That is why labour rights organisations and unions in the Clean Clothes Campaign network are are urging apparel companies to publicly assure that all workers in their supply chain will be paid during this crisis and receive the severance they are owed if they lose their jobs. Brands and (r)etailers can show their commitment to taking their responsibility towards the workers who enabled their past pro ts by publicly committing to wage assurance and the severance guarantee fund and publishing the following text on their website. Wage assurance: [Company X] hereby publicly assures that all apparel, textile, and footwear workers in our supply chain, who were paid to produce or handle goods at the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, regardless of employment status, will be paid their legally mandated or regular wages and bene ts, whichever is higher. This includes wage arrears (back pay) and, where applicable, negotiated severance pay. We will contribute funds of a su cient amount to ensure that, when combined with other support provided to workers by employers, local governments, and international institutions, workers have income, equal or greater than, the amount they received prior to the crisis. In doing so, we provide immediate much-needed relief for workers, and we act upon our responsibility to prevent and mitigate adverse human rights impacts in our supply chains, and to provide for or cooperate in the remediation of harm. Going forward, we will support stronger social protections for workers by committing to paying a price premium on future orders into a guarantee fund reserved for severance and outstanding wages in cases where employers in our supply chain have gone insolvent, or otherwise have terminated workers, through signing an enforceable agreement with garment worker unions, in line with ILO Recommendation 202, Convention 95 and Convention 76. Publishing the statement is a rst step, aimed to obtain public assurances for workers and hold brands accountable to their responsibilities to workers in their supply chains. Frequently Asked Questions Should employers (factories) not just pay the wages and bene ts, including severance? Yes, they should. In most garment-producing countries, factory owners are legally obligated to pay severance. In some countries, regulations require employers to maintain a certain level of income for their employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, with widespread order cancellations at the outset of the pandemic and payment delays, many employers do not have the funds to pay their workers as a result of brand behaviour. In the buyers’

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