An ethical audit measures performance against the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) Base Code. It is a method of ensuring that you are compliant with internationally-recognised standards in labour, health and safety, the environment and business ethics.
It involves a review of HR and employment documentation and also covers health and safety. As this is a social audit to review worker welfare, an important part of the audit process is to carry out worker interviews which are conducted confidentially. These are used to verify the findings of the document review, but can also enable workers to voice any concerns they have about their employment.
Ethical trading means that retailers, brands and their suppliers take responsibility for improving the working conditions of those making their products. It is an integral part of the business for the major retailers, who are keen to ensure fair treatment of workers throughout their supply chain.
Do I need an ethical audit?
Many retailers will require their suppliers to have an ethical audit before they can start a supply contract, but all retailers are different so check with your customers. So, if your products appear in their stores, it’s likely that you will need an ethical audit. It’s also a demonstration to others that you take the welfare of your workers seriously.