New System Manual Feature: Updated Zero Tolerance Protocol


After recently releasing a revised version of the System Manual, we will publish a series of articles explaining its new features and benefits towards helping your company’s efforts in improving social performance. Stay tuned for more articles in the coming months!

What is zero tolerance?

Severe human rights violations such as forced labour or sexual harassment require immediate action to protect victims and restore their rights. Addressing such violations can be a daunting task for a business alone. The amfori BSCI Zero Tolerance Protocol helps amfori members identify critical issues in their supply chains and join forces towards remediation.

The protocol applies when an audit is confronted with factual and flagrant violations in the areas of child and forced labour, inhuman treatment, occupational health and safety, and unethical business behaviour.

amfori published updated guidance (Annex 5) in the new version of the System Manual for amfori members and auditors on how to manage zero tolerance cases. 

What is new?

  • Precautionary principle: a zero tolerance alert can be triggered based on serious suspicions of a severe violation, although at the time of the audit there is not sufficient evidence to prove the violation.
  • Reporting: the audit report needs to be made available in the amfori BSCI Platform within 5 working days from the alert to facilitate a comprehensive assessment of the case by linked participants
  • Follow-up: linked participants remain vigilant after the alert and verify in due course the implementation of remedial actions. A follow-up call can be scheduled by the amfori secretariat three months after the alert to assess the success of remediation.

What can your business do?

To promote immediate remediation of zero tolerance cases amfori members can:

  • Communicate and explain the Zero Tolerance Protocol to suppliers and producers
  • Establish internal procedures on how to respond to a zero tolerance
  • In the event of an alert react timely and collaborate with other linked members in the process facilitated by the amfori secretariat
  • Maintain the engagement with the producer during and after the alert, so that the employment of workers is not jeopardized, and remedial actions are sustainably implemented

The implementation of the amfori BSCI Zero Tolerance Protocol helps members to contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

amfori members and auditors can also register for a new e-learning course to gain: 

  • A complete understanding of the Zero Tolerance Protocol
  • Skills to detect, respond and raise issues
  • Professional judgement through the theory of eight case studies

Register online

 amfori BSCI services

To support amfori members on zero tolerance cases, amfori is building the capacities of auditing companies and auditors on updated protocol through a continuous learning approach. Their performance against amfori BSCI quality criteria is then monitored by the Audit Quality Programme as a part of the Audit Integrity Programme.

Between 2017 and 2018, 127 Zero Tolerance cases were identified through amfori BSCI audits and remediation was facilitated by the amfori secretariat.

Read our success stories:

Add new comment