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Selling to the council – ethical considerations and legal requirements

The council recognises that decisions made during the procurement process can have a direct effect on socio-economic and environmental implications.  

Vale of White Horse District Council’s Ethical Procurement Statement

  1. Working conditions are safe
  2. Promotion of good health
  3. Employment is freely chosen
  4. Working hours are not excessive
  5. Wages meet, at least, the national minimum standards
  6. Training is provided
  7. Diversity and good workforce practices are encouraged
  8. Child labour is eliminated
  9. Inhumane treatment is eliminated
  10. Minimise environmental impact

Legal requirements

Public procurement must be carried out in accordance with UK Public Procurement Directives.
This requires the councils to award relevant contracts, whether subject to procurement rules or not, in line with EC Treaty principles, including the principles of nondiscrimination, equal treatment, transparency, fairness, mutual recognition and proportionality.
These ethical principles are mostly governed by law within the UK/EU and, as such, are legal requirements which would be grounds for excluding a supplier from an award of contract if breached.
These principles, where appropriate, will be included in the council’s standard terms and conditions to ensure that suppliers fully understand the council’s expectations.

Vale of White Horse Purchase Order Terms and Conditions for Goods and/or Services

Vale of White Horse Purchase Order Terms and Conditions for Works

Working Conditions are safe

Operate appropriate health and safety policies and procedures overseen by a senior manager responsible for compliance and monitoring. Ensure employees have the necessary training and health and safety equipment.
Provide comfortable and hygienic working conditions with clean toilets and water suitable for drinking and washing.

Promotion of good health

  • Invest in measures for tackling ill health as healthy employees experience a better quality of life and tend to be more productive.
  • Employment is freely chosen
  • Afford employees the freedom to choose to work and not use forced, bonded or non voluntary prison labour.
  • Afford employees freedom of association with the right to join an independent trade union or other workers’ associations and to carry out reasonable representative functions in the workplace.
  • Facilitate alternative means of democratic representation where laws restrict freedom of association and collective bargaining.

Working hours are not excessive

Comply with national and international laws or industry standards on employee working hours, whichever affords greater protection

Wages meet, at least, the national minimum standards

Work towards paying the Living Wage and provide wages and benefits at rates that meet at least national legal standards.
Provide employees with an easy-to-read contract of employment clearly explaining wage levels.
Wages should be in cash and not in kind (e.g. goods, vouchers) with no deductions made unless permitted under national law or agreed by the employee, without duress.

Training is provided

Suppliers will be expected to show, where applicable, training programmes for staff to raise skills and aid professionalism

Diversity and good workforce practices are encouraged

No discrimination – Practice no discrimination in hiring, compensation, training,
promotion, termination, or retirement either directly or indirectly, in accordance with the
Equality Act 2010 (or subsequent iteration of the Regulations). For the avoidance of doubt
this includes compliance with Regulations in relation to blacklisting employees.

Disputes procedure

Provide clear and accessible processes for resolving disputes with employees.

Child labour is eliminated

Provide for any children found to be performing child labour to attend and remain in quality education until no longer a child.
Ensure no children and young persons are employed at night or in hazardous conditions, as defined by the International Labour Organisation.

Inhumane treatment is eliminated

Suppliers must prohibit physical abuse or coercion, the threat of physical abuse, sexual or other harassment and verbal abuse or other forms of intimidation

Minimise environmental impact

Consideration of the environment and impact on climate change should be made in all procurements, ensuring minimal impacts. Suppliers should be able to demonstrate their environmental standards.