This pilot vulnerable workers toolkit provides companies in the agricultural and food supply chain with specific guidance on tackling worker vulnerability. It complements ETI’s more general Human Rights Due Diligence Framework.
This Toolkit has been produced in response to requests from Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) member companies for practical guidance and examples of good practice, to support efforts that improve working conditions for vulnerable workers in agricultural and food supply chains.
The Toolkit is primarily aimed at first tier suppliers and has been developed through consultations with ETI members and other companies and stakeholders. Most of the guidance and examples are drawn from the experience of retailers and major suppliers, and it draws on existing guidance from a variety of organisations as well as practical examples of activities and approaches.
The Toolkit is structured around the due diligence framework set out in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) which emphasises the responsibility of business to respect human rights within their own operations and their business relationships. The steps in this Toolkit complement the ETI’s Human Rights Due Diligence Framework by providing specific guidance on what suppliers in the agricultural and food supply chains can do to address the particular risks to vulnerable workers in their operations and supply chains.
The Toolkit is intended to be a living document that can be revised as lessons are learned and experience of effectively improving vulnerable workers’ conditions develops.
How to use the toolkit
The actions in this toolkit are applicable to all tiers of a company’s supply chain, though the guidance is aimed primarily at supporting tier suppliers’ efforts to address worker vulnerability in their supply chains. It can also be used by range of actors and stakeholders including compliance managers and HR managers, buyers and technical staff at suppliers, as well as ethical trade staff at retailers, and worker representatives and NGOs. It can be used by individual companies or collaboratively between companies and stakeholders to identify and address risks faced by vulnerable workers in different circumstances.
It is intended to be read as an integrated document or equally well as a resource that is referred to according to a particular stage of due diligence or a particular issue that a company faces.
Tools include checklists, questions and processes to consider when conducting each due diligence activity, along with case studies of good or interesting practice derived from ETI members’ experience and across the sector. All checklists and processes within this toolkit, or those that are referenced, can be amended to suit the particular requirements of your business.
The steps in this Toolkit follow the structure of the ETI’s broader human rights due diligence framework though the focus is on the particularities of worker vulnerability in agricultural and food supply chains. The Toolkit is structured as follows:
- Understanding which workers are most vulnerable
- Idendfying the characterisdcs that contribute to vulnerability
- Assessing and prioridsing risks
- Identifying risks in supply chains
- Where are your products sourced
- Initial risk analysis for high risk countries and workplaces
- Prioritising risks
- Conducting more detailed assessments
- Developing action plans
- Analysing root causes
- Developing action plans
- Reviewing corporate policies
- Reviewing practices
- Using leverage
- Taking action
- Working with suppliers
- Training and capacity-building
- Establishing grievance mechanisms
- Monitoring and reporting
- Monitoring and reviewing
- Reporting and communicating