Behrens - Ethical Purchasing Policy

Our Ethical Purchasing Policy at Behrens Group is to seek to purchase goods and services which are produced and delivered under conditions that do not abuse or exploit any persons or the environment. These considerations will form part of the evaluation and selection criteria for all goods and services purchased by us.

The purpose of the policy is to promote good labour and environmental standards in the supply chain of goods and services to our clients and protect Sir Jacob Behrens & Sons Ltd reputation. It is based largely on the following principles with advice on how to put them into practice:

  • Working conditions are safe
  • Employment is freely chosen
  • Working hours are not excessive
  • Wages meet at least national legal standards
  • Training is provided
  • No discrimination is practised
  • Diversity and good workforce practices are encouraged
  • Child labour is eliminated
  • No inhumane treatment is allowed


Working conditions are safe
Operate appropriate health and safety policies and procedures overseen by a senior manager responsible for compliance and monitoring and ensuring employees have the necessary training and health and safety equipment.
Provide comfortable and hygienic working conditions with clean toilets and water suitable for drinking and washing. Where worker housing is provided it should meet the same standards for health and safety as the workplace.
Employment is freely chosen
Afford employees the freedom to choose to work and not use forced, bonded or non-voluntary prison labour.
Afford employees freedom of association with the right to join an independent trades union or other workers’ associations and to carry out reasonable representative functions in the workplace.
Facilitate alternative means of democratic representation where laws restrict freedom of association and collective bargaining.
Working hours are not excessive
Comply with national and international laws or industry standards on employee working hours, whichever affords greater protection.
Provide clear, easily understood disciplinary, grievance and appeal procedures that are lawful and appropriate. Any disciplinary measures should be recorded and suppliers should not seek to deprive employees of their legal or contractual rights.
Minimum wages
Wages and benefits paid for a standard working week meet, at a minimum, national legal standards or industry benchmarks, whichever is higher.
Wages should always be high enough to meet basic needs and to provide some discretionary income.
Training is provided
Raise employees’ skills through training and access to professional development as befits their role to improve quality and secure greater value for money.
No discrimination
Practice no discrimination in hiring, compensation, training, promotion, termination or retirement either directly or indirectly.
Disputes procedure
Provide clear and accessible processes for resolving disputes with employees.
Child labour is eliminated
Sir Jacob Behrens & Sons Ltd believe that children under the age of 15 should not have to work for a living. All children should have the opportunity to be in full-time education and not be compelled to undertake activities that can affect their physical and/or mental development. Workers aged between 15 and 18 should not work at night or in hazardous conditions. If children are found to be working, the employer should provide appropriate remediation, which may include support to attend education. The supplier should have a clear policy for dealing with under-age workers, even if none are employed. Should any instance of child labour be identified, we would work closely with our suppliers to develop a sensitive and sustainable solution that puts the welfare of the child first.
No inhumane treatment is allowed
Prohibit physical abuse or coercion, the threat of physical abuse, sexual or other harassment and verbal abuse or other forms of intimidation.
We will communicate this policy both internally and externally.
Both parties will:
Require the immediate cessation of serious breaches of the policy and if necessary terminate the business relationship.
Seek to ensure all employees are aware of their rights and involved in the decisions, which affect them.
Avoid discriminating against enterprises in developing countries.
Recognise official regulation and inspection of workplace standards, and the interests of legitimate trades unions and other representative organisations.
Seek arbitration in the case of unresolved disputes.
Ensure that all current labour standards are implemented and being adhered to and comply with country specific regulations.