Labour Standards Assurance System
NHS Supply Chain recognises its responsibility to ensure good social and ethical practices within its own operations and within its supply chain. We also acknowledge that every supplier and worker deserves the right to live and work with dignity and respect, in decent and safe conditions and earn fair rates of pay and that under these conditions, both they and their companies benefit from increased commitment and productivity. The NHS Supply Chain’s Labour Standards Assurance System outlines the principles and guidelines we require our suppliers to comply with, in order to ensure that good labour standards are driven throughout our supply chain. We understand that assuring this compliance will be a complex process and have therefore developed the Labour Standards Assurance System ‘maturity matrix’ which defines four possible levels of compliance. We are committed to supporting our suppliers as they continually improve their performance and progress through these levels.
A Labour Standards Assurance System (LSAS) refers to the range of policies, procedures and practices that an organisation employs to identify labour standards abuses, mitigate risks and drive improvement, within:
- i) The organisation itself (‘direct operations’)
- ii) Contractors and sub contractors*
- iii) Suppliers
- iv) Other parties active in the supply chain
*The LSAS matrix will consider ‘contractors’ and ‘sub contractors’ to be limited to those relevant to product manufacture (including product finishing where relevant) for audit purposes.
The terms and conditions that apply to this contract make reference to a ‘labour standards assurance system’, the definition of which is provided by the ‘labour standards assurance (management) systems specification’ included within this document. In addition, reference is made to achieving certain ‘Levels’ within specified timescales. A detailed ‘maturity matrix’ is also included in this document that sets out requirements for all 15 sections of the ‘labour standards assurance (management) system specification’ under four progressive Levels.
The 15 sections of the ‘labour standards assurance (management) system specification’ cover:
- Management representative
- Labour standards status review
- Legal and other requirements
- Objectives, targets and programmes
- Roles and responsibilities
- Competence, training and awareness
- Documentation and records
- Operational control
- Supply chain management
- Emergency response
- Performance monitoring and measurement
- Corrective action
- Management review.
Country Risk Profiles
For ethical trade and labour standards issue profiles for some of the key sourcing countries pertinent to global supply chains see our Downloads section for more information.