Lidl Code of Conduct

The Lidl Code of Conduct governs fundamental principles and rules to ensure minimum social standards are enjoyed by everyone that Lidl either directly or indirectly does business with.  This is of central importance to Lidl and forms the basis of how we act as a company and how we expect our business partners to act.

Every direct or indirect business partner of Lidl must therefore be familiar with the Lidl Code of Contact and are bound by way of contract to adhering to these provisions on a worldwide basis.  The Lidl Code of Conduct is based on international principles and generally accepted standards to ensure human dignity, human rights and complying with relevant legislation.  

The binding terms of the Lidl Code of Conduct are as follows:

Lidl Code of Conduct:

Lidl Ireland GmbH/Lidl Northern Ireland (hereinafter Lidl) endeavours to ensure the implementation of minimum social standards. Lidl's contractual parties (Contractors) shall comply with these minimum social standards.  Lidl is a member of the EU Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) within the framework of the European Foreign Trade Association. On this basis, Lidl has developed its own code of conduct to promote the goal of improving social minimum standards practiced by its business partners in various countries. These minimum social standards are a fundamental basis for business relations between Lidl and its Contractors.

1. Human dignity

Human dignity must be respected as it is a fundamental requirement for human collective life.

2. Compliance with laws

The applicable national and other relevant laws and regulations, as well as conventions of the Inter-national Labour Organisation (ILO) and United Nations (UN) must be complied with. Of all applicable regulations, the one best suited to accomplishing the protective purpose sets the standard. Bribery, fraud and other forms of corruption are prohibited.

3. Prohibition on child labour

In manufacturing goods or rendering services for Lidl, child labour as defined by the conventions of the ILO and UN, the international standard SA8000 (the global social accountability standard for decent working conditions developed and overseen by Social Accountability International (the SAI Standard) or by national laws, is prohibited.

Violations of this prohibition must be rectified through documented strategies and procedures. The school education of the children should be encouraged and supported. Youth, defined by the SAI Standard as being at least 15 years old but not yet 18, may only work outside of school hours. Under no circumstances may daily working hours exceed 8 hours per day.  In addition, the total time spent at school, work and transport may not exceed 10 hours per day. Youth may not perform work at night.

4. Prohibition on forced labour and disciplinary measures

All forms of forced labour are prohibited. The imposition of physical punishments, mental or physical oppression or insulting verbal abuse is prohibited.

5. Working conditions and payment

Applicable national labour laws must be complied with. Wages and other payments must meet statutory provisions and/or local standards. Wages and other payments must be clearly defined and paid out or rendered on a regular basis. The goal is to pay wages and other payments that cover living costs where the statutory minimum wage is insufficient to meet this goal. Deductions for payment in kind are only permissible to a minor extent and only in an appropriate ratio to the value of the payment in kind.

Maximum working hours for regular work are governed by the applicable and statutory regulations. Maximum working hours must not exceed 48 hours per week. The quantity of overtime hours shall not exceed 12 hours per week.  Additional overtime is only permitted if necessary for short-term operational reasons and is allowed under collective bargaining agreements. Payment for overtime hours must be separate or settled in the form of holiday time. After working 6 consecutive days, employees are entitled to a day off. Consecutive working days in excess of this are only permitted if allowed under national law and any collective bargaining agreement.

6. Prohibition on discrimination

Discrimination against workers on the basis of sex or sexual identity, age, religion or worldview, race, ethnic background, national or social background, or disability, is prohibited.

7. Freedom of association and organisation

The right of workers to found workers associations and become members of them, and the right to carry out collective negotiations in accordance with the given national laws and regulations, as well as ILO conventions, may not be restricted. Workers may not be discriminated against for exercising these rights.

8. Safety and health in the workplace

It must be ensured that the workplace is safe and not harmful to health. Conditions at the workplace, on the Contractor's premises and working conditions that violate fundamental human rights are prohibited. In particular, youth must not be exposed to any dangerous, unsafe or unhealthy circumstances that could put their health and development at risk. Staff should receive training on a regular basis regarding health and safety in the workplace. 

The Contractor shall appoint a member of the Contractor's team to ensure the health and safety of staff and who is responsible for introducing and complying with health and safety standards in the workplace.

9. Environmental protection

Environmental and safety regulations on handling waste, chemicals or other dangerous materials or substances must be complied with. Workers must be trained in handling dangerous materials and substances.

10. Company implementation

An internal corporate social responsibility strategy and appropriate internal procedures shall be instituted to promote implementation and support of the aforementioned social standards. An internal system for reporting violations of these social standards must be established. Workers who file re-ports may not be disciplined or disadvantaged for doing so.

The Contractors agree that Lidl or an independent inspector appointed by Lidl can verify implementation of the social standards at any time.

Every Contractor doing business with Lidl declares its readiness to implement these social standards in its company and to impose them on its contractors and to be responsible for the implementation.