In the autumn of 2015, the UK government introduced the Modern Slavery Act which seeks to address the role of businesses in preventing modern slavery from occurring in their supply chains and organisations.
The Act defines modern slavery as covering slavery, servitude, forced and compulsory labour and human trafficking. Organisations captured by the Act not only need to ensure that modern slavery is not an issue in-house, they also need to take, and report on, actions to prevent the issue from occurring within their supply chains. The actions, targets and progress on these issues should be reported annually by organisations through their Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement.
Using SupplierPortal to collect relevant data
Through SupplierPortal, we have been helping our clients address a number of the issues highlighted by the Modern Slavery Act for some time. Issues such as working conditions, worker’s rights, child labour and freedoms of association are covered in the standard set of questionnaires in the tool.
However, in order to compliment these areas, and to ensure that our clients can report against a full suite of relevant indicators, we have introduced an additional chapter to our standard labour questionnaire to address modern slavery. This, combined with the ability to include any organisation specific questions, means that our clients are able to meet the requirements of the Act as well as address wider supplier risk and compliance needs.
As discussed in our webinar series, The Modern Slavery Act 2015: A Practical Insight, there are a number of ways of targeting high risk suppliers, and a number of direct and indirect indicators that could be used to identify modern slavery issues across these suppliers. The key is that the relevant data for your organisation can be captured and then analysed efficiently.
(Figure 1. A selection of the standard questionnaires provided in SupplierPortal, some of which can form part of an organisation’s approach to modern slavery. The modern slavery chapter is located in the Labour questionnaire.)
If you would like to understand further how SupplierPortal can help satisfy the Modern Slavery Act 2015, or find out more about supplier engagement and compliance more generally, then please do not hesitate to get in touch.