Coronavirus Outbreak Impact on Sedex and Members

Following the outbreak of the coronavirus, the Sedex China team and helpdesk will be available, but will be working from home until further notice and can provide phone and email support. The health and safety of our employees is Sedex’s priority.

In China, some businesses have re-opened on 10th February, but many companies continue to take precautionary measures to maintain the health of their employees. Many staff are working from home and many people are unable to travel to work, as transport systems are restricted and shut down in some cities.

For businesses in the manufacturing sector, local authorities in China have set out some guidelines for manufacturers to follow before they can restart production and will need to pass a public health inspection. For example, the guidelines of Guangzhou (a city near Hong Kong), outline preventative measures for maintaining health, including documenting the whereabouts of employees, taking daily temperatures, stocking up on protective clothing (face masks, protection glasses, gloves), and sanitising all work areas. If a factory fails a public health inspection, they will not be allowed to resume work.

 

Update on audits in China

As a result of the coronavirus outbreak, health and safety precautions and lack of transport, most of the Affiliate Audit Companies (AAC) will not be performing any audits in China in February. The earliest period of conducting audits will be based on the coronavirus situation and AAC internal schedule. Please reach out to the relevant AAC for updates. Any new audit requests from suppliers remain pending.

 

Sedex recommendations

Sedex recognises that these circumstances may cause interruption to some businesses, their suppliers and production. We would like to ask our members to have patience and understanding that audits may be delayed, and the health and safety of auditors and business staff in China is a priority.

We recommend that our members review and update their own audit schedule and planning and communicate with the suppliers and auditors as soon as possible to limit impact.

For further information about the coronavirus, we recommend visiting the World Health Organization website – https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

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