At the core of Better Work’s vision to improve workers’ lives are programmes that drive sector-wide, sustainable compliance with national labour law and core labour standards and promote business competitiveness in major garment producing countries. Country programmes typically combine independent factory assessments with advisory and training services to support practical improvements through workplace cooperation. Using Better Work’s unique information management system (STAR), enterprises can share assessment and remediation information with their buyers. This in turn allows buyers to reduce their own auditing and redirect resources to fixing problems, focusing on sustainable solutions.
Furthermore, Better Work works with its alliance of stakeholders and partners—including governments, workers’ and employers’ organizations and buyers—to catalyze changes in relevant strategies, policies and practices at sectoral, national and international levels.
The purpose of this report encompassing the compliance assessments carried out during the course of Better Work Stage II, which ran from July 2009 to July 2012, is to present the baseline non-compliance 5 situation in five Better Work countries (Haiti, Indonesia, Jordan, Lesotho and Vietnam) at the start of programme operations1 . This analysis highlights cross-cutting issues that are endemic to the global garment industry, and identifies outliers, which are often due to discrepancies between international labour standards and national labour law. It must be noted that the national contexts in which Better Work operates differ widely, and this renders comparisons across countries sometimes difficult to interpret. For example, the garment sector in Jordan heavily relies on migrant labour, creating specific challenges related to forced labour, contracts and human resources, and method of payment, affecting to some extent the comparability of non-compliance findings. Furthermore, the report presents the observed changes in non-compliance over time in the countries where Better Work has carried out more than one assessment cycle (Haiti, Jordan and Vietnam), drawing conclusions about the effectiveness of the Better Work model combining assessments, advisory and training services.
Compliance synthesis reports for each of its country programmes, presenting analysis of non-compliance at the aggregate level. The goal of these reports is to provide transparent information for all programme stakeholders regarding working conditions in the factories participating in the programme.