Better Work-Haiti recently released its 11th Biannual Synthesis Report Under the HOPE II Legislation to assess factory compliance with core labor standards and national labor law. For those interested, the report can be accessed at:

Between September 2014 and August 2015, Better Work assessed 25 factories in Haiti’s garment sector. While factories improved in a few areas, overall, compliance has waned since the last report. Here’s a quick overview:

  • Method of Payment: In two factories, workers’ full wages were not paid directly to them at the workplace on a working day.
  • Overtime Wages: Four additional factories were found non-compliant and did not pay workers 50% above the normal wage for all ordinary overtime hours worked.
  • Paid Leave: Six additional factories did not pay workers correctly during sick leave.
  • Social Security and Other Benefits: Fourteen additional factories did not pay 3% of workers’’ basic salary to OFATMA for maternity and health insurance.
  • Wage Information, Use and Deduction: Seven additional factories did not keep only one accurate payroll record.
  • Chemicals and Hazardous Substances: Six additional factories did not have chemical safety datasheets for all the hazardous chemicals used in the workplace.
  • Emergency Preparedness: Five additional factories were found to not be conducting periodic emergency drills.
  • Overtime: In three additional factories, employer did not comply with limits on overtime hours worked.
  • Regular Hours: Five additional employers kept working time records that did not reflect the hours actually worked.

Noncompliance rates remained the highest in the Occupational Safety and Health category. Non- and underpayment of social security and other benefits was another area of high noncompliance.

Additionally, fewer workers (38%) earned the production minimum wage (320 gourdes per 8-hr workday) this semester than last (41%). Piece rate workers are supposed to have the opportunity to earn this wage (versus the lower, minimum wage of reference – 225 gourdes). This backsliding is especially troubling given that the value of the Haitian gourde to the US dollar has dropped significantly in past months (53 HTG to 1 USD).

Read the full report: