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Introduction

Our vision: A world where every cat is treated with kindness and an understanding of its needs.

Our values:

  • Cats and their welfare are at the centre of everything we do
  • We never put a healthy cat to sleep
  • We value and respect our volunteers, supporters and staff
  • We are committed to providing a high quality service
  • We are open and honest

We’re dedicated to making sure everything we do is ethical and lawful, and that we work in a socially and environmentally sustainable way. It’s important to us that our suppliers feel the same way, and that’s why we’ve put together this code of conduct.

Our code is a set of principles that we require all of our suppliers to work within. A lot of the principles in this code are about complying with laws and regulations. By this we mean laws and regulations that apply in the jurisdiction that suppliers operate in. At Cats Protection, this compliance is the minimum standard we’re looking for, and we’re keen to work with our suppliers to improve things further.

Our Principles

The principles in this code aren’t meant to provide an exhaustive list of our expectations of suppliers, just the principles that matter most to us.

Freedom of employment

Employees must be free to choose to work for their employer and to leave this employment after they’ve given reasonable notice.

Employment relationships

Employees must have an easy to read contract of employment, which needs to comply with legislation and be particularly clear about wages. Employees who are unable to read the contract must be introduced to a suitable person, who can read out and explain the contract to them.

Freedom of association

Employees must be free to join trade unions (or other kinds of representation) and, where appropriate, to carry out representative functions at work, in accordance with relevant legislation. Employees must not be discriminated against, or be treated unfavourably or differently because they carry out representative functions.

Wages

Wages and benefits need to be compliant with the relevant legislation. Employees must give their informed, freely given consent to any deductions (which must also be lawful).

Child Labour

Cats Protection does not support the use of child labour in any circumstances.

Where children under the age of 18 are legally employed, they must not be employed at night or in hazardous conditions. All suppliers must work towards the elimination of all child labour and this must be in a manner consistent with the best interests of the children concerned.

Working Hours

Suppliers must comply with legislation and/ or industry standards on working hours, giving employees days off and resting times accordingly. Suppliers must not make workers work more than 48 hours per week and workers shall be provided with at least one day off in every seven.

Overtime must be voluntary and not demanded on a regular basis. Employees working overtime must be reimbursed at an appropriate rate.

Employers should treat their employees with respect and dignity

Employees must never be abused, harassed or intimidated, and any disciplinary measures taken must be recorded. Employees must have access to a written grievance or appeal procedure that’s clear and easy to understand. Employees who are unable to read the procedure must be introduced to a suitable person, who can read it out and explain it to them.

Health and Safety

Suppliers will provide their employees with a safe and healthy workplace and must make sure a senior management representative is responsible for Health and Safety, and that appropriate policies and procedures are in place.

Discrimination

Suppliers will not discriminate in hiring and employing workers on the basis of race, caste, birth, social or ethnic origin, religion, nationality, age, gender, gender identity or expression, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, maternity, union membership or political affiliation.

Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking

The Modern Slavery Act came into force in 2015 and suppliers must comply with current legislation. Suppliers must ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place:-

(i) in any of its supply chains, and
(ii) in any part of its own business

Suppliers must ensure there is a due diligence process in relation to slavery and human trafficking in their business and supply chains. See our statement

The Environment

Suppliers should try and minimise any potential impact on the environment when supplying goods and services to us. As a minimum, we require suppliers to comply with all local and national environmental legislation, regulations and directives to protect and improve the environment, and have developed, reviewed and recorded processes in place to make sure they comply.

We also require suppliers to have action plans in place to manage their environmental impact, e.g. energy reduction and waste management programmes. Where appropriate, suppliers must also comply with additional environmental requirements specific to the products and services supplied to Cats Protection. Any specific requirements would be outlined in the contract.

Business ethics

Suppliers must uphold the highest standards of integrity, transparency and governance and, as a minimum, we require our suppliers to comply with all relevant legislation and regulations. Suppliers must not take part in forms of bribery or corruption, and must not knowingly be associated with any group that supports acts of violence, terrorism or discrimination.

Animal Testing

Cats Protection will not knowingly deal with companies or individuals who are directly involved in:

  • Animal testing, both invasive and non-invasive, for cosmetic or other non-medical purposes, unless required for regulatory purposes
  • Any aspect of the fur trade

‘Directly involved’ is defined as a company or individual either undertaking themselves, or commissioning others to undertake contravening activity.

Donations from such companies or individuals will be refused.

Cats Protection fully supports the aims of reduction, refinement and replacement of all laboratory studies on animals.

Non-medical palatability and behavioural testing and studies for products for animal use are deemed acceptable.

This policy applies to companies that we deal directly with, and their immediate parent company.

Our supplier engagement process

We require openness and transparency in our relationships with our suppliers. We want to work together to improve our sustainability performance, and we’ll endeavour to support continuous improvement with any supplier that needs help meeting the principles within this code. Transparency includes maintaining documentation necessary to demonstrate compliance with these principles. Cats Protection may exercise its relevant contractual rights to access this documentation and raise reasonable enquiries.

Updated - 04/07/2018

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