ara Code of Conduct

ara Shoes AG has been perfecting the manufacture of particularly valuable shoes in terms of quality, fit and design for more than 60 years. We have never accepted any compromises when it comes to quality, and are just as adamant about our responsibility to society as a company. This applies for all areas along the value creation chain, be this in relationships with our employees and customers, the cooperation with our suppliers, an ecological responsibility for the environment just as much as an ethical responsibility in ever faster moving business cycles.

The ara Shoes AG Code of Conduct sets out the framework for all entrepreneurial and social activities of the company. In this way we place not only ourselves but also our business partners under an obligation to comply with internationally recognised minimum labour and social law standards in accordance with the conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO) within the scope of transparent and cooperative business relationships as well as important ecological factors.

ara Shoes AG
Management Board

§ 1 Scope of Application

Our Code of Conduct applies to all suppliers as well as their subcontractors and other business partners that are in a business relationship with ara Shoes AG.

§ 2 Legal Basis

Each business partner is fundamentally obliged to comply with all the applicable statutory provisions that are relevant within the scope of their business activities. This particularly applies to the applicable social and environmental standards. If a provision of our Code of Conduct contravenes the applicable national law, we must be informed of this prior to signing the Code of Conduct. The most stringent applicable requirements shall apply in the event of contradictory requirements between national legislation, extra-legal regulations and our Code of Conduct.

§ 3 Child Labour

We do not permit child labour. The employment of children who have not reached the age of 15 (or 14 in countries in which this is allowed by legislation), or who are younger than the legally prescribed minimum working age in countries in which this is older than 15, is not permitted. All persons older than 15 years (or 14 years respectively), who have not yet reached the age of 18, are considered to be juveniles. All statutory restrictions regarding the employment of juveniles must be observed. Juveniles must especially be protected from economic exploitation, the performance of dangerous work and work that impairs the juvenile’s education as well as from influences that may endanger the health or physical, mental, intellectual, moral or social development of the juvenile.

(Convention 138 and 182 of the International Labour Organization)

§ 4 Forced Labour

We do not tolerate forced labour; this includes bonded labour. Every employee must perform their work of their own accord and may not be forced to perform the work.

(Convention 29 and 105 of the International Labour Organization)

§ 5 Discrimination

We do not tolerate any form of discrimination based on race, social class, nationality, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, membership of an organisation or political affiliation. This particularly applies to recruitment, remuneration, training, promotion, dismissal or on entering retirement. Every employee must be treated with respect and dignity.

(Convention 100 and 111 of the International Labour Organization)

§ 6 Remuneration

Pursuant to Art. 23, Section 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration, ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity […]”. Our business partners must pay at least the statutory minimum wage. In countries without appropriate state controls business partners must ensure that the wage for a full-time job is sufficient to meet basic human needs. All employees must be informed of the regular start of work, the working hours, remuneration, holiday entitlement, protection against dismissal and maternity protection. These agreements must be fixed in writing as a rule. Furthermore, the wages must be paid regularly and on time and represent an appropriate remuneration for the work performed.

§ 7 Working hours

The business partner must ensure that the regular working hours do not exceed 48 hours a week and that the legally permitted number of hours is not exceeded if this is less than 48. Furthermore, the business partner must grant at least one free day for every seven-day period. Overtime may only be performed voluntarily and must be remunerated in accordance with the statutory provisions.

(Convention 1, 14 and 30 of the International Labour Organization)

§ 8 Freedom of Association

Employees have the right to join or establish associations of their choice and to undertake collective bargaining in this regard. We do not tolerate any measures and actions by the business partner that forbid or prevent the employee from establishing or joining an association peacefully and in compliance with the applicable law.

(Convention 87, 98 and 135 of the International Labour Organization)

§ 9 Health/Safety

We expect the business partner to ensure that a safe, clean and sanitary work environment is provided. The business partner must ensure that measures are taken to prevent accidents and health hazards that could occur in connection with the work or operation of the employer‘s equipment. Furthermore, the business partner is obliged to provide its personnel with clean and sanitary facilities and access to clean drinking water as well as a hygienic device for storing foodstuffs. All personnel working on the relevant premises must be regularly trained in the procedures in case of a fire or another emergency. Evacuation plans and fire-fighting equipment must also be provided in this connection. The business partner is also obliged to provide a functional first-aid kit and must ensure that a doctor is available during working hours.

§ 10 Environmental protection

We expect our business partners to act in an environmentally-friendly and responsible manner. The business partner must ensure that all relevant environmental protection laws and regulations of the relevant country are complied with as part of its business activity and have all the required environmental approvals and licenses for the operation. It must use all natural resources in a sustainable and responsible manner.

§ 11 Bribery and Corruption

We categorically reject any form of bribery or corruption and will not tolerate any violations. We also expect our business partners not to tolerate any kind of corruption or bribery or get involved in it in any way.

§ 12 Data protection

The use of electronic communications is today a prerequisite for a company’s success. We comply with all the applicable laws and provisions concerning the protection of personal data of employees, customers, suppliers and other business partners. We expect all our business partners to act accordingly.

§ 13 Management systems

Business partners shall undertake to fulfil the requirements of our Code of Conduct and to review its implementation periodically. The Code of Conduct must be regularly communicated to all personnel. Therefore, fulfilment of these requirements must be suitably documented by business partners. They must ensure that the requirements of the Code of Conduct are also met by their suppliers.

§ 14 Cooperation

We trust in the principle of cooperation and endeavour to find lasting solutions with the business partners concerned. We try to encourage our suppliers to communicate the contents of the Code of Conduct and the principle of cooperation to other business partners along the supply chain.

Last update: November 2014

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