Sustainability - Supplier code of conduct

Supplier Code of Conduct

Main principles for suppliers

NHS Supply Chain delivers an end to end logistics and supply service to the English NHS. We are fully aware of the responsibility we bear toward our customers, employees and the communities in which we work. Thus, we have given ourselves a strict set of ethical values to guide us in our business dealings.
We expect all our suppliers, i.e., all companies who do business with NHS Supply Chain, to adhere to the same ethical principles. For this purpose, NHS Supply Chain has drawn up this supplier code of conduct, which sets the standards for doing business with us.


Laws and ethical standards

The supplier shall comply with all laws applicable to its business. The supplier should support the principles of the United Nations Global Compact, the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as the 1998 International Labour Organisation Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, in accordance with national law and practice.
This especially applies to:

  • Child labour
    The supplier employs no children under the age of 15. If national laws or regulations allow children between the ages of 13 and 15 to perform light work, such work is not permitted under any circumstances if it would hinder a minor from the completion of compulsory schooling or training, or if the employment would be harmful to their health or development (reference: ILO Convention 138(7)).
  • Forced labour
    The supplier shall make no use of forced or compulsory labour.
  • Compensation and working hours
    The supplier shall comply with the respective national laws and regulations regarding working hours, wages and benefits.
  • Discrimination
    The supplier does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, disability, age, sexual orientation or gender.
  • Health and safety
    We expect our suppliers to strive to implement the standards of occupational health and safety at a high level. The supplier complies with applicable occupational health and safety regulations and provides a work environment that is safe and conducive to good health, in order to preserve the health of employees and prevent accidents, injuries and work related illnesses.
  • Business continuity planning
    The supplier shall be prepared for any disruptions of its business (e.g. natural disasters, terrorism, software viruses, illness, pandemic, infectious diseases). This preparedness especially includes disaster plans to protect both employees and the environment as far as possible from the effects of possible disasters that arise within the domain of operations.
  • Improper payments/bribery
    The supplier shall comply with international anti-bribery standards as stated in the United Nations’ Global Compact and local anti-corruption and bribery laws including The Bribery Act 2010. In particular, the supplier may not offer services, gifts or benefits of NHS Supply Chain employees in order to influence the employee’s conduct in representing NHS Supply Chain.
  • Environment
    The supplier shall comply with all applicable environmental laws, regulations and standards as well as implement an effective system to identify and eliminate potential hazards to the environment. We expect our suppliers to strive to support NHS Supply Chain’s climate protection goals through the products and services they deliver (e.g. by providing relevant data on climate protection). In this regard, we also expect our suppliers to take climate protection appropriately into account in their own operations, for example by setting climate protection goals for themselves and achieving them.
  • Business partner dialogue
    The supplier shall communicate the principles stated in the supplier code of conduct and detailed above to its subcontractors and other business partners who are involved in supplying the products and services described in the main contract. The supplier shall motivate such parties to adhere to the same standards.
  • Compliance with the supplier code of conduct
    NHS Supply Chain reserves the right, upon reasonable notice, to check compliance with the requirements of the supplier code of conduct. NHS Supply Chain encourages its suppliers to implement their own binding guidelines for ethical behaviour.

The supplier encourages its suppliers to adhere to the ethical standards, human rights, health and safety standards and environmental standards upon which this agreement is based, as part of fulfilling their contractual obligations. Any breach of the obligations stipulated in this supplier code of conduct is considered a material breach of contract by the supplier.

Downloads ▼

  • NHS Supply Chain Supplier Code of Conduct