Code of Conduct
Cention, is an expanding multinational company. We feel that it is important for us to take responsibility for all our actions, in Europe as well as in the rest of the world. We have to make sure that nobody whose work is contributing to our success is deprived of his or her human rights, or suffers mental or bodily harm.
In order to make our position clear to our partners/suppliers, our own staff, as well as any other parties, we have set up a Code of Conduct. It is a non-negotiable requirement from our side that all our partners, suppliers and their subcontractors, without exception, should follow this code.
1. Legal requirements
Our general rule is that all our partners/suppliers must, in all their activities, follow the national laws in the countries where they are operating. Should any of the following requirements by Cention, be in violation of the national law in any country or territory, the law should always be followed. In such a case, the supplier must always inform Cention immediately upon receiving this Code.
It is however important to understand that Cention’s requirements may not be limited to the requirements of the national law.
2. Child labour
We base our policy on child labour on the UN Convention on The Rights of the Child, article 32.1.
We recognise the rights of every child to be protected from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child’s education, or to be harmful to the child’s health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development.
We define, in this context, the word “child” as a person younger than 15 years of age or, as an exception, 14 years in countries covered by article 2.4 in the ILO convention No.138.
2.3 Implementation of Cention’s policy on Child labour
Cention does not accept child labour.
We are concerned about the situation of children in many parts of the world. We acknowledge the fact that child labour does exist and can’t be eradicated with rules or inspections, as long as the children’s social situation is not improved. We want to actively work with companies and with NGO’s
(Non Government Organisations) in third world countries, to try to improve the situation for the children affected by our ban on child labour.
If a child (see definition under 2.2) is found working in any of the factories producing our products, we will request the company/factory to make sure that the measures taken are in the child’s best interest. We will, in co-operation with the company/factory, seek to find a satisfactory solution, taking into consideration the child’s age, social situation, education, etc. We will not ask a company to dismiss a child without a discussion about the child’s future. Any measures taken should always aim to improve, not worsen, each individual child’s situation. Any costs for education, etc. have to be paid by the factory.
We will firmly demand that the company employs no further children.
We recommend companies with predominantly female workers to arrange day care for children below school age.
If a company/supplier does not accept our policy on child labour, we will not continue our co-operation with this part.
2.5 Apprenticeship programmes
In countries where the law permits apprenticeship programmes for children between 12 and 15 years of age, we will accept that children of this age work a few hours per day. The total numbers of hours daily spent on school and light work should never exceed 7 (seven) hours (ILO convention No. 33).
The company must be able to prove that this work is not interfering with the child’s education, that the work is limited to a few hours per day, that the work is light and clearly aimed at training, and that the child is properly compensated. If we have any reason to doubt that these conditions are met, such apprenticeship programmes will not be accepted in locations producing products for Cention.
2.6 Special recommendations
We acknowledge, that according to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, a person is a child until the age of 18. We therefore recommend our partners/suppliers to make sure, that employees in the age group 15-18 years, are treated accordingly. Limits for working hours and overtime for this age group should be set with special consideration to the workers’ low age.
Building and Fire Safety
We require from our partners/suppliers that the workers’ safety should be a priority at all times. No hazardous equipment or unsafe buildings are accepted.
4. Workers’ rights
4.1 Basic Rights
All workers producing products for Cention should be entitled to his or her basic rights:
We do not accept that bonded workers, prisoners or illegal workers are used in the production of products for Cention.
If foreign workers are employed on contract basis, they should never be required to remain employed for any period of time against their own will. All commissions and other fees to the recruitment agency in connection with their employment should be covered by the employer.
Under no circumstances do we accept that our partners/suppliers or their subcontractors use corporal punishment or other forms of mental or physical disciplinary actions, or engage in sexual harassment.
All workers should be free to join associations of their own choosing, and they should have the right to bargain collectively. We don’t accept any disciplinary actions from the factory against workers who choose to peacefully and lawfully organise or join an association.
No worker should be discriminated against because of race, gender, religion or ethnic background. All workers with the same experience and qualifications should receive equal pay for equal work.
All workers should be entitled to an employment contract.
4.2 Wages and Working Hours
Wages should be paid regularly, on time and be fair in respect of work performance. The legal minimum wages should be a minimum, but not a recommended, level.
Weekly working time must not exceed the legal limit, and overtime work should always be voluntary and properly compensated.
The workers should be granted their stipulated annual leave and sick leave without any form of repercussions.
Female workers should be given their stipulated maternity leave in case of pregnancy.
Dismissal of pregnant female workers is not acceptable.
In developing countries, we recommend our suppliers to provide the workers with at least one free meal daily.
The environment is of increasing concern globally and Cention expects its partners/suppliers to act responsibly in this respect.
Our partners/suppliers must comply with applicable environmental laws and regulations in the country of operation.
6. Monitoring and enforcement
6.1 The principle of trust and co-operation
Cention expects all its partners/suppliers to respect the above Code of Conduct and to actively do their utmost to achieve our standards. We trust our own staff to take a lot of responsibility in their work, and we expect from our partners/suppliers that they do the same. We believe in co-operation and we are willing to work with our partners/suppliers to achieve workable solutions in each individual case.
All partners/suppliers are obliged to always keep Cention informed about where each order is being produced.
Cention reserves the right to make unannounced visits to all companies producing products and facilities that we use, at any time. We also reserve the right to let an independent third party (e.g. a NGO) of our choice make inspections, to ensure compliance with our Code of Conduct.
Should we find that a partner/supplier does not comply with our Code of Conduct, we will terminate our business relationship with this supplier, if corrective measures are not taken within an agreed time limit.
If we find repeated violations, we will immediately terminate the co-operation with the supplier and cancel our existing orders.