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Taking action to uphold labour rights and improve industry standards.

From living wages in the UK to the elimination of child labour in India, we are committed to ensuring that what is good for business is good for society.

Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the rights to collective bargaining.

Social audit

Our approach to labour rights is driven by the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) Base Code. Freedom of association is central to the Base Code, which we adopted in 2005. To ensure that the Base Code is implement and embedded within operations and supply chains we have social auditors in India, China & Vietnam. Their role is to check each and every day that the Base Code is being upheld and to report any concerns or violations so that we can take swift action should we need to.




The ETI Base Code states that;

2. Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining are respected.

2.1. Workers, without distinction, have the right to join or form trade unions of their own choosing and to bargain collectively.

2.2 The employer adopts an open attitude towards the activities of trade unions and their organisational activities.

2.3 Workers' representatives are not discriminated against and have access to carry out their representative functions in the workplace.

2.4 Where the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining is restricted under law, the employer facilitates, and does not hinder, the development of parallel means for independent and free association of bargaining.

Marshalls respects and values the dignity, well-being and rights of employees, their families and the wider community. The Company actively works and collaborates with employees, communities, non-govermental and other appropriate stakeholders to uphold and promote these rights.

We don’t tolerate child labour, forced labour, including prison labour, or any use of force or other forms of coercion, fraud, deception, abuse of power or other means to achieve control over another person for the purpose of exploitation. These documents explain our stance and work in the following areas: Human Rights Policy, Children’s Rights Policy.



& supply chain



Marshalls plc, wherever it operates around the world, is committed to conducting business with honesty and integrity; in treating all people with dignity and respect and in complying with applicable laws, regulations and treaties. Marshalls is also committed to protecting and promoting human rights globally.

Marshalls does not tolerate child labour, forced labour, including prison labour, or any use of force or other forms of coercion, fraud, deception, abuse of power or other means to achieve control over another person for the purpose of exploitation.

Marshalls respects international principles of human rights including, but not limited to, those expressed in the UN Declaration of Human Rights, United Nation's Global Compact Principles, Children's Rights & Business Principles, Women's Empowerment Principles, UK Government Human Trafficking, Smuggling and Slavery Acts, and those principles likely to be contained in the forthcoming UK Government Modern Slavery Bill.

These principles and commitments are embodied in Marshalls Procurement Code of Conduct, corporate policies and Supplier Code of Conduct.

Businesses should uphold the effective abolition of child labour.

We were the first to raise awareness of child labour in the Indian sandstone sector in 2005. Since then we’ve been actively working to eliminate child labour in the sector in India. The implementation of the ETI Base Code in our own supply chain helps to ensure that no children are involved, however recent research, funded by Marshalls, confirmed that 38% of children in the quarrying regions of Rajasthan are engaged in child labour in the industry. Read our ‘The Truth About Child Labour in the Indian Sandstone Sector’ for more information.

Businesses should uphold the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.

Marshalls abides by the ETI Base Code which states that (7) 'no discrimination is practiced'. 7.1 There is no discrimination in hiring, compensation, access to training, promotion, termination or retirement based on race, caste, national origin, religion, age, disability, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, union membership or political affiliation.




Means business

In 2014 Marshalls began the process of mapping its international operations against the Women's Empowerment Principles framework, a collaboration between the UNGC and UN Women. It is our aim to continue with this work and report back on an annual basis. There are seven principles;

• Principle 1: Establish high-level corporate leadership for gender equality

• Principle 2: Treat all women and men fairly at work – respect and support human rights and nondiscrimination

• Principle 3: Ensure the health, safety and well-being of all women and men workers

• Principle 4: Promote education, training and professional development for women

• Principle 5: Implement enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices that empower women

• Principle 6: Promote equality through community initiatives and advocacy

• Principle 7: Measure and publicly report on progress to achieve gender equality