1. Today is Wednesday, May 11, and you are conducting a social audit at Alphatex Industries Limited (AIL). Last month there were 4 statutory holidays on 13 - 16 April, Tuesday - Friday.
2. Pre audit information provided to you indicates 720 workers are employed at the factory of which 600 are male workers and 120 are female workers. Male workers are assigned production jobs as machine operators, assistant machine operators, and technicians. Females are assigned jobs as helpers in the sorting and thread cutting sections.
3. You arrive 15 minutes early for the audit and notice that male and female workers enter the factory through different entrances. When you enter the factory at the assigned time and enquire from the security guards the reason for different entrances, you are informed that female workers use a different time recording machines and therefore use a different entrance.
4. At the opening meeting the following personnel are present: General Manager, Factory Manager, QA staff, HR and Admin Manager, H&S Officer, Finance Manager, Payroll Officer, Head of Security and two male supervisors. Management informs you that as a part of their corporate responsibility they have training scheduled for workers at 5:30 pm related to hygiene, diet, nutrition and health & safety. They request you to attend the training to evaluate the quality of the training.
You asked if there were any emergency situations like work-related accidents or fires recently. and Management stated they have had no such incidents in the last 12 months and the H&S department does a good job.
5. Upon enquiring if workers representatives will join the meeting you are presented to John, one of the supervisors who is also a worker represeentiative. John began working as a machine operator 5 years ago and was promoted to a supervisor role 6 months ago. His responsibilities as a supervisor include hiring, promoting, disciplining and terminating workers, among other operational tasks. John is well respected in the company, therefore the workers have unanimously elected him as their representative for the last 4 years, including winning the latest elections in January this year after becoming a supervisor.
|Working hours (single shift)||8:30 am to 5:30 pm|
|Rest break||10:30 am - 10:40 am||Paid|
|Lunch||12:30 pm - 1:30 pm||Unpaid|
|Rest break||3:30 pm - 3:40 pm||Paid|
6. While enquiring with management about different time recording machines for male and female workers you are informed that this is done for the convenience of female workers as requested by them.
7. During a walkthrough of the factory you notice some soiled masks and safety gloves thrown in a large outdoor metal garbage bin in the chemical warehouse. The garbage bin is not marked with the usage or labeled with any sign. Workers are found wearing new masks and safety gloves.
8. During worker interviews you are informed that overtime (OT) is not common and is only done once or twice in a month for a couple of hours on weekdays, unless there is backlog of production due to national holidays when the factory is closed.
9. The factory had to retrench (let go) twenty (20) workers because of a loss of orders 6 months ago. According to management, they followed their retrenchment policy to lay off the lowest paid workers. Based on the review of payroll records, there are a total of 200 workers in the lowest paid scale. The twenty (20) workers who were laid off are from the lowest paid group, recently hired and are female. The decision was made on the basis of discussions among top management.
10. When reviewing personnel files you notice several loan request application forms indicating that workers are given personal monetary loans. When applying for a loan they are required to state the reason - management decides if the reason is fair and reasonable, prior to approving the loan. Workers sign agreeing to the terms and conditions of the loan, interest rate of the loan, and the repayment period – this is usually paid back by workers within 4-5 months as mutually agreed. Approximately, 15% of workers have applied for and have been granted loans in the last 6 months.
11. While walking through the stain removing section you notice mechanics/ technicians carrying out mechanical and electric repairs to the motor that runs an exhaust fan drawing out fumes from the stain removing station used by workers to clean garments. Later, during interviews, workers state that the motor breaks down frequently and this has been occuring more often the last six months.
12. During interviews, three (3) workers tell you about a fire that took place because of a short circuit in the motor of a machine three weeks ago. You are informed by these workers that two fire extinguishers were used to control the blaze and to prevent it from spreading across the factory. During the walkthrough you find no physical evidence of a fire taking place recently.
13. You notice from workers personnel files and HR records, that turnover of female workers is high. Management informs you that female workers often leave to get married therefore they are not a reliable source of workforce. That is the reason the factory hires less female workers as compared to male workers.
14. Reviewing payroll records for the peak production months you note that the percentage of female workers is higher during the months November to March and drops substantially from April. Upon reviewing the hiring ads posted on the notice board, outside the security office at the main gate, you observe that the facility does not discriminate in hiring specify gender requirement in the ads.
15. The factory states that they have used an external consultant to develop the corporate social responsibility policies and procedures. The consultant has trained management staff, supervisors and workers on expectations of the social audit and conducted awareness sessions amongst concerned parties. Awareness sessions have been conducted during meal and rest beaks and on a few weekends. Workers are required to attend weekend awareness/training sessions and are given a cash incentive to attend such training. Management claims that such preparation is necessary to ensure continuity of business, this helps in making people more aware, responsible and diligent when third party audits are conducted.
16. The factory provides transport to workers that wish to use the service. The cost of transport is provided at a subsidized rate to workers. 37% of workers use the service provided by the company, and the remaining arrange their own transport.
17. The closing meeting is scheduled for 5 pm but the main meeting room is busy. The General Manager asks that the closing meeting be done in the show room beside the sample room. 30 minutes before the closing meeting the GM walks into the show room with a shopping bag containing factory products. He states this is a holiday season and gift given to all customers and well-wishers of the company is common practice. He also requests that sometime be spent on explaining the finding and suggesting how corrective action may be taken to meet the clients requirement.
Working hours for Worker A (April)
|Date||# of Regular hours||# of weekday overtime (OT) hours||# of rest day overtime (OT) hours||# of public holiday overtime (OT) hours||Date||# of Regular hours||# of weekday overtime (OT) hours||# of rest day overtime (OT) hours||# of public holiday overtime (OT) hours|
|3 (Sat)||0||0||8||0||18 (Sun)||0||0||0||0|
|10 (Sat)||0||0||8||0||25 (Sun)||0||0||0||0|
Payslip for Worker A (April)
|Working hours||# of hours||Wage||Amount|
|Regular hours||164||Regular wage||2952|
|Weekday overtime hours||30||Performance bonus||80|
|Rest day overtime hours||24||Weekday overtime wage||810|
|Holiday overtime hours||16||Rest day overtime wage||864|
|Total hours||234||Holiday overtime wage||720|
|Food & housing deduction||-150|
|Government tax deduction||-138|
Country ABC Federal Labour Law
|Article 9||Work week||A work week is defined as a fixed and recurring period of seven consecutive days. For the purpose of this law, a workweek starts on Sunday and ends on Saturday, where the weekdays are Monday to Friday and the weekends are Saturday and Sunday.|
|Article 10||Working month||For the purpose of this law, a calendar year is regarded as 365 days, and a calendar month as 22 days unless a supplementary provision has been approved by the Ministry of Labour.|
|Article 14||Regular working hours||Regular working hours shall not exceed 8 per day and 40 per week.|
|Article 17||Minimum wage||18 per hour|
|Article 21||Overtime (OT) hours||The establishment (factory) shall request OT work with the consent of the workers.|
|Article 22||Overtime (OT) hours||No more than 2 hours of OT work during week days;
No more than 8 hours of OT work on weekends or national holidays;
No more than 24 hours of OT work in a week;
No more than 44 hours of OT per calendar month.'
|Article 23||Rest break and meal break||The establishment shall provide two paid rest breaks with 10 minutes each and one unpaid meal break in a day.|
|Article 24||Overtime premium||Overtime premium for work during the week shall be applied at 150% of the basic wage. Overtime premium for work on weekly days of rest (Saturday and Sunday) shall be applied at 200% of the basic wage. For work on public and national holidays an overtime premium of 250% of the basic wage shall be applied.|
|Article 27||Weekly Rest||The establishment (factory) shall provide each employee a rest period of not less than twenty-four (24) consecutive hours after every six (6) consecutive work days.|
|Article 31||Discrimination||The establishment (factory) shall not encourage, allow or practice any form of discrimination. The principle of equal pay for equal work shall be applied in the establishment.|
|Article 35||Worker committees||In any non-unionized establishment (factory), a worker committee shall be formed. Workers shall elect their representative(s) democratically and freely without interference or involvement of the employer. A worker representative shall not hold any managerial, administrative or supervisory position.|
|Article 57||Supplementary provisions||Supplementary provisions to the law may be permitted with the condition that establishments (factory) apply in writing to the Ministry of Labour stating the exception required, its reason and the period from when the provision will commence and when it will conclude. Provisions may be allowed as long as they are beneficial to workers and are based on the principle of social justice. If the establishment (factory) has a recognized Trade Union, the name of the Trade Union and its representative shall be included as a part of any application for a supplementary provision to the Ministry of Labour.|
|Article 63||Overtime (OT)||Overtime (OT) wages may be paid separately from regular wages as long as it is paid within 10 days of completion of the working period.|