Ethical Code Of Practice

Ethical Trading Policy Statement

Summary Statement

At Simpson Group we believe strongly in ethical principles and good stewardship. We are therefore proud to guarantee that we trade according to the following Ethical Trading Criteria:

  • 1. All employment is freely chosen
  • 2. All staff are entitled to belong to trade unions and collective bargaining is respected, to the extent permitted by local law.
  • 3. Working conditions are safe and hygienic.
  • 4. Child labour is not used.
  • 5. Wages are fair and comparable to other print companies and wherever possible exceed the minimum wage.
  • 6. Deductions from wages as a disciplinary measure shall not be permitted.
  • 7. Working hours are not excessive.
  • 8. No discrimination is practised.
  • 9. Regular employment is provided for those who are employed on a permanent contract.
  • 10. No harsh, cruel or degrading treatment or practices are allowed.
  • 11. No bribery, corruption, blackmailing or bullying is permitted.
  • 12. Good environmental stewardship is practiced.
  • 13. Suppliers and buyers are both free to sell and buy from any number of other businesses or outlets. No restrictions, as a way of guaranteeing business, are allowed.

We also ask all our suppliers to affirm in writing to us that their businesses are also built on these ethical criteria. We have developed a full policy statement outlining how we expect our practice to develop in order to be able to offer strong guarantees to our customers that the products they receive from us have been ethically produced and traded.

Our Full Ethical Trade Policy Statement

1. Policy Statement

Simpson Group recognises that our commercial activities have potential to impact on our suppliers and our locality.

As a socially responsible business our suppliers, local community and customers have a right to expect:

  • Products manufactured and sourced by Simpson Group are produced under working conditions that are hygienic and safe.
  • All workers involved in the production of products sold by Simpson Group from direct suppliers, indirect suppliers and our own service providers are treated with full consideration to their basic human rights.
  • Simpson Group acts in an ethical manner above and beyond basic legal requirements.
  • Simpson Group is therefore committed to implementing the principles of the Ethical Trading Initiative Base Code (although we are not members of the ETI).
  • This policy sets out Simpson Group’s commitment to its suppliers and customers, setting out the measures we are taking to ensure that we are acting in an ethical manner.

2. Simpson Group’s Commitment to its suppliers, service providers and customers:

Simpson Group recognises that our ethical and social performance and reputation is a key part of our overall commercial success, and is pleased to be at the forefront of the quality, print providers in the area of ethical trading and social responsibility.


Simpson Group is committed to ensuring that our employment practices and the enforcement of corporate regulations ensure the protection of the rights of all those who work for us. In many areas we aim to operate above the minimum standards required by law to ensure our employees are safe, rewarded and valued.


Simpson Group is committed to demonstrating its ethical and social responsibility credentials to enable customers to make informed choices about whose products they purchase.


Simpson Group is committed to monitoring social standards in our supply chain, and we encourage our suppliers to operate to the same ethical standards we employ ourselves.

3. Simpson Group Ethical Trading Code of Practice

3.1 This Code of Practice applies to:

  • Staff directly employed by Simpson Group on temporary or permanent contracts.
  • Staff employed or provided by contractors or employment agencies to work on Simpson Group premises or to undertake work for or on behalf of Simpson Group.

3.2 No forced, bonded or involuntary labour shall be used.

  • All employment with Simpson Group is freely chosen.
  • Staff are not required to lodge deposits or identity papers with us.
  • Staff are free to leave Simpson Group after reasonable notice.

3.3 No child labour shall be used.

  • There shall be no recruitment of child labour
  • Children or persons under 16 are not employed at any time, day or night.
  • Children or persons under 18 are not employed full-time unless on a normal dayshift or in an office based administration role.

3.4 All employees have the right to join a recognised trade union.

Union representatives are able to carry out their duties without hindrance. Simpson Group has an open attitude towards the activities of trade unions.

4. Working conditions are safe and hygienic.

  • Simpson Group takes adequate measures to prevent accidents and minimalise potential hazards.
  • Staff receive regular health and safety training.
  • Staff have unrestricted access to toilet facilities and drinking water.
  • Simpson Group has a published Health and Safety Policy.

5. Working hours and remuneration are reasonable and comparable to other companies in the retail sector and regular employment is provided.

  • Staff pay rates are above the national legal minimum standards.
  • Staff are not forced to work in excess of 48 hours a week, a voluntary opt out agreement is available for those wishing to work in excess of 48 hours per week. Overtime is voluntary.
  • Staff are given written terms and conditions of employment that details the employment relationship between and the respective obligations of the employee and employer, rates of pay, working hours, grievance and disciplinary procedures, holiday entitlement, absence and sick pay rules and notice periods for termination or employment.
  • No deductions are made from wages as a disciplinary measure, and pay slips detailing lawful deductions are provided for each pay period.
  • Labour only contracting, sub contracting and fixed term contracts are not used as a means to avoid obligations under labour or social security laws.

6. No discrimination is practised:

  • There is no discrimination in pay, hiring, compensation, access to training, promotion, and termination of employment or recruitment on the grounds of race, nationality, religion, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, union membership or political affiliation.
  • Opportunities for personal and career development are equally available to all employees.

7. No harassment, threats, abuse or intimidation shall be practised. Physical, verbal and sexual threats, abuse, harassment or intimidation is expressly prohibited and grounds for summary dismissal, if proved.

8. Employment Agencies

Employment agencies contracted to supply temporary staff shall demonstrate commitment and application of the requirements of this code.

Employment agencies contracted to supply temporary staff shall ensure that all staff supplied to Simpson Group are eligible to work in the UK by:

      • Following Immigration and Nationality Directorate Guidelines on Amendments to Section 8 of the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996.
      • Ensuring that the requirements of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 Section 22 Code of Practice are met.
      • Retaining copies of identity papers, work permits or passport stamps as detailed in the Home Office List of Specified Documents and UK Passport Stamps.

Employment agencies contracted to supply temporary staff shall ensure that all staff supplied to Simpson Group have sufficient command of English to understand:

      • The agency’s responsibilities under this code of practice.
      • Simpson Group Environment, Health & Safety requirements.
      • Simpson Group Food Safety requirements.
      • Written statements of employment particulars. Or have other measures in place to ensure that all these requirements are communicated in the employee’s native language.

9. Organisation

Simpson Group Partners have overall responsibility for all aspects of ethical trading at work within the business.

10. Looking towards further improvement

Simpson Group is keen to learn from others and would ask if anyone has any ideas or feedback regarding our policy or practice to contact us.

Head Office: Influence Park, Rutherford Road, Stephenson, Washington, Tyne and Wear. NE37 3HX. United Kingdom.

Simpson Print Ltd. Reg No: 1061464/England. VAT No 177205854

Tel: +44(0)191 416 1579
Fax: +44(0)191 419 8660