Social Compliance

 

Social Compliance:  

BKMEA’s Commitment to embracing the best in norms

According to BusinessDictionary.com, the definition of Social Compliance as it pertains to business is: a continuing process in which the involved parties keep on looking for better ways to protect the health, safety, and fundamental rights of their employee, and to protect and enhance the community and environment in which they operate.

Compliance can:

  • Enhance differentiation in a fiercely competitive global industry
  • Increase worker satisfaction, loyalty, retention, motivation, and productivity
  • Provide a framework for systematic integration of social compliance in business operations
  • Add visibility and credibility to corporate responsibility

 About Social Compliance Cell:

BKMEA understands the necessity of social compliance in the knitwear factories. As the custodian of the sector, BKMEA has formed a Social Compliance Cell comprising of a group of competent Social Compliance experts to monitor compliance status of member factories on a regular basis since 2006. It works in the following way:

  1. The factory monitoring process has been going on since 2006 using a four color graded checklist based on ‘National Labor Law 2006’, basic requirements of buyers Code of Conducts (COC) and others applicable national & international rules & regulation.
  2. Early 2010 BKMEA developed a unified check list, which contains 100 marks on successful implementation of compliance issues. Now the factory monitoring process is going on by this check list.
  3. Side by side, the cell has been involved in publishing hand books on labor laws, compliance guidelines and different kinds of awareness raising poster& stickers on health and safety, service book, minimum wage, grievance procedure, environment, basic rights of workers etc. issues to make both the  factory owners and workers aware about their responsibilities.
  4. Compliance Cell has been providing both Mid- level Management and workers training on key compliance issues like Employment condition, Working Hours, Leaves and Holidays, Maternity benefits, Wage Benefits, Welfare Issues, Occupational Health , Fire Safety, chemical Safety, Industrial Relation, Environment Safety etc.
  5. In order to prevent fire-related accident, BKMEA Fire Safety Cell regularly conducts training activities and fire drills at its member factories.
  6.  In addition to these BKMEA has launched Factory based consultancy program for its member factories as well as other related industries.

 Compliance Audit:

Audits and assessments provide vital management control for Process Safety Management, Process Security Management, and Risk Management Programs. Audits focus on the policies and procedures to verify compliance with regulatory requirements and industry standards. They help to ensure programs are properly designed and implemented. Further, audits also identify program deficiencies so that recommendations can be developed for corrective action.

Core labor standards commitment:

  1. Zero tolerance on  Child Labor
  2. Snuffing out  all Forms of Forced or Compulsory Labor across the factory level
  3. Compulsory participation committee for healthy owner-labor relationship.
  4. Freedom of Association  and Right to Collective Bargaining
  5. Mitigating unrest through mutual understanding, but by going by the law.


Core Strength of the BKMEA Social compliance Team:

  • Lead Auditor Certificate Training:

    ISO14001:2004(Environmental Safety Management System) and ISO18001:2007 (Occupational Health & Safety Management System) Accredited by NABET (National Accredited Board for Education & Training). Training received from TUV-SUD Bangladesh Ltd.

  • Senior Master Trainers Training:

    Senior Master Trainers Certificate training on Essential Health and Safety (EOSH) organize/ received by ITC-ILO (International Training Center-ILO). It’s an internationally recognized training Program.

  • TOT (Training of Trainers)

    Training organized by GIZ on Advanced and Moderate c3 Training Technique, Social Compliance and Factory Monitoring & Audit Technique, Environmental Safety, Occupational Health & Safety, Fire Safety, Negotiation and Dialog, Security Compliance (C-TPAT), International Major Standards, Process of Policy Procedures, CSR (Corporate Social Responsibilities) Activities etc.

  • TOT (Training of Trainers)

    Training organized by ILO on Interest based Negotiation and Joint Problem Solving (IBN-Process), Workplace Co-operation etc.

Expertise Developed on the Areas Of:

  • Bangladesh Labor Law-2006.
  • Bangladesh Labor Law-2006 (Amended-2013).
  • Factory Negotiation, Dispute Settlement and Grievance Handling.
  • Fire Act & Rules and Regulations.
  • BNBC (Bangladesh National Building Code).
  • Building Safety, Fire & Electrical Safety.
  • Occupational Health and Safety (OHS), Environmental Safety, Chemical Safety and Management System.
  • International Major Social Standards (WRAP, BSCI, ILO, SEDEX, FLA etc.) and Buyers Code of Conducts (CoC).
  • CSR (Corporate Social Responsibilities) Activities.
  • Customs compliance etc.
  • All trainers provide trainings to the trainees (Skill, Semi- skill, up skill, Awareness training etc.) by using c3 training methodology/ technique

Activities of Compliance Cell:

1.
New Establishment / Factory Membership Audit.
For ensuring absolute compliance at enterprise level, the factory is assessed by senior experts on basic Social compliance, Fire, Electrical, Building Safety, legal workers’ rights.The Factory is given licenseafter thoroughly scrutinizing the mentioned issues and upon findings that the factory goes by the regulations

2.
Social Compliance Development Audit under Social Compliance  Factory Monitoring Program.
To sustain in international competiveness & international market demand, BKMEA,as a regulator, has been running different activities for its member factories. To meet the international standards, BKMEA always is in effort to improve itsmember’s social compliance status. BKMEA runs a Social Compliance development Audit under the Social Compliance Monitoring Program.

From the very Beginning of this program,BKMEA used to evaluate the factory social compliance norms by a four color grade
(Grade A- Green, Grade B- Yellow, Grade C-Orange and Grade D- Red) check list.

Till now the color grade exists, but now the entire factory is evaluated by a hundred (100) marks checklist with an Eighty Three (83) questionnaires covered by different compliance segments like -Employment Related issues, Wages & Benefits, Working Hours, Leave & Holydays, Welfare, Maternity Benefits, Health & Safety Issues, Fire Safety, Industrial Relation, Environmental Issues etc.

Under this development program a factory is audited through three phases:

  • 1st preliminary visit: Checking out the factory status and offer suggestive development formula.

  • 2nd Follow-up visit: Investigating development status and new corrective measures.

  • 3rd Final visit: Checking up on whether the factory has matured into an international standard compliant factory.

    Continual bi-annual visit: Once the factory is upgraded into compliant one, BKMEA still continues visiting the factory twice in a year to oversee whether any flaws can be found out. If found, BKMEA compliance team takes into account the seriousness of the problem existing and suggest corrective action plans with a specified dateline.

Factory Monitoring Program- Development indicators after Audit conducted in 1500 Factories
3.
Factory based consultancy service on total compliance implementation process:
In line with the existing services, BKMEA has initiated a consultancy program for developing overall compliance status in its members factories as well as other  non-members factories if the factory demands in exchange of minimal services fees. Within the service  tenure, a factory is evaluated by competent experts comprising of Social compliance, Fire safety, Building integrity, Electrical Safety, Chemical safety as well as Environmental issues. Necessary suggestion is provided for document development & Policy support. Under this program, trainings for Skill development are provided to mid- level Management& Workers.

4.

Six Months Diploma course on “Social Compliance & CSR in RMG sector”
This course ascribes much importance to capacity building process, networking and policy framing issues, thereby building a specialized human resource for Bangladesh Knitwear sector. It also helps the trainees to gain required knowledge, skills, and competencies for becoming a compliance auditor as well as manager and manufacturers. With commitment to explicating Bangladesh Labor Law, Welfare Facility, Occupational Health & Safety, CSR, C-TPAT, HRM etc. thoroughly under the Diploma course, BKMEA uses professional training team to equip the trainees with all compliance related activities and action plans.

5.
Different types of  Training  programs:
 

Factory based Mid- Level Management Training on following issues

 

Bangladesh Labor Law – 2006,
Industrial Relation and supply chain management,
Occupational Health & Safety,
Electrical Safety, Chemical Safety, Environment Safety for the knitwear industry
Building Safety, Bangladesh National Building Code (BNBC) for structural development
Fire Act and Rules & Regulation, 
Security Compliance (C-TPAT) ,
Buyers Code of Conducts (CoC), International Major  Standards,
Formulation Process of  Company  Policies& Procedures , Audit Techniques etc.

 

Factory Based workers Awareness Training on following issues

 

Employment related issues& Legal Rights,
Wages & benefits,  Leaves, Welfare calculation
Health&Hygiene for the workers, 
Grievance Procedure, Misconduct & Penalty, Participation Committee,
Workplace cooperation etc.

6.

Other CustomizedTraining & Workshop on :
BKMEA has initiated to improve the standards of the industry professionals through different customized trainings & Workshops programs. Compliance Cell provides Training &Workshop on (Factory Based/In House) different relatedissues in exchange of minimum fees as per the demand of the stakeholders.



In an ever-tightening regulatory atmosphere, expensive product recalls are increasingly common, especially for products being sourced in multiple countries. Not only do recalls cost money, but they take a toll on industry’s image. Knitwear industry in Bangladesh is a highly versatile sector, with smaller firms providing flexibility needed for smaller orders; the larger firms have the capacity to service the world’s biggest buyersimporters. In this connection, BKMEA Social Compliance Team embraced the best in the compliance norms and has been in ceaseless effort to upgrade the standard. It is now established that the Knitwear industries under BKMEA has been compliant over the time.