Rugby is a proud member of the family of world sports and of the Olympic Movement. The goal of the Olympic Movement is to contribute to building a peaceful and better world by educating young people through sport practised without discrimination of any kind and in the spirit of mutual understanding, friendship, solidarity and fair play. In accordance with these principles, World Rugby recognises the rights of workers involved in the making of World Rugby-licensed products and the conditions under which they are made.

As a condition of the licence agreement, each licensee awarded the right to use World Rugby name or logo in the manufacture and/or supply of licensed products to World Rugby, must provide written confirmation that the workers involved in the chain of production receive a living wage and enjoy decent working conditions that conform to minimum international labour standards and to the relevant local legal and industry standards.

Each licensee must further agree to ensure that these conditions and standards are observed by each supplier and subcontractor in the manufacture and distribution of World Rugby-licensed products or their components. Prior to placing orders with suppliers or engaging suppliers and subcontractors, licensees should assess whether these companies can meet the provisions of this Code.

Each World Rugby licensee, and each supplier and subcontractor engaged by the licensee, shall be obliged under its licence agreement to implement and respect the following principles in production and/or distribution of products bearing World Rugby name and/or World Rugby authorised marks.

The World Rugby shall promote the Code among its member and associated unions and encourage them to subscribe to its principles and application in terms of their own licensing arrangements.


World Rugby will require that its licensees, suppliers and subcontractors agree to comply with the following obligations:

Forced Labour

There shall be no use of forced labour whether in the form of forced prison or bonded labour or otherwise, nor shall employees be required to lodge “deposits” upon commencing employment.


No person shall be subject to any discrimination in employment, including hiring and every employee shall be treated with respect and dignity and afforded equality of opportunity and treatment regardless of gender, race, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, political opinion, trade union membership, nationality, social origin or other distinguishing characteristic. Employees shall not be subjected to behaviour, including gestures, language and physical contact that is sexually coercive, threatening, abusive or exploitative.

Child Labour

There shall be no use of the labour of any person less than fifteen years of age (or fourteen where the law of the country of manufacture allows) or of any person younger than the age for completing compulsory education in the country of manufacture where such age is higher than fifteen.

Freedom Of Association And Collective Bargaining

The right of workers to form and join trade unions of their choice and to bargain collectively shall be recognised and respected subject to applicable local law. Trade union representatives shall not be the subject of discrimination and must be allowed reasonable access to their members in the workplace.


Wages and benefits for a standard working week shall meet at least applicable local legal or industry minimum standards. Deductions from wages shall not be made for disciplinary purposes and the composition of wages and benefits composition are detailed clearly and regularly for workers. Wages and benefits should be rendered in full compliance with all applicable local laws and wages should be paid in a manner convenient to workers.

Hours Of Work

Except in extraordinary business circumstances, employees shall not be required to work more than the lesser of:

  • forty eight hours per week and twelve hours over time; or
  • the limits on regular and over time hours allowed by the law of the country of manufacture or where the laws of such country do not limit the hours of work, the regular work week in such country plus twelve hours overtime.

Employees shall be entitled to at least one day off in every seven day period.

Health And Safety

A safe and hygienic working environment shall be provided and good occupational health and safety practice shall be promoted, bearing in mind knowledge of the industry and of any specific hazards. Adequate steps shall be taken to prevent accidents and injury to health arising out of, associated with or occurring in the course of work. This shall be done, so far as is reasonably practicable, by minimising the causes of hazards inherent in the working environment.

Systems should be established to detect, avoid or respond to potential threats to the health and safety of all personnel. Clean bathrooms, access to potable water and, if appropriate, sanitary facilities for food storage shall be provided for use by all personnel. If provided for the use of personnel, dormitory facilities shall be clean and safe and meet basic requirements.

Disciplinary Practices

Personnel should never be submitted to corporal punishment, mental or physical coercion or verbal abuse. Disciplinary procedures shall comply with applicable local laws and employment practices.

Management Systems

Licensees (hereafter referred to as “the company”), their contractors and subcontractors and suppliers, shall undertake to support and co-operate in the implementation and monitoring of this Code by subscribing to the following management systems.

The company acknowledges that failure by it, or by its contractors, subcontractors and suppliers to comply with the requirements of this Code may lead to immediate termination of its licence agreement with World Rugby.


The company shall define its policy for social accountability and labour conditions to ensure that it:

  • includes a commitment to conform to all requirements of this Code;
  • includes a commitment to comply with national and other applicable law, other requirements to which the company subscribes and to respect the international instruments listed in this Code and their interpretations;
  • includes a commitment to continual improvement;
  • is effectively documented, implemented, maintained, communicated and is accessible in a comprehensible form to all personnel, including directors, executives, management, supervisors and staff, whether directly employed, contracted or otherwise, representing the company;
  • is publicly available.

Control of Suppliers

The company shall establish and maintain appropriate procedures to evaluate and select suppliers based on their ability to meet the requirements of this Code. The company shall maintain appropriate records of suppliers’ commitments to social accountability, including, but not limited to, the suppliers’ written commitment to:

  • conform to all requirements of this Code (including this clause);
  • participate in the company’s monitoring activities as requested;
  • promptly remedy any non-conformity identified against the requirements of this Code;
  • promptly and completely inform the company of any and all relevant business relationship(s) with other supplier(s) and subcontractor(s).

The company shall ensure that all contractors, suppliers or other third parties engaged by it in relation to World Rugby licensed goods and services undertake in writing to be bound by this Code and the company shall maintain reasonable evidence of compliance with the Code.

Addressing Concerns and Taking Corrective Action

The company shall investigate, address and respond to the concerns of employees and other interested parties with regard to conformity/non-conformity with the company’s policy and/or requirements of this Code. The company shall not discipline, dismiss or otherwise discriminate against any employee for providing information concerning observance of this Code.

The company shall implement remedial and corrective action and allocate adequate resources appropriate to the nature and severity of any failure to comply with this Code.

Outside Communication

The company shall establish and maintain procedures to communicate regularly to all interested parties data and other information regarding performance against the requirements of the Code, including, but not limited to, the results of management reviews and monitoring activities.

Access for Verification

Where required by contract, the company shall provide reasonable information and access to interested parties seeking to verify conformity to the requirements of this Code. Where further required by contract, similar information and access shall also be afforded by the company’s suppliers and subcontractors through the incorporation of such a requirement in the company’s purchasing contracts.


The company shall maintain appropriate records to demonstrate conformity to the requirements of this Code.