Heigo Nederland B.V., Complaint 56

CONCERNING LABOUR STANDARDS
Payment of a living wage Reasonable hours of work
STATUS
Closed
DATE
2013-12-13

On 12 December FWF received two complaints of a worker, representing five people, working for a factory supplying Heigo. The complaints related to FWF’s standards ‘reasonable hours of work’ and ‘living wage’.

Findings and conclusions

On 12 December FWF received two complaints of a worker, representing five people, working for a factory supplying Heigo. The complaints related to FWF’s standards ‘reasonable hours of work’ and ‘living wage’.

Heigo contacted the supplier immediately. The excessive overtime was the result of a number of factors. Heigo responded quickly and effectively to the complaint and undertook a number of steps which can be read in this repport. FWF will conduct a Verification audit at the end of 2014 to check whether or not the issue of excessive overtime has been resolved effectively in terms of working hours and proper payment of overtime. At the next Brand Performance Check, FWF will check to see if Heigo’s efforts to reduce excessive overtime have been implemented effectively.

Overview of the complaint investigation

2014-01-30 Investigation

FWF informed Heigo about the case. Heigo contacted the supplier immediately as they were present at the factory the week after the complaint was received. The excessive overtime was the result of a number of factors including an external order placement (not given by Heigo), recent management changes, an order that was more technical
than expected and a subcontractor unexpectedly not being available.
The complaint regarding communication was also a result of recent management changes.

2014-01-30 Conclusion of the investigation

The complaint related to excessive overtime and living wage was found to be true by FWF affiliate.
The complaint regarding communication was also found to be true by FWF affiliate.

2014-01-30 Remediation

Heigo responded quickly and effectively to the complaint and undertook a number of steps briefly described below. For some of the issues, FWF also makes a recommendation:

Overtime:
The overtime that occurred was clearly an exception and not a rule at the factory. Since the complaint, Heigo has responded quickly and undertaken a number of steps to address the issues above including better forecasting of work and the workflow and increased monitoring during the production process. The occurrence of the recent overtime was also addressed during the annual company holiday party.

Living wages (1):
The complaints handler in Bulgaria checked to see whether workers
knew if they were properly compensated for their overtime hours. This process showed that workers were unclear about whether adequate compensation was received or not. Until the physical compensation documents can be reviewed, it therefore cannot be stated with certainty if proper payment was made.
Recommendation: It is recommended that Heigo organize a training session to better inform workers about how the compensation system works and provide better explanation of the payslip.

Living wages (2):
Heigo indicated that workers received the promised 50% premium on
the overtime hours worked. Bulgarian labour law stipulates that overtime hours must be paid at a premium of at least 50%.

Communication:
The complaint received regarding the communication between management and workers was remediated by clearly posting an organizational chart with the different names and levels of management and supervisors. It was also made clear that all supervisors must listen to and take seriously all worker issues and complaints.
The complaints handler investigation showed that the issue was not yet completely resolved, especially when management from the Netherlands is not present.
Recommendation: It is recommended that Heigo continue to monitor the communication between workers and management.

2014-01-30 Verification

FWF will conduct a Verification audit at the end of 2014 to check whether or not the issue of excessive overtime has been resolved effectively in terms of working hours and proper payment of overtime.
At the next Brand Performance Check, FWF will check to see if Heigo’s efforts to reduce excessive overtime have been implemented effectively.

2018-04-18 Closed

This complaint is closed.