Zero Tolerance Protocol

10 Mar 2021

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 Terms and Conditions agreed by Better Work and participating factories.

However, in cases where critical issues, or circumstances that pose an imminent and significant threat to worker health and safety, are found, the Better Work Zero Tolerance Protocol (ZTP) ensues.

Through this protocol, the government authorities are informed about any critical issues in order to take immediate action. Formal discussions about this mechanism to report serious violations and threats to workers’ lives is currently ongoing between Better Work and MOM.

BW considers human rights violations, including child labour, forced labour, corporal punishment, physical abuse, violence, and issues that pose an imminent threat to worker health and safety to be zero tolerance issues.

Better Work has requested the Ministry of Manpower in Egypt whether they would like to add any specific issues to the list of critical issues for the Egyptian context. Discussions are ongoing.

In case the protocol gets triggered as a result of a specific situation in a factory, the Zero Tolerance Protocol foresees BW requesting the MOM to initiate investigations into the matter within 48 hours of its notification and will follow up with the ministry within 72 hours of informing the ministry of the violation and request 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. As necessary and appropriate, the ministry may coordinate with other appropriate governmental authorities.

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