A growing number of multinational corporations and their suppliers have begun to adopt “Employer Pays” recruitment policies. The purpose of this white paper from Verité is to identify, map, and assess the impact and potential application of contract clauses, ethical recruitment bonds, and insurance policies for promoting sustained compliance with key migrant worker standards, while mitigating financial risk to employers.
With funding from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs (USDOL-ILAB), Verité is launching the three-year Cooperation On Fair, Free, Equitable Employment (COFFEE) Project. The project involves the creation of a robust compliance system and toolkit on improving labor conditions in the coffee sector, as well as trainings and guidance on implementation of the toolkit.
Migrant workers are frequently confronted with a choice: pay illegal or unethical recruitment fees for employment abroad or go without work altogether. To finance these exorbitant costs, they may take out loans that leave them vulnerable to debt bondage, a form of forced labor. For more than a decade, Verité has worked with global companies in diverse sectors to ensure their suppliers and business partners absorb the true cost of recruitment and prohibit the charging of recruitment costs to workers, in accordance with international standards and regulations.
Prohibiting federal contractors from charging workers recruitment fees is a cornerstone of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) requiring contractors and subcontractors to take specific preventive measures to detect and eliminate forced labor and human trafficking in their supply chains. In December 2018, the U.S. Government amended the FAR to include a comprehensive and clear definition of what constitute “recruitment fees.”