Hours of work shall comply with applicable laws and industry standards. In any event, workers shall not on a regular basis be required to work in excess of 48 hours per week and shall be provided with at least one day off for every seven-day period. In addition, all workers must have at least one day off per week. Overtime must be voluntary and not a part of the regular schedule. Overtime may not exceed legal stipulations and may not exceed 12 hours per week under any conditions. In addition, overtime must be paid at a higher rate."
An obligation in and of itself is not enough, of course. Therefore, all of our producers are regularly and independently audited by organizations such as the Fair Wear Foundation. Auditors check carefully whether there are violations of the provisions on the subject of working hours. This is verified through interviews inside and outside the production site as well as by reviewing documents.
FWF audits show that overtime is voluntary and paid for correctly. Nevertheless, there is too much overtime according to the legal provisions.
There are two seasons per year in the outdoor industry during which production sites manufacture and deliver their goods. This results in very intense conditions during these periods for our producers. We support the producers and reduce peak periods by ensuring that planning processes are sound.
These measures make economic sense for us, because they help us to positively influence costs and to optimize our capacity with several delivery dates. But above all, we have a positive influence on the situation in relation to working conditions and overtime – and that’s just what we want to achieve.
We have analyzed the causes of overtime together with selected producers. To do this, we developed a tool to collect working hours, the number of overtime hours and relevant departments. This data can then be analyzed to find the causes of the overtime. The results were very interesting both for us and for our producers as well; it was clear that the cause of overtime wasn't only due to poor planning. It was often caused by conditions over which the producer had no influence, such as the late delivery of fabrics or later orders by customers. VAUDE and its producers are faced with the challenge of working on the root causes that can be influenced, such as speaking to the relevant customers to find out whether their purchasing processes can be changed.