This is a 2018 update to the FWF Complaints Procedure.
FWF’s complaints procedure enables FWF member companies to provide access to remedy for workers in their supply chains. It allows workers, their representatives, including trade unions and civil society organisations to present complaints about working conditions and violations of the FWF Code of Labour Practices at factories supplying FWF members.
Main changes and new elements in the procedure
- Clearer definition of the goal of the system and (distinction) of roles of members versus FWF
- Possibility of disclosing the factory name in case of a production location’s unwillingness to remediate a critical finding
- Added a check for genuineness before moving on to admissibility check
- Added explicit reference for member companies to prevent retaliation towards complainant
- Includes steps to inform and involve local social partners
- FWF will now publish reports on complaints that concern issues for which a CAP was already agreed upon after a recent audit (previously not publicly reported)
- Includes explicit steps to inform worker representation
- Added wording on reassessing role of member company when factory cannot participate in remediation
- More explicit step for consulting complainant when drawing up remediation plan
- (Facilitation of) mediation added for when it is not possible to come to a clear conclusion about whether the complaint was grounded, hence for cases in which it is difficult to formulate required action (whether mediation is FWF’s role and responsibility in general needs further evaluation)
- More clarity on the different status of complaints (especially when handling ends)
Main implications for FWF members
- Clear timeframes are set.
- In countries where there is no FWF team the member company should propose a team to implement the investigation under auspices of the relevant local union and/or, where applicable, IndustriAll.
- FWF must approve the final corrective action plan for remediation and the role of the FWF member brand. These should focus on creating a situation that complies with the FWF Code of Labour Practices.
- When verification indicates that the factory has not conducted satisfactory remediation, FWF will change the complaint status to ‘closed: not solved’ and will discuss with the complainant and the member brand how to move ahead.
- Financial responsibilities:
- FWF covers the costs of the investigation (unless the complaint happens in a country where FWF is not active)
- The member and/or factory (depending on agreement reached) cover(s) remediation costs