Sussan Group COVID-19 Website Statement – September 2021 update
We are all aware that the COVID-19 Pandemic has caused unprecedented upheaval to individuals, families, businesses, communities and governments across the world.
At the Sussan Group (Sussan, Sportsgirl & Suzanne Grae), we continue to do our best to ensure our business operates to support our entire team, and our customers. Our support extends to our suppliers and factory workers globally as we work through these times together. We know our response to the challenges we face will not be perfect, but our commitment to all who are so important to us is steadfast.
We are committed to caring for the health, safety and well-being of our team members and customers and ensuring we are complying with Federal and State/Territory based laws and government health guidelines. We have put in place a comprehensive program of precautionary measures in our stores, based on expert advice, to ensure a safe shopping experience for our customers and a safe workplace for our team.
Our stores continue to receive specific training and updated Covid Safe Work plans and QR check in protocols to ensure our teams are fully across revised procedures for social distancing and the other necessary safeguards, including frequent strict cleaning, the use of hand sanitiser, and appropriate signage. We continue to train our team members in responding to customer questions about these measures.
Team Members based in our offices have been given the option of flexible work, including working from home where possible. When working in the office for essential work, we have implemented appropriate Safe Work Plans, social distancing, and additional safety and cleaning steps to help protect and support our team members.
Our suppliers are important to our business. To us, they are more than our suppliers - we believe they’re our partners, some of whom have been suppliers to the Sussan Group for over 20 years.
At the core of our sourcing program, we work with our suppliers, some of whom we have worked with for over 20 years to support our mutual ongoing success through programs such as our social compliance (factory auditing) program, the closure of corrective actions and undertaking daily and weekly conversations with our suppliers. Some discussions and decisions have been difficult for us all, but we continue to be open and transparent with our suppliers as we work through the ongoing challenges.
Multi stakeholder initiatives (MSI’s) are an important aspect of our sourcing program which supports our aim to further strengthen workers rights and protections. These include initiatives such as the International Accord for Health & Safety in the Garment and Textile Industry and the BWA Australian Fashion Report.
The Sussan Group are proud to be among the first group of global brands to sign the Accord, a new independent and legally binding agreement which demonstrates our commitment to protecting garment workers in Bangladesh. The new International Accord is a partnership between industry, brands and trade unions who are working towards a sustainable solution continuing the significant progress made on workplace safety and wellbeing in Bangladesh since 2013.
We have also been proud participants in the BWA Australian Fashion Report, joining in its first year in 2014 and we have participated once again in the 2021 assessment. Sourcing our products ethically has and will always be, at the core of what we do and we recognise our participation in the BWA Fashion Report has helped to guide us on the path to ensuring our products are appropriately sourced.
The Sussan Group is also required to adhere to the Australian Modern Slavery Act by reporting publicly on its efforts to protect workers in its operations and supply chain against any form of Modern Slavery. The Sussan Group annual Modern Slavery report which highlights the steps we have taken to protect workers is displayed on the Australian Border Force website: https://modernslaveryregister.gov.au/statements/file/3f000d72-d04e-459b-8659-ace4c7130ec9
Further information on our Ethical Sourcing program can be found below.
Sussan Group - Ethical Sourcing Audit Policy and Procedure Agreement:
At the Sussan Group, we take our responsibility to ensure that the goods we sell are manufactured ethically, seriously. We seek to work with suppliers and manufacturers who share our vision including to ensure workers in our end to end supply chain are respected.
As a means of addressing this challenge, the Sussan Group requests each supplier manufacturing goods for the Sussan Group to respect, understand and adhere to our Ethical Code of Conduct for manufacturers. We also require our Supplier partners to ensure the expectations of this Ethical Code of Conduct have been communicated and adhered to across all stages of production within the supply chain, including raw materials suppliers.
Our Ethical Code of Conduct contains a number of non-negotiable expectations and additional requirements that all those involved in the manufacture of our products must adhere to including:
- EMPLOYEE'S RIGHT - Employment must not be forced and all forms of indentured (including prison labour), bonded, involuntary, compulsory or uncompensated labour are prohibited.
- CHILD LABOUR - We align our expectations for the elimination of Child Labour to the ILO (International Labour Organisation) Conventions and require that no worker shall be employed at an age younger than 16 or the age as determined by local legislation, whichever is higher.
- TREATMENT IN THE WORKPLACE - Physical abuse including any form of verbal, sexual or psychological harassment, harsh or inhumane treatment of workers by Suppliers or their representatives is strictly prohibited.
Suppliers must also commit to the following expectations of the Sussan Group Ethical Code of Conduct:
FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION AND THE RIGHT TO COLLECTIVE BARGAINING ARE RESPECTED:
All workers must have the right to collectively bargain including union membership or have access to a Workers Representative Group within their place of employment.
WORKING CONDITIONS ARE SAFE AND HYGIENIC:
All factories used for the Sussan Group must meet local and national health & safety laws and standards. Workers shall have the right to refuse unsafe work and report unhealthy working conditions.
We expect that workers will receive all legal wages and benefits required by law or contract and meet at least the minimum legal wage.
WORKING HOURS ARE NOT EXCESSIVE:
Suppliers must ensure workers working hours align to local labour law requirements and overtime is voluntary and within the legal limit as prescribed by local labour law.
NO DISCRIMINATION or inhumane treatment IS PRACTISED/allowed:
We expect suppliers to commit to a workplace free of harassment and abuse. Workers must not suffer any form of sexual harassment, bullying or discrimination in their employment on the basis of gender, race, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, nationality, political opinion, social group or ethnic origin.
REGULAR EMPLOYMENT IS PROVIDED:
We expect workers will be given a regular income that allows workers to provide support and security to their family.
All Suppliers must comply with local environmental law and regulations. Suppliers must ensure they adhere to all legal requirements for the management of any waste generated or any hazardous chemicals used in the manufacturing of our products and that they adhere to the expectations of the Sussan Group Restricted Substances and Process List at all times
Suppliers must prepare and implement plans to protect workers during any global crisis or pandemic including the protection of workers wages during factory closures.
Our finished goods are not tested on animals and any animal product used in our products is sourced as a by-product of other industries.
The Sussan Group takes any noncompliance of our Code of Conduct very seriously. Where a noncompliance issue has been identified, we initially work with the Suppliers and factories to remediate and correct the issue. Our primary objective is to resolve any issue however unsatisfactory remediation may result in the termination of the factory or supplier as an approved manufacturing site for Sussan Group.
We believe the future looks bright for us all and we are confident we will come through these days in a stronger position and with a strengthened business and consolidated supply chain that supports our business now and into the future.
We sincerely thank everyone in the extended Sussan Group family for your support and we will continue to work to earn it in the times ahead.