Ethical Trading Policy

Shepcote (here in called the ‘Company’) is committed to trading relationships which are both commercially and ethically viable. We will support fair trade, where reasonably possible and viable and only operate with suppliers, manufacturers who comply with our ethical trading policy and within the current law. We will appraise suppliers to ensure our standards are met periodically. Primarily all our suppliers shall comply with all local and national laws applicable to their business and our suppliers and partners are expected to adhere to the Modern-day Slavery Act 2015 and other relevant UK and international laws that ensure commercial and ethical working practises.

This policy sets out the minimum labour standards that we expect our suppliers and partners to comply with: If this code of conduct is breached, the company will work with the supplier/partner to improve and remediate any issues whether this is business standards or employee welfare. The company will take any breach to our code of conduct very seriously and may terminate our arrangement immediately for any appropriate failings to adhere to the laws set down or where there is no intention to make the necessary changes.

The company’s Ethical Trading/Code of Conduct is a compulsory requirement and in addition to supplier/partner audits we will also verify (Where we feel appropriate) that this is being adhered to by conducting our own internal audits periodically and in particular with agency suppliers.

Removing, identifiable risks to meet the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI)

1. We will check there is no forced or bonded labour.
2. We will check there is no child labour used/supplied.
3. There is no form of discrimination (internally as well as with our partner employment agencies).
4. We will check working hours comply with UK law and The Working Time Regulations 1998 and adjust accordingly.
5. Wages meet the minimum requirement under the National Minimum Wage and living Wage rates or industry benchmark standards.
6. No harsh or inhumane treatment or any form of intimidation shall be prohibited.
7. Worker, have the right to join or form a trade union of their own choosing and to bargain collectively.
8. All work performed is based on recognised employment which we establish through national laws and practices.
9. Bribery, either to our customers or from our suppliers is not acceptable. The company’s anti-bribery policy is made available to all employee and is published in the employee handbook.
10. The company will have total transparency of our factory conditions and record keeping.
11. The company will promote whistle blowing and have procedures in place to protect individual identities.
12. The company will promote a healthy, safe environment for all its employees/workforce.

Forced, bonded or involuntary labour.

  • Any work or service that is extracted from any person under the threat of a penalty or where they have not entered voluntarily into an employment contract. Such things as: Slave labour, bonded labour, involuntary labour, or unpaid labour. Workers should not be required to handover any of their identity papers with to their employer and they are free to leave their employment after any reasonable notice period.

Child labour

  • There shall be no recruitment of child labour or use of child labour voluntary or otherwise.
  • A child is defined as any person under the age of 15 years old unless local minimum wage law suggests a higher age for work or mandatory schooling, in which case the higher age would apply.
  • A young person is classed as below 18 but no less than 15 years old.
  • No person under 18 is to be employed to work nights/evening shifts or in any hazardous working conditions.


  • There can be no discrimination in treatment of a employee or prospective employee less favourably than another employee/prospective employee in relation to recruitment, compensation, access to training, promotion, termination or retirement on the grounds of their;
  1. Age
  2. Gender
  3. Marital status
  4. Pregnant or being on maternity.
  5. Any disability
  6. Race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin.
  7. Religion or belief
  8. Sex
  9. Sexual orientation

Working Hours

  • Working hours must comply with national laws and industry standards.
  • Standard working hours, excluding overtime, shall be defined within the employee contract and shall not exceed 48 hours per week.
  • All overtime hours are voluntary. Overtime should not be used to replace regular employment and hours shall be compensated.


  • Employees Should be paid the national minimum wage for basic working week/hours.
  • All employees should be provided with written information about their pay before they start their employment and will be given a payslip or other understandable information about their wages for the pay period each time they are paid.
  • All remunerations will be paid in a timely manner, without undue delay.
  • Only lawful deductions will be made from the employees’ wages. Deductions for disciplinary measures is not permitted.

Human and Civil Rights

  • Employees have the right to form trade unions and join the trade union of their choice. Any employee representative is not discriminated against, and the company shall give them access to carry out their representative duties within the workplace.
  • The company will not tolerate unacceptable disciplinary practices such as physical, mental coercion, verbal abuse or deducting money from wages.
  • Employee will be free from abuse, the threat of both physical and verbal abuse, sexual or other harassment or other forms of intimidation.
  • The company will promote equal pay for equal work, in particular women being guaranteed conditions not inferior to male counterparts.
  • Safe and healthy working conditions including access to training for all employees.
  • The company will provide access to clean toilet facilities, clean water, and sanitary facilities for food storage.
  • The company will promote equal opportunities for everyone.
  • In line with current legislation the company will ensure reasonable limitations for working hours, access to holidays with pay as well as remuneration for Bank Holidays. The company will promote all its company policies within a written format such as an Employee Handbook to protect individuals and individual rights.


  • The company and/or its suppliers must conduct their business in an ethical manner and must not seek to gain a competitive advantage by means of dishonest or unethical practices (Bribery, corruption, kickbacks, gifts, favours, or services).

Transparency of Factory Conditions and Records

  • We expect our suppliers to have an open-door policy and full transparency in all their monitoring activities. As a company we welcome 3rd party audits and internal audits, always giving full cooperation.
  • The company pride itself on having an open-door policy, therefore should our customers or suppliers wish to visit at any time access will always be granted.
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