Since October 2015, all commercial organisations conducting business in the UK (turnover of £36m+) are legally required to disclose what activity they are undertaking to eliminate slavery and trafficking from their business and supply chains. More information can be found at www.legislation.go.uk.
Exposure to Modern Slavery
The International Labour Organisation, ILO, claims that 90% of the estimated 20.9m global victims of forced labour are exploited by enterprises and private individuals. The prevalence of the issue means that inadequate due diligence will expose companies to severe legal, reputational and commercial risks if modern slavery is revealed within the business/supply chain. Modern slavery and the trafficking of people is an issue that stakeholders around the world are increasingly focused on.
Companies are required to publish a statement on their website – approved and signed by the board of directors- every financial year. Government guidelines recommend inclusion of the following information:
- The organisation’s Structure, Business and Supply Chain
- Policies in relation to slavery and human trafficking
- Due Diligence processes in relation to slavery and human trafficking in its business/supply chains
- The parts of its business/supply chains where there is a risk of slavery and human trafficking taking place, and any steps that it has taken to assess and manage that risk
- Its effectiveness in ensuring that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place in its business or supply chains, measured against KPIs
- Training about slavery and human trafficking available to its staff
To meet the requirement of the Act – and to reduce potential complicity with incidents of modern slavery – companies need to review the level of transparency in their own operations/supply chain.
DNV GL offers world-leading certification, verification, assessment, and training services and can support companies by:
- Reviewing and benchmarking existing due diligence in this area i.e. policies, supplier ethical code of conduct, management systems and training plans
- Identifying supplier risk based on geographical context, commodity type, ownership structure and previous performance
- Identifying objectives and developing targets and corresponding KPIs to monitor performance
- Drafting statements for 2015/16 and future reporting
- Assurance of Modern Slavery Act external disclosure in statements, reports and other media channels
- Implementing an improved due diligence approach to reach objectives for 2016/17 reporting
- Wider advisory on human rights in the value chain and operationalising visibility through value chain assessments
- Training and Development of employees across the value chain
- Value Chain Capacity Building to enhance the level of conformance across the operations and suppliers