Code of Conduct
Code of Conduct
Balmuir is committed to respecting human rights and ensuring sustainable working methods. The aim of this Code of Conduct is to set up the values and principles that Balmuir strives to implement in its supply chain. The Code of Conduct is based on international conventions such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, United Nations Conventions, UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights and International Labour Organization Conventions and Recommendations.
The principles set out in this Code of Conduct represent the minimum requirements that Balmuir sets for its suppliers, the subcontractors of its suppliers, and other business partners (hereinafter together also: “Partner” or “Partners”). Balmuir’s Partners have an obligation to inform their subcontractors about this Code of Conduct.
To monitor its Partners’ conformity with these requirements, Balmuir shall have the right to make unannounced visits to all facilities producing goods for Balmuir. Balmuir shall also have the right to appoint an independent third party to conduct audits to evaluate Partners’ compliance with this Code of Conduct. Balmuir has the right, at its sole discretion, to terminate its business relationship with Partner if Partner repeatedly violates this Code of Conduct or does not cooperate with Balmuir in respect of any topic included in this Code of Conduct.
All Partners must comply with all applicable local, national and supranational law, including but not limited to all applicable labour and environmental laws, in the countries or jurisdictions in which they operate.
Partners are also committed to the requirements set out in this Code of Conduct. Partners acknowledge that the requirements set out in this Code of Conduct may go beyond the requirements set out in applicable law.
Certificates and Audits
All Partners shall immediately inform Balmuir if any environmental, labour or other certificates relating to any factories or other production facilities used by the Partners are no longer in force. Upon request from Balmuir, Partner shall deliver to Balmuir information relating to any audits conducted in factories or other production facilities used by the Partner.
All Partners shall enter into written employment agreements with their employees. The employment agreements shall be made in the official language of employees’ principal place of work. All employment agreements shall be fully compliant with applicable local, national and supranational law.
Prohibition of Forced Labour
Balmuir does not accept any type of forced, bonded, indentured or non-voluntary labour at Partner facilities. Every employee shall be treated with respect and dignity. Partners shall ensure that migrant employees have the same entitlements as local employees. All employees of Partner shall be free to terminate their employment.
Balmuir does not accept any form of discrimination. Partners shall not discriminate against an employee based on employee’s gender, age, religion, race, caste, pregnancy, disability, social background, sexual orientation, political opinions, diseases, or any other condition that could give rise to discrimination. Employees shall not be harassed or disciplined on any of the grounds listed above.
Freedom of Association
All employees of Partner shall have the right to form, join, and organise trade unions of their choice and to bargain collectively on their behalf with Partner. Partner shall respect this right and shall effectively inform its employees that they are free to join an organisation of their choosing. Partner shall not intimidate, harass, or retaliate against employees, in any way, for participation in a union or other representative organization or for attempting to organize or form a union.
Child labour is always forbidden as defined by International Labour Organization and United Nations Conventions and/or by applicable national law. Of these various standards, Partner shall follow the one that is the most stringent. In addition, Partner’s employees must always be at least 15 years of age, or past the national legal age of compulsory schooling and minimum working age, whichever is higher. Any form of exploitation of children is forbidden. Upon request from Balmuir, Partner shall deliver to Balmuir, a separate written document, indicating that Partner fully complies with this section of the Code of Conduct.
All Partners must fully comply with all legal limitations on the employment of persons below the age of 18. Where young workers are employed, Partners should ensure that the work is not harmful to their health. Where such young workers are subject to compulsory education laws, they may work only outside of school hours.
All Partners shall respect the right of the employees to receive fair remuneration that is sufficient to provide them with a decent living for themselves and their families. Wages must be paid regularly on time, and reflect the skills, education and experience of the employees.
Partners shall pay at least the statutory minimum wage, the prevailing industry wage or the wage negotiated in a collective agreement, whichever is the highest.
All Partners shall comply with applicable national laws and industry standards on working hours and public holidays. The maximum allowable working hours are as defined by applicable national laws but shall not on a regular basis exceed 48 hours in a week or 8 hours in a day and the maximum allowable overtime hours in a week shall not exceed 12 hours. Overtime hours are to be worked solely on a voluntary basis and overtime hours must be exceptional and compensated in accordance with applicable laws. Furthermore, Partners shall grant their workers the right to keep breaks during the working days and the right to at least one day off every seven days.
Bribery and Corruption
Balmuir does not accept any form of corrupt practices including but not limited to extortion, fraud or bribery. Partners shall fully comply with applicable national and international regulations relating to bribery and corruption and are expected to conduct business in a professional, fair and lawful manner.
Health and Safety
All Partners shall provide a safe and healthy workplace environment for their employees. Partners shall take effective steps to prevent potential accidents and injury to employees’ health arising out of, associated with, or occurring in the course of work. The workplace must be regularly cleaned.
Systems to detect, avoid or respond to potential threats to health and safety of all personnel shall be established. A clear set of regulations and procedures must be established and followed regarding occupational health and safety.
Hazardous or unsafe ingredients, equipment or facilities are not accepted. Relevant first aid and protective equipment must be available.
Partners have a fire prevention and emergency action plan to protect employees during normal working operations and emergency situations. Emergency exits must be clearly marked and unblocked. Every employee must have the right to immediately exit the facilities from imminent danger without seeking permission.
All employees shall receive regular and recorded health and safety training, moreover, such training shall be repeated for new and reassigned employees.
All Partners shall ensure free access to drinking water, safe and clean eating, cooking, food storage areas, clean resting areas as well as clean toilet facilities.
All Partners must comply with all environmental laws and regulations in the countries or jurisdictions in which they operate. Partners obtain and have all required environmental permits.
Water is a scarce resource in many parts of the world and should be used as efficiently as possible. Therefore, Partners minimize freshwater withdrawals. Partners promote water reduction and water efficiency. Partners discharge wastewater in compliance with applicable local and national laws and regulations.
Partners must constantly improve resource efficiency and strive to reduce and minimize waste generation in their business operations. Partners segregate, manage, and dispose of all waste in compliance with local and national laws and regulations.
All Partners must comply with the Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) and other applicable national and supranational chemicals laws. Partners ensure that their employees in contact with any chemicals are provided with adequate protective equipment. Upon request from Balmuir, Partner must demonstrate a consistent, effective, and legally compliant program for chemicals management. The program clearly identifies and mitigates chemical risk to the environment by facilitating procurement, proper handling, storage, use, and disposal of chemicals.
Balmuir does not accept any form of cruelty to animals. Balmuir expects that its Partners recognise animals as sensitive beings which must be treated with respect. Partners shall comply with applicable animal welfare laws and international recommendations relating to animal welfare and ensure that materials derived from animals are from animals that are treated in accordance with applicable animal welfare laws and international recommendations.
Compliance with the Code of Conduct
Compliance with this Code of Conduct is mandatory for all Partners irrespective of whether they are Balmuir’s suppliers, subcontractors of Balmuir’s suppliers or any other business partners or contracting parties of Balmuir.
By signing below, Partner commits to fully comply with this Code of Conduct and to inform its subcontractors about their obligation to comply with this Code of Conduct.
Balmuir constantly develops its compliance and sustainability processes and Balmuir therefore has the right to update this Code of Conduct unilaterally at any time. Balmuir shall deliver an up-to-date version of this Code of Conduct to its Partners after all such updates. Please submit the signed Code of Conduct to the buyer you are working with at Balmuir, email: