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The Ethical Clothing Trades Extended Responsibility Scheme is designed to protect clothing outworkers from exploitation. It places obligations on clothing retailers, suppliers, contractors and subcontractors to keep and exchange information about the manufacture of clothing, and have those records open to inspection for 6 years. The Scheme is intended to make it very difficult for unethical employers to take advantage of clothing outworkers.

For more information and downloadable forms, please visit NSW Industrial Relations (NSW IR).

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For every order of clothing products made in Australia for retail sale in NSW:

  • if you're a retailer you'll need to:
    • provide your suppliers with your basic particulars
    • establish whether your suppliers or their contractors engage outworkers to make the clothes, and report if you suspect any workers are being employed under terms less favourable than a relevant Australian award
    • keep invoices and all information received from your suppliers about the manufacturing of their clothing products, and allow your records to be available on request to the NSW IR and the Textile, Clothing & Footwear Union (TCFUA)
    • send lists of your suppliers to NSW IR and the TCFUA
    • not make an agreement with a supplier who doesn't comply with their responsibilities.
  • if you're a supplier you'll need be able to provide your retailers with:
    • details about the manufacture of your clothing goods, including the details of any outworkers used, with each invoice
    • information as to whether any or all of your clothing goods are made in Australia, in each invoice
    • an undertaking that any outworkers used in the manufacture of your clothing are engaged under terms and conditions no less favourable than a relevant Australian award
    • the details of any contractors you use, and whether they engage outworkers
    • any changes to information provided to you by your contractors
    • all information regarding the passing on or receiving of all or part of an order, to or from another supplier.
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For retailers:

  1. Download and complete Schedule 1 – PDF, and 
  2. Mail your report at least twice a year, by 28 February and 31 August to: NSW Industrial Relations, GPO Box 5469, Sydney NSW 2001.
  3. Download and complete Schedule 2 - Part A – PDF, retain one copy, and give your suppliers a copy.
  4. Request and retain completed copies of Schedule 2 - Part B – PDF from your suppliers.

For suppliers:

  1. Download and complete Schedule 2 - Part B – PDF, and give your retailers a copy.
  2. Ensure your contractors and subcontractors are provided with your retailers' business details.
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All retailers, suppliers, contractors and subcontractors who are involved in the NSW clothing industry.

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  • If suppliers engage contractors they must advise them of their obligations under the Scheme.
  • Suppliers must notify their retailers in writing every time new suppliers are engaged, or the circumstances of existing suppliers change, or outworkers are engaged.
  • There is a penalty of $11,000 for a contravention of the Scheme under Section 13 of the Industrial Relations (Ethical Clothing Trades) Act 2001.
  • The clothing industry also has a voluntary code of practice developed by industry and unions – one for retailers, and one for suppliers, fashion houses, wholesalers and manufacturers. If you sign up to either of these Codes of Practice you're exempted from the obligations of the Scheme.
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