The ETI Base Code is founded on the conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and is an internationally recognised code of labour practice. It is used by ETI members and others to drive improvements in working conditions around the world. The Base Code converts international labour standards into a practical framework for businesses, and is widely used in the Bangladesh Garment sector, as many auditing frameworks including the Sedex SMETA base principles off the Base Code.

It was negotiated and agreed by the founding trade union, NGO and corporate members of ETI and contains nine clauses which reflect the conventions of the International Labour Organisation with respect to labour practices.

Business and industry codes experience:

In addition to our Base Code, we support industries to develop business code that improves working conditions within their operations, reducing negative impacts on workers human rights. In 2021, ETI Bangladesh supported the development of ‘Migrant Workers: Access to Remedy’ principles for businesses that employ and rely on migrant workers, who are often the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people in the supply chain. 30 principles were developed and agreed by ETI’s multi-stakeholder team, highlighting specific principles for businesses, third parties as well as government/policy makers. ETI are raising awareness and embedding the principles into all our work with our members, as well as advocating with policy makers to enshrine the principles in law. ETI has experience successfully converting principles into law, as our UK team played an integral role in the UK Modern Slavery Act, successfully lobbying for it and helping share the policies within it.

ETI have three core offices in the UK, Bangladesh and India; working together to ensure we operate across the whole value chain; driving advocacy with buyers to adopt business practice that enables decent work in supplying countries; where ETI Bangladesh and India work with suppliers and buyers to promote and embed it. ETI UK has a workforce consisting of 79.2% female employees, with our Bangladesh office having 40% female staff including a gender specialist that embeds a gender lens in all our work.