Supplier Code of Conduct
12 June 2021 – 8 min read
At Kester Black, we make cosmetics differently. We only use high-quality, sustainably and ethically sourced ingredients and manufacture to EU regulations in accordance with our ethical, social and environmental principles. Therefore, we expect all of our business partners to conduct their business with the same values and respect for our company. We’ve developed our Code of Conduct to clarify the minimum standards expected of our business partners who are, directly and indirectly, part of the supply chain. We expect our partners to uphold these standards of compliance in their operations, and have outlined best practise where applicable to make sure our communities and our environment are protected.
Scope of Application
This Code of Conduct applies to all partners that are in a business relationship with Kester Black, including but not limited to: contractors, suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, distribution centers, their subcontractors and other relevant suppliers.
To ensure implementation, compliance and regulation of the principles included in this Code of Conduct, Kester Black’s business partners agree to have verification mechanisms and well functioning management systems in place. These systems should be guided by clear policies with accountable organisation, processes, and a communication and feedback framework to recognise, correct and improve health, safety, and environmental impacts. When submitting information, business partners are expected to be transparent and not intentionally mislead Kester Black.
By signing this document, business partners affirm their commitment to abide by the principles outlined in this Code of Conduct document.
Code of Conduct Implementation
Business partners agree to prominently post this Code of Conduct in the workplace in the local language, as well as implement and integrate the Code and supporting guidelines in their operations. It is the business partner’s responsibility to ensure compliance among their subcontractors and other relevant suppliers.
Supporting Kester Black’s values around ethics and social responsibility, business partners will not, under any circumstance, use any form of forced and compulsory labor, debt bondage, servitude or slave labor and conditions akin to slavery (including, without limitation, prison labor, bonded labor, indentured labor). Additionally, no employee may be directly or indirectly compelled to work through force, blackmail, and/or intimidation. Employees shall not be required to lodge ‘deposits’ and shall be free to leave their employment after reasonable notice.
Right of association, collective bargaining
Employees, without exception, shall have the right to set up trade unions, associations or organisations of their own volition for the purpose of promoting and protecting the interests and rights of the employees. Employees will not be discriminated against for their affiliation with these associations or organisations, and have access to carry out their representative functions in the workplace. Employees shall also have the right to join or leave such unions, associations or organisations, and to work for them without previous authorisation, penalty or interference.
Workplace health and safety
In compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, business partners agree to provide employees with a safe, hygienic, and healthy workplace. Business partners shall also provide policies, systems, and training to promote health and safety within the workplace and prevent injury. To support this, businesses shall set up systems capable of detecting and preventing any potential hazards to the health and safety of its employees. It is the responsibility of the business partner to regularly keep employees informed and trained regarding current workplace health and safety regulations and safety measures. Business partners agree to ensure that their workplaces offer adequate ventilation and temperature, clean toilet facilities and access to clean drinking water in sufficient quantities.
The employment and/or exploitation of children is strictly prohibited.
Business partners, contractors, subcontractors and relevant suppliers agree to abide by all legal limitations regarding employment of persons below the age of 18-years. Necessary measures shall be taken to prevent that no one under the age of 18-years old is recruited.
Wages and benefits
A fair living wage should always be enough to meet the basic needs of employees and their families, while providing some discretionary income.
Business partners ensure that the wages, overtime and benefits paid for a standard working week meet, at a minimum, the national legal level, industry level, a fair living wage or collective bargaining agreement, whichever is higher.
Compensation shall be provided in a way that is prompt and easily understood. All fringe benefits required by law or contract are provided. The employee shall be granted and correctly compensated for any type of paid leave to which they are legally entitled. Conditional payments or disciplinary deductions are not tolerated.
Working hours and overtime
Business partners agree to implement working hours that adhere to the strictest requirements in place at any given time, under collective agreements, current law and regulations. A work week shall not exceed 48 hours, or 60 hours where overtime is included. Overtime shall be remunerated in alignment with domestic standards and must take place on a voluntary basis, compensated at a premium rate recommended to be no less than 125% of the regular rate of pay. The employee is entitled to at least one (1) day off after working for six (6) days in a row.
Discrimination of any type in hiring, compensation, access to training, promotion, termination or retirement is strictly prohibited. In particular, this includes any active or passive distinction, exclusion or preference made on the basis of ability, age, caste, color, ethnicity, disease, gender, job position, marital status, membership of an employee organisation/union/association, nationality, national or social origin, political opinion, physical or mental disability, pregnancy, race, religion, sexual orientation or other personal characteristics.
Furthermore, business partners agree to have a grievance mechanism in place to facilitate the reporting and management of employee complaints without risk of retaliation.
Kester Black does not permit subcontracts without prior written approval. All orders must be produced within facilities that have been approved by Kester Black, and adhere to this Code of Conduct, without exception. All business partners and suppliers are required to continuously monitor approved subcontractors and sub-suppliers for social and environmental responsibility using standards that meet or exceed this Code.
Positive work environment
Employees, indiscriminately and without exception, shall be treated with respect, dignity and equality. Disciplinary measures such as sanctions, fines, and other penalties may only be applied in line with current national and international standards, that abide by internationally recognised human rights. Business partners will ensure that employees shall not be subjected to any form of harassment, coercion or abuse, including, without limitation, verbal, mental, physical, financial, psychological, sexual and/or bodily force at their workplace.
Compliance with legislation, regulations, and contracts
As a minimum, business partners agree to uphold contractual obligations established between all relevant parties throughout the contract period, and to comply with all applicable laws and regulations (including anti-corruption, fraud and bribery laws) in the workplace and where they conduct business.
Documentation of employment relationship
Business partners agree to provide their employees with written documentation, in their own language, clearly defining the conditions of employment in relation to the manufacturing phases directly concerning them. This includes but isn’t limited to: commencement and end date of the employment, contractual commitment, working hours, salary, bonuses, benefits and leave entitlements. All work completed must be on the basis of a mutually recognised employment relationship established through national law and practice. For supplier records, the name, date and place of birth and, if possible, home address of the employee shall be recorded. Business partners agree to uphold obligations to employees, under labor or social security laws and regulations arising from the regular employment relationship. Business partners shall not avoid these obligations through the use of labor-only contracting, fixed-term or short-term contracts or through apprenticeship or internship schemes where there is no real intent to impart skills or provide regular employment.
Business partners agree to monitor or report on any procedures and standards in force for waste management, handling chemicals and other hazardous substances and their disposal and those pertaining to emissions and waste water treatment.
To prevent, reduce and mitigate environmental burdens, business partners shall comply with all applicable environmental laws and regulations in the jurisdictions in which they operate on an ongoing basis. This includes laws and regulations related to water quality, water use, water conservation, air quality and emissions, pollution, waste, re-use, recycling, and energy efficiency.
Kester Black will continuously seek out business partners who provide proactive leadership and partnership in reducing these impacts.
Use of Chemicals
Business partners manufacturing any product for Kester Black shall meet all contractually agreed applicable requirements specified in Kester Black’s Quality Assurance Agreement.
Regarding the use and disposal of chemicals, business partners shall conduct all operations, including maintaining valid permits, in full compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. Business partners shall ensure responsible storage, handling, use and disposal of all chemicals used in compliance with the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for each chemical product.
Monitoring the Code of Conduct
Kester Black is responsible for ensuring compliance among business partners with the principles outlined in this Code of Conduct. Business partners guarantee that where required, Kester Black’s employees or authorised third-parties are entitled to monitor compliance with the principles laid down in this Code of Conduct by those directly or otherwise engaged by it.
Sanctions and remedial measures
By agreeing to this Code of Conduct you provide Kester Black with entitlement to monitor the principles laid down in this Code. Where non-compliance is detected, business partners are obliged to take appropriate and reasonable remedial action immediately. Kester Black has the right to terminate the business relationship(s) with the business partner(s) if appropriate and reasonable measures are not implemented, or non-compliance is still detected after its detection.
Complaints, queries or information concerning any breach of this Code of Conduct may be reported to firstname.lastname@example.org. When investigating and acting on this information, Kester Black will ensure confidentiality of information and identity protection. All business partners guarantee that they will abstain from taking any retaliative, disadvantageous or disciplinary measures against the person filing a complaint or against Kester Black in relation to a complaint.
In partnership with Kester Black, business partners shall uphold the ethical, social and environmental integrity of our product content claims throughout the supply chain. Kester Black believes transparency and traceability is a crucial step in transforming the industry for the better.
To support this goal, Kester Black requires suppliers to map, continuously track and monitor all locations in all levels of their supply chain and, upon request, provide transparency and traceability information into the owned and/or subcontracted plants, factories and other sites that are involved in the production of Kester Black’s products.