EICC version 5.1- What are the changes?
As anticipated due to the release of the requirement relating to recruitment fees in Aug 2015, EICC code has now been revised to version 5.1, effective January 1, 2016. Tagging along with this imperative change are other minor changes: addition and removal of some sub elements.
The new EICC Code can be downloaded from its website
What is the main change?
The most significant change is in the element A1. The key texts are “Workers shall not be required to pay employers’ or agents’ recruitment fees or other related fees for their employment. If any such fees are found to have been paid by workers, such fees shall be repaid to the workers.”
In EICC guidance for recruitment fees, if any worker has paid the recruitment fees after January 1, 2016, the worker shall be reimbursed the full amount within 90 days, or as soon as practicable upon discovery. The recruitment fees are generally applied to foreign migrant workers as locals generally do not need to travel far to be employed. Nonetheless, all workers, both direct or indirect workers are NOT to pay any recruitment and service fees.
To further emphasize on this, EICC has provided guidance on recruitment fees:
I. Prohibition of Fees
- Guidelines applicable to all workers (workers in Scope): The recruitment and service fees that are not to be paid by any direct or indirect employees, including foreign migrant workers.
- Guidelines applicable to foreign migrant workers in scope: The recruitment and service related costs that are not to be paid by Foreign Migrant Workers.
II. Acceptable Worker-Paid Fees: These costs can be paid by worker if noted in their contract and a receipt or record of payment is provided to the worker.
III. Other expenses: All other initial and ongoing employment expenses and fees for work-related equipment, tools, and apparel shall not be borne by the worker. Workers shall not be liable for any other costs unless required by law.
IV. Termination and Early Leave
What are the other minor changes?
A2. YOUNG WORKERS
A2.2: An adequate and effective policy and process is established to ensure that workers below the legal minimum working age are not hired either directly or indirectly via labor agencies / contractors. – “Indirectly
” was added.
A4. WAGES AND BENEFITS
Previous A4.3 and A4.4 have been removed. And previous A4.6 has been moved to A4.4.
A7. FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION
Restructuring and new texts at sub-element A7.
A7.1 Workers can form or enroll in a trade union of their own free will. – New.
A7.2 Legal rights of all workers to bargain collectively, or refrain from doing so, are respected. – New.
A7.4 No evidence of unequal treatment between unionized of worker representatives and non-unionized workers exists. (Previously at A7.5)
A7.5 No evidence of control or attempt to control of labor organizations by any means exists. (Previously at A7.6)
C1.2 Reporting to environmental authorities as required by law is performed in a timely manner
. – minor text change.
E10. CORRECTIVE ACTION PROCESS
E10.1 Has established an adequate and effective corrective actions process to rectify and close Nonconformances with the EICC Code including legal non-compliances identified via internal or external Audits, assessments, inspections, investigations and reviews, including root cause, corrective and preventative action to address non-conformance or Notice of Violation are on track or completed for
A) Labor B) Health & Safety C) Environment and D) Ethics. – Merging previous 10.2 into this new 10.1.
E12. SUPPLIER RESPONSIBILITY
E12.2 Supplier includes hazardous waste vendors
As usual all changes should be handled in a systemic manner, i.e. the system need to be updated and implemented, changes communicated to relevant interested parties and training conducted if needed. All internal auditors should be well informed or trained on the changes prior to conducting periodic self-evaluation. And finally, senior management has to review the status of the management system after these changes have been implemented.
Download The Changes on EICC version 5.1