Appendix One: Sample Letter for Communicating Better Work to your supply base. 

Dear [Recipient Name]

As many of your know [Buyer Name] continues to work hard to achieve better working conditions in its global supply chain. As part of this effort [Buyer Name] is committed to the Better Work programme as a global Buyer Partner. We are pleased to announce an important new policy that affects a large number of [Buyer Name] suppliers and their factories.

From [Date, Buyer Name] will source only from factories that are registered with the Better Work/ Better Factories Progammes in they cover in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Haiti, Jordan, Lesotho and Nicaragua.

If you wish to remain an approved supplier to [Buyer Name] and /or plan to introduce a new factory (and you are within the geographic scope of the programme), then as part of the approval process you be required to have registered with the Better Factories/Work programme.

[Buyer Name] plans to use the Assessment/Advisory Reports of the BFC/BW programme, and to move away from a separate auditing system wherever possible. However non-BFC/BW audits may still be used:-

  • when a factory is out of the geographic scope of the BFC/BW programme; or
  • When [Buyer Name] needs to assess a factory for something not covered by Better Work (e.g. environment, CTPAT etc.).

The programme is not new; many of you are already participating with positive results and we wish to build on this success. Our aim therefore is to consolidate and standardise our approach with all our factories in these countries. Of course [Buyer Name] is not the only international brand requiring this action. We believe that this significant step will result in sustainable benefits for factories and their workers alike. This step will reduce the stress of audit fatigue by the reduction of third party audits. It will also facilitate access to the training resources of Better Work and its experience in work-place improvements and productivity gains.

[Buyer Name] expects suppliers and factories to bear the costs of participation. We are confident that the benefits over time justify this investment. Most importantly, we believe that acting together as a common industry, under the umbrella of the ILO/IFC is an ideal conduit for the development and provision of the decent work that we all strive for.

We hope you share our vision.

Should you have any questions regarding this policy, please contact: [insert name and contact details of Buyer contact person]

For more information about the Better Factories/Work programme, and for contact information in your country please go to:


Appendix Two: Generic Global Zero Tolerance Protocol 

Zero Tolerance Issues and Protocol agreed to between the [Ministry of Labour] and the International Labour Organization (ILO) and International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) Better Work Programme (Better Work)


Better Work Enterprise Advisors may uncover serious rights violations when undertaking factory visits for either assessment or advisory purposes. In general, Better Work staff hold information learned through factory visits confidential, and only share information in line with the Memorandum of Understanding agreed by Better Work and participating factories. However, immediate action must be taken where critical issues, or circumstances that pose an imminent and significant threat to worker health and safety, are found. This note defines which issues will be considered zero tolerance and identifies the procedures that Better Work staff will take when such issues are suspected and/or detected with regard to a participating factory.


Definition of Zero Tolerance Issues

Better Work will consider human rights violations, including child labour, forced labour, sexual violence, and issues that pose an imminent threat to worker health and safety to be zero tolerance issues. In particular, suspected non-compliance on the following issues from the Compliance Assessment Tool will trigger the protocol identified below:

Child Labourers

  • Workers under the age of 15 (or the minimum age of the country)
  • Workers under age 18 subjected to worst forms of child labour (forced labour, prostitution, pornography and illegal activities)

Forced Labour

  • Not allowing workers to leave the workplace at all times, including during overtime in order to force them to work against their will
  • Use of violence or the threat of violence to intimidate workers and force them to work

 Sexual Violence

  • Sexual violence or imminent threat of sexual violence

Occupational Health and Safety (OSH)

  • Punishment of workers who remove themselves from work situations they believe present an imminent and serious danger to life or health
  • OSH violations that pose an imminent and significant threat to worker health and safety.

Freedom of Association (FOA)

  • Egregious violations of freedom of association may be determined by Better Work Programme Manager to constitute a zero tolerance issue.

This protocol also applies if any of the above conditions are found in employer-provided housing that is checked as part of a factory visit.


Protocol when Zero Tolerance Issues are Identified

  1.  Enterprise Advisors will immediately report directly to the Better Work Programme Manager any violations or suspected violations of the zero tolerance issues identified above, which they may find while undertaking factory visits. In the event that Enterprise Advisors identify victims of sexual violence, they inform the victims of their options to seek assistance and provide referral information.
  2. If the Better Work Programme Manager considers that a violation has occurred, s/he will, within 48 hours, inform the Ministry of Labour (MOL) in writing of the violation. Instances of sexual violence and the identity of victims of sexual violence are disclosed only upon their request.
  3. The MOL will initiate investigations into the matter within 48 hours of being informed to determine whether a violation has occurred.
  4. The Better Work Programme Manager will follow up with the MOL within 72 hours of informing the MOL of the violation to agree on an action plan. Action Plans will vary dependent on the violation identified and the underlying circumstances, but always include both investigation and remediation. In situations involving possible criminal violations, MOL coordinates with other appropriate governmental authorities.
  5. Following the initial investigation, the Better Work Programme Manager will agree with the MOL on the remediation approach. Remediation Approaches vary depending on the violation identified and the underlying circumstances. See Annexes for examples of recommended remediation approaches:a. Annex 1: Recommended approach for remediating cases of underage workers

    b. Annex 2: Recommended approach for remediating issues relating to forced labour

    c. Annex 3: Recommended approach for remediating sexual violence

    d. Annex 4: Recommended approach for remediating Occupational Safety and Health (OSH)

  6. Throughout the investigation and remediation efforts, the well-being of the victim(s) of the violation is safeguarded and any action taken must not in any way place the victim in any further danger or make him or her vulnerable to any retribution.
  7. The MOL will inform Better Work in writing of the findings of the investigation and the outcome of the remediation.
  8. The Ministry of Labour will not disclose information provided to it by Better Work in connection with this Protocol, or disclose information collected in connection with the implementation of the Protocol to parties other than Better Work beyond that necessary to implement the Protocol, including carrying out appropriate remediation.

Note: The timeframes stated represent the maximum time frame for action. Where necessary, actions will be completed sooner.

Protocol with Buyers

  1. Better Work will notify all buyers subscribing to the factory at which the violation took place within 48 hours of identifying the issue. Instances of sexual violence and the identity of victims of sexual violence are disclosed only upon their request.
  2. Better Work will notify all buyers subscribing to the factory of the action plan with the Ministry of Labour, within 24 hours of agreeing it with the Ministry.
  3. Better Work will seek to involve buyers in remediation efforts, where appropriate, and will keep buyers regularly updated throughout remediation efforts.
  4. Better Work will notify all buyers subscribing to the factory and seek their active support, if at any point during remediation efforts the factory is not cooperating or making progress.

Nothing in this zero tolerance protocol or relating thereto shall be construed as constituting a waiver of the privileges and immunities of the ILO.


­­X___________________________________    X____________________________________                                                                   

Ministry of Labour representative                                       Better Work representative


Name:______________________________     Name:________________________________


Date:_______________________________     Date:_________________________________


Appendix Three: Better Work Clusters and Compliance Points 

Better Work carries out factory assessments to monitor compliance with international core labour standards and national labour law, 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. Better Work organizes reporting into eight areas of labour standards, also known as clusters. Four of the clusters are international core labour standards, based on fundamental rights at work and four are based on national labour law relating to working conditions. As such, factory assessments aim to monitor compliance with these areas.

Core labour standards: Adopted in 1998, the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work commits Member States to respect and promote principles and rights in four categories, whether or not they have ratified the relevant Conventions. These categories are: freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining, the elimination of forced labour, the abolition of child labour, and the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation. The relevant ILO Conventions from which the 1998 Declaration derives—29, 87, 98, 105, 100, 111, 138, and

182—provide the framework for assessing non-compliance in the core labour standards clusters across all Better Work country programmes.

National labour law: The four other clusters monitor compliance with standards primarily set by national law, so they vary from country to country. This set consists of compensation, contracts and human resources, occupational safety and health, and working time.

Each of the eight clusters is divided into its key components, known as “compliance points”. Each of these compliance points contains specific questions that may vary from country to country. The detailed list of compliance points appears below:

Core Labour Standards

Child Labour

  • Child Labourers
  • Hazardous Work and Other Worst Forms
  • Documentation and Protection of Young Workers


  • Race and Origin
  • Religion and Political Opinion
  • Gender
  • Other Grounds

Forced Labour

  • Coercion
  • Bonded Labour
  • Forced Labour and Overtime
  • Prison Labour

Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining

  • Freedom to Associate
  • Union Operations
  • Interference and Discrimination
  • Collective Bargaining
  • Strikes

Working Conditions


  • Minimum Wages
  • Overtime Wages
  • Premium Pay
  • Method of Payment
  • Wage Information, Use and Deduction
  • Paid Leave
  • Social Security and Other Benefits

Contracts and Human Resources

  • Employment Contracts
  • Contracting Procedures
  • Termination
  • Dialogue, Discipline and Disputes

Occupational Safety and Health

  • OSH Management Systems
  • Chemicals and Hazardous Substances
  • Worker Protection
  • Working Environment
  • Welfare Facilities
  • Health Services and First Aid
  • Worker Accommodation
  • Emergency Preparedness

Working Time

  • Regular Hours
  • Overtime
  • Leave