory were below the legal age for employment under national law. The legal age for employment varies across countries: Bangladesh, Nicaragua (14); Jordan (16);  Haiti, Indonesia, Vietnam (15).


Countries Reporting:  Haiti, Indonesia, Jordan, Vietnam

Gender

Terminating workers who were pregnant or on maternity leave or forcing them to resign

Noncompliance arises based on the termination, forced resignation, or nonrenewal of contracts because workers were pregnant or on maternity leave. Haiti also covers terminations based on breastfeeding status. Vietnam also covers terminations based on marriage or breastfeeding.


Countries Reporting:  Haiti, Indonesia, Jordan, Vietnam


Gender discrimination (conditions of work)

Noncompliance arises due to the different treatment of men and women regarding conditions of work, when the difference in treatment is not based on the inherent requirements of the particular job. Conditions of work include, for example, hours of work, rest periods, leave, occupational safety and health measures, social security measures, welfare facilities and/or benefits provided in connection with employment. Haiti covers discrimination based on marital status in addition to gender.


Countries Reporting:  Haiti, Indonesia, Jordan, Vietnam


Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment includes physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature affecting the dignity of women or men, which is unwelcome, unreasonable, and offensive. Workplace sexual harassment arises when worker(s) perceive that their reaction to the conduct is a condition of employment, or that their reaction will impact their job performance or a decision affecting their job. Sexual harassment also can arise from conduct of a sexual nature that creates an intimidating, hostile, or humiliating working environment.


Countries Reporting:  Haiti, Indonesia, Jordan, Vietnam

Coercion

Free exit from the workplace at all times, including during overtime

While workers may have required hours and may not be able to come and go as they wish without reason, noncompliance arises when there is an element of coercion or force by the employer such that workers are unable to leave, for example, locked exit doors or security guards preventing workers from leaving.


Countries Reporting:  Haiti, Indonesia, Jordan, Vietnam


 

Workers' access to their personal documents (birth certificates/ passports/work permits/ ID cards)  

Noncompliance arises when workers do not keep their personal documents themselves, and they have not consented to the employer holding their documents or they do not have access to their documents.


Countries Reporting:  Jordan


Forced Overtime

Forced overtime under threat of penalty

Noncompliance arises based on forced overtime, without worker's consent, under the menace of a penalty, including, for example, threats of termination or not being offered overtime in the future. Workers vulnerability is considered when looking at whether they freely agreed to the work. Non-compliance can result from workers being forced (involuntarily), under threat of penalty, to work overtime (i) in order to earn minimum wage; (ii) without pay in order to meet production targets; and/or (iii) beyond legal limits on overtime hours.


Countries Reporting:  Haiti, Indonesia, Jordan, Vietnam

Freedom to Associate

Freedom to form and join a union

Noncompliance arises when workers cannot freely form and/or join the union of their choice.


Countries Reporting:  Haiti. Indonesia

No reporting in Jordan and Vietnam, where national law on this issue does not conform to ILO core standards.


Requiring workers to join a union

Noncompliance results from the employer requiring/pushing workers to join a union, despite there being no valid union security clause in a collective agreement or arbitration award that requires workers to join a union.


Countries Reporting:  Haiti, Indonesia, Jordan, Vietnam


Interference and Discrimination

Attempt(s) to interfere with, manipulate or control the union(s)

Noncompliance arises when an employer has:

  • taken action in an effort to dominate, control or undermine workers' organisations
  • been involved in union decision-making, in the formation of the constitution and rules, in union activities, administration, finances or elections
  • tried to gain control of the union by financing it in a way that is not intended by national law
  • tried to undermine the union by offering bribes to union activists to withdraw from the union, or by artificially promoting them in an effort to impede their participation in union affairs, and/or
  • promoted the formation of a workers' organization to compete against existing union(s).

 

Countries Reporting:  Haiti, Indonesia, Jordan


Employer involvement in union decisions, constitution, rules, activities, admin, finances or elections

Noncompliance includes involvement in union decision-making, in the formation of the constitution and rules, in union activities, administration, finances or elections by factory management, including senior management, middle managers, lower level managers and supervisors.


Countries Reporting:  Vietnam


Punishment of unionists

Noncompliance arises when employers punish workers for joining a union or engaging in union activities, which could involve, for example, transferring or demoting them, denying them the opportunity to work overtime, reducing their wages or benefits, or changing their conditions of work.


Countries Reporting:  Haiti, Indonesia, Jordan, Vietnam


Termination or non-renewal of worker's employment contract due to union membership or activities

Noncompliance arises from termination, forced resignation, or nonrenewal of contracts due to a worker’s union membership or activities.


Countries Reporting:  Haiti, Indonesia, Jordan, Vietnam


Collective Bargaining

Implementation of collective agreement

Failing to implement any of the provisions of the collective agreement(s) in force results in noncompliance.


Countries Reporting:  Haiti, Indonesia, Jordan, Vietnam


Strikes

Punishing workers for participating in a strike

Noncompliance arises when employers punish workers for participating in a strike, which could include, for example, deducting more wages than those corresponding to the days lost during the strike, terminating workers, failing to renew workers' fixed-term contracts, reducing benefits or seniority, or imposing heavier workloads. Disciplinary action may be justified if the striking worker engaged in serious misconduct or criminal acts.


Countries Reporting:  Haiti, Indonesia, Jordan, Vietnam

Minimum Wages | Piece Rate Wages

Payment of minimum wage for regular workers

Compliance is found when regular workers, including both hourly and piece rate workers, are paid the legally required minimum wage for ordinary hours of work.


Countries Reporting:  Haiti, Indonesia, Jordan, Vietnam


Payment of minimum wage to non-permanent and probationary workers

Compliance is found when employers pay at least the minimum wage to non-permanent and probationary workers. Non-permanent workers are employed under a specified time work agreement (PKWT) and probationary workers work under an unspecified time work agreement with a 3 month probationary period. Wage rates are set through district regulations. If payment of minimum wage has been postponed, the employer has proof of approval from the Provincial Governor.


Countries Reporting:  Indonesia


Overtime Wages

Payment for overtime

Compliance is found when all overtime hours worked are compensated properly, through the correct application of legally required overtime premiums to the correct base wage. The employer uses at least the legally required minimum wage when calculating overtime payments. Workers paid by piece rate also are paid according to legally required overtime differentials.


Countries Reporting:  Haiti, Indonesia, Jordan, Vietnam


Wage information, use and deduction

Informing workers about wage payments and deductions

Compliance is found when workers are informed about their wages in a language they can understand and in a way that explains how their wages are calculated, often through a wage statement or payslip. National law may specify additional requirements.


Countries Reporting:  Haiti, Jordan, Vietnam


Paid Leave

Payment for maternity leave

Compliance is found when maternity leave is paid correctly and on time, in line with national requirements.


Countries Reporting:  Haiti, Indonesia, Jordan, Vietnam

Employment Contracts

Employment contracts for all persons performing work for the factory

Compliance is found when all persons working for the factory, both on the premises and offsite have a work agreement (with the factory, the factory's subcontractor, or employment service provider) in Bahasa Indonesia. If the work agreement is oral, the employer provides a letter of appointment to the worker. If workers take any work home, the employer ensures that all other persons performing that work have a work agreement. If the work agreement is for an unspecified amount of time, it is reflected in a written contract or a letter of appointment. 


Countries Reporting:  Indonesia

Dialogue, Discipline and Disputes

Bullying, harassment or humiliating treatment of workers

Noncompliance arises based on bullying, harassment or humiliating treatment of workers, including, for example, hitting, pushing, or throwing things; restricting reasonable access to water or toilets; threatening or shouting at workers; or publicly scolding workers in a degrading manner.


Countries Reporting:  Haiti, Indonesia, Jordan, Vietnam


Disciplinary Measures

Compliance is found when disciplinary sanctions are proportional to the workers' behavior, and the employer keeps written records of each worker's disciplinary sanctions, warnings, and suspensions, and the reasons and the dates they occurred. Disciplinary measures may be specified in the internal work rules.


Countries Reporting:  Haiti

OSH Management Systems

Mechanisms to ensure cooperation between workers and management on OSH matters

National law may specify precise mechanisms through which the employer ensures cooperation between workers and management on occupational safety and health issues.

Most commonly, national requirements involve forming a joint health and safety committee. Absent specific requirements under national law, compliance is found when cooperation between workers and management on OSH is ensured by appointing worker safety delegates, worker safety and health committees, and/or joint safety and health committees where workers have at least equal representation with employer representatives. Worker safety delegates and OSH committee members are provided with information, participate in OSH decisions, and are given time during paid working hours to perform their OSH functions.  Specific requirements vary according to national law.


Countries Reporting:  Haiti, Indonesia, Jordan, Vietnam

Chemicals and Hazardous Substances

Storage of chemicals and hazardous substances

Compliance is based on the safe storage of chemicals or hazardous substances including, for example, storing non-compatible chemicals away from each other; ensuring that storage containers are in good condition; providing secondary containment; and adequately ventilating storage areas. Flammable or explosive chemicals are stored in a cool place, away from possible sources of ignition, and they have a fire protection system. Storage advice found on Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) is adhered to. Non-compliance may reflect a relatively minor issue (e.g., one instance of improper storage) or a widespread issue that poses a significant threat to worker health and safety.


Countries Reporting:  Haiti, Indonesia, Jordan


Actions to assess monitor prevent and/or limit workers exposure to hazardous chemicals

Compliance is found when the employer assesses, monitors, mitigates, and reduces chemical hazards when necessary to protect workers’ health and safety. Workers have access to these records. Assessment includes measuring exposure to environmental hazards. Prevention is based on the hierarchy of control measures, including: - eliminating hazardous chemicals; - substituting with less hazardous chemicals; - modifying the exposure of chemical hazards, engineering control (ventilation); - administration (awareness raising, procedures, job rotation); - and lastly personal protective equipment (PPE). Compliance with specific requirements to provide PPE is not covered under this issue.


Countries Reporting:  Vietnam


Emergency Preparedness

Periodic emergency drills

Compliance is found when the employer conducts periodic evacuation drills in which all workers participate, in line with national legal requirements. If not specified otherwise under national law, drills take place every six months. Workers know how to react in case of emergency.


Countries Reporting:  Haiti, Indonesia, Jordan, Vietnam


Accessible, unobstructed, and/or unlocked emergency exits during working hours, including overtime

Compliance arises when emergency exits and escape routes are accessible, unobstructed, and unlocked during working hours, including during overtime. Emergency exits and escape routes are not blocked by materials, products, equipment, furniture, etc. Exits are generally unlocked (not just unlocked during the assessment).


Countries Reporting:  Haiti, Indonesia, Jordan, Vietnam


Number of emergency exits

Compliance requires at least 2 possible exits from all work stations and rest areas (2 stairways in multi-story buildings). Exits are located remotely from one another. Closed rooms (e.g., offices) can have one exit if the door opens onto an exit route. Relevant national legal requirements apply as well.


Countries Reporting:  Haiti, Indonesia, Jordan, Vietnam


Fire detection and alarm system

Compliance arises when fire detectors are unobstructed and are able to detect smoke, heat or flickering light. Alarms are audible or visible to everyone in the workplace, and they have a backup power source. Fire detectors and alarm system are regularly maintained and tested. Relevant national legal requirements apply as well.


Countries Reporting:  Haiti, Indonesia, Jordan, Vietnam


Welfare Facilities

Providing drinking water

Compliance is found when sufficient free, safe drinking water is provided to workers. Relevant national legal requirements apply as well.


Countries Reporting:  Haiti, Indonesia, Jordan, Vietnam

 


Worker Accommodation

Preparation for emergencies in the accommodation

Compliance is found when emergency preparation is provided in line with Civil Defense Instructions. A sign or a plaque to show the dormitory and factory name is posted at the entrance. A map showing emergency exits and escape routes is posted at the entrance to each floor. A panel showing contact numbers for emergencies and for Civil Defense, as well as instructions for dealing with accidents is posted in the accommodation in the language of the occupants. The employer ensures that dormitories have at least 2 emergency exits per floor, and well-marked and unobstructed escape routes. Emergency exit doors are easy to open from the inside. The employer conducts a full evacuation drill in the dorms at least once every 12 months. The dorms are equipped with a fire detection and alarm system and adequate emergency lights. Fire extinguishers are installed and maintained, and workers are trained to use them.

Countries Reporting:  Jordan  


Protection against fire in the accommodation

Compliance is found when bedding, curtains, etc. are made from flame retardant materials, and fire prevention is provided in line with Civil Defense Instructions. Gas cylinders are stored securely. There is no cooking inside the bedrooms. Flammable materials are not stored near cooking facilities. Radiators and other heating devices are placed so as to avoid risk of fire, and shielded where necessary to prevent discomfort to occupants. Electrical connections and plugs are safe and secure, and the electrical boxes are covered. Fire hazards such as exposed wiring are eliminated.


Countries Reporting:  Jordan

Access denied

Access denials are reported when the employer has refused to allow Better Work to conduct an assessment on two occasions, 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, strike).


Countries Reporting:
Haiti, Indonesia, Jordan, Vietnam

 


Compliance Data