Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI)

What is a BSCI Audit ?

A Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) audit is the process of assessing an organization’s social compliance in the global supply chain. It aims to evaluate the processes and working conditions of the organization if it adheres to the principles of the BSCI code of conduct. A BSCI audit is essential to create a consistent and harmonious ethical supply chain.

Importance of BSCI Audit

Conducting a BSCI audit helps the organization in monitoring and assessing workplace standards including traders, vendors, and suppliers if they demonstrate social responsibility across the global supply chain. It helps the organization to:
• avoid labour issues of their suppliers,
• standardize policies and processes according to the global market trade, and
• reduce unnecessary damage costs and negative press.

11 Principles of BSCI Code of Conduct

BSCI was established in 2003 by the Foreign Trade Association (FTA) to establish a common platform for the various European companies’ codes of conduct and monitoring systems. The following are the principles observed under BSCI code of conduct:

1. The Right of Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining

Employees have the right to join or form a union group to cooperate and engage in a dialogue about workplace issues and collective bargaining.

2. Fair Remuneration

Employees should receive fair compensation for the service they provided. It should be sufficient to provide them with a decent living for themselves and their families.

3. Occupational Health and Safety

The organization must comply with Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) practices implemented and followed across the business. Partners should protect their employees in any work-related incidents, injuries, and illnesses.

4. Special Protection for Young Workers

Business partners should ensure the health and safety of young workers considering the kind of work, health risks, and working hours which would likely affect their attendance and participation at school.

5. No Bonded Labour

Business partners shall not participate in any form of servitude or non-voluntary labour. They should allow their workers the right to leave work and terminate their employment provided with reasonable notice to their employer.

6. Ethical Business Behaviour

The organization should observe the principle of a corruption-free environment. Transparency is observed in all activities involving structure, training, and employee performances. All data information should be reliable and accurately recorded.

7. No Discrimination

The organization shall not discriminate, exclude or have a certain preference for choosing their employees on the basis of disabilities, race, gender, and more.

8. Decent Working Hours

Employees are not required to work more than 48 regular hours per week, without prejudice to specific expectations. In exceptional cases defined by the International Labour Organization (ILO) overtime may be permitted but it should be voluntary, doesn’t compromise Workplace Exposure Limits (WELs), and paid at a premium rate of not less than one and one-quarter times the regular rate.

9. No Child Labour

The organization should establish a clear policy in employing their workers. Upon recruitment employers shall ensure the applicant is not less than 15 years of age unless the job is under the exception recognized by the ILO.

10. No Precarious Employment

Employers should secure a written contract for all onboarding employees covering the national legislation, custom or practice, and international labour standards.

11. Protection of the Environment

The organization should assess the environmental impact of operations including waste management, and establish effective policies and procedures to protect the environment, community, and natural resources.