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GSCP Reference Tool on Social and Labor Management Systems for Suppliers

This resource, developed with support from Shift, is designed for suppliers to help them assess and manage social and labor rights risks through robust management systems.

September 2013 | Global Social Compliance Programme, Consumer Goods Forum | Pages: 90

This resource, developed with support from Shift, is designed for suppliers to help them assess and manage social and labor rights risks through robust management systems. The introduction below is excerpted from the resource. 


The term ‘Supplier’ is here used to denote organisations that supply goods or services to others. 

A management system is here defined as an operational set of policies and procedures that a Supplier implements to achieve and measure progress in relation to its established objectives and thus contributing towards continuous improvement in working conditions.

The amount of detail contained in a management system will vary according to the size, complexity and resources of the Supplier. It is the responsibility of the Supplier to determine the level of detail and the content of the management system appropriate to its own business and the risks it faces by analysing past and present social and labour aspects, and associated needs for improvements.

Objectives of the Reference Tool

The objectives of the SLMS Reference tool are to:

  1. Provide a general overview of the management system (MS) approach that can help a Supplier to consistently improve its level of social compliance.
  2. Provide a Supplier with the best practice elements of an effective management system on social and labour policy which can be integrated with other management functions and practices to promote continuous improvement.

Focus on Social and Labour Issues

Suppliers have management systems in relation to many aspects of their business. This Reference tool relates to those systems that support social and labour policies. Section 5 specifically covers these aspects by providing for 16 key topics detailed Reference requirement on: Policy elements, Relevant Procedures, Monitoring and KPIs. The requirements revolve around:

  • respect for universal human rights;
  • compliance with international labour standards;
  • compliance with national employment legislation;
  • effective human resource management;
  • compliance with additional customer requirements on social and labour performance;
  • continuous improvement in working conditions.

and cover fundamental issues and standards as detailed by the GSCP Reference Code, namely:

  • prohibition of forced, bonded, indentured and compulsory prison labour;
  • prohibition of child labour;
  • freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining;
  • prohibition of discrimination on the basis of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth, age, marital status, caste, social background, diseases, disability, pregnancy, ethnic origin, nationality, membership in worker organizations including unions, political affiliation, sexual orientation, or any other status;
  • health and safety;
  • wages, benefits and terms of employment, by providing wages, overtime pay, benefits and paid leave which respectively meet or exceed legal minimum and/or industry benchmark standards and/or collective agreements, whichever is higher. Compensation shall meet basic needs and provide some discretionary income for workers and their families.
  • working hours.
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