Workwear Group’s modern slavery training program raises awareness for employees and suppliers

Workwear Group’s modern slavery training program raises awareness for employees and suppliers

Workwear Group is building awareness and capability among employees and suppliers to ensure modern slavery risks are identified and addressed in its operations and supply chains.

Employee training 

All Workwear Group employees are required to undergo awareness training on modern slavery when they commence their employment and annually thereafter. The Workwear Group e-learning training module has been designed to help employees understand how to address modern slavery risks in its operations and supply chain and understand Workwear Group’s obligations under the Australian Modern Slavery Act 2018.  The e-learning training module was created in partnership with consultancy firm Elevate in 2019.

The module includes: 

  • an introduction to modern slavery and relevant legislation
  • the importance of tackling modern slavery risks
  • examples of instances of forced labour 
  • guidance on how to identify and mitigate potential risks within the business.

Workwear Group provides targeted training to employees working with high-risk supply partners to help ensure ethical sourcing practices are followed, fully understood and implemented to promote best practice.

The training covers keys areas such as:

  • the Workwear Group Ethical Sourcing Program and onboarding process
  • risk-based approach to supplier management
  • supplier due diligence and transparency
  • business ethics and labour standards
  • responsible sourcing practices that drive better outcomes for workers
  • Sedex and ethical social compliance audits.

Team members directly involved in the management of the Workwear Group’s Ethical Sourcing Program undergo targeting training such as:

  • SMETA Foundation training forced labour indicator training
  • forced labour global standards and best practice
  • global standards, trends and international best practices
  • evolving legislation and worldwide compliance
  • child labour monitoring and remediation.

Supplier training

Workwear Group provides annual compliance training to all core and strategic suppliers of footwear, apparel and accessories. Workwear Group views its suppliers as partners. It aims to empower suppliers through the training program to ensure they have the tools to provide a safe, clean and respected work environment for their employees.

In the 2023 financial year, training took place across Workwear Group’s international supply base – China, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. The suppliers that attended are responsible for approximately 27,880 workers within their factories.

The training focused on modern slavery risk and included:

  • a refresher of Workwear Group’s Ethical Sourcing Program requirements and expectations 
  • awareness of what modern slavery means  
  • supplier obligations and awareness of risks
  • unannounced ethical audits.

The training session also included a presentation from a Workwear Group nominated auditing body on addressing non-compliances, which involved case studies, top findings and root-cause analysis, benchmarked against common global non-compliances.

Workwear Group’s local Australian supply partners are accredited to Ethical Clothing Australia (ECA). ECA works with local suppliers and assists them to understand their obligations. All local suppliers under the ECA accreditation undergo annual audits, which include training on obligations to ensure suppliers are complying with legal entitlements and providing safe workplace environments.

Workwear Group’s aim is to ensure modern slavery risks throughout its operations and supply chain are thoroughly understood to improve its approach to managing human rights risks. Workwear Group is committed to supporting employees and supply partners to achieve better outcomes and protect the safety and welfare of workers in the supply chain.