The Modern Day Slavery Survey 2017 Report, published by compliance specialist Altius, has highlighted the need for UK construction firms to clamp down on modern slavery across their supply chains.
82% of respondents said that they wanted to see the senior leadership team do more to ensure compliance with the Modern Slavery Act.
While 80% of respondents said that their organisations had a Modern Slavery policy, just 60% believed it was clearly communicated through the business. Furthermore, 45% claimed that they couldn’t see any evidence that the Modern Slavery Act was being adhered to.
One in three of those surveyed said they did not know who had ultimate responsibility for modern slavery compliance in the business, raising questions about effective leadership.
Only 38% of survey respondents claimed to have processes in place to ensure Modern Slavery compliance within their supply chain. Yet only one-in-four said their suppliers and contractors had been re-assessed since 2015 when the Modern Slavery Act was introduced.
Chief Operating Officer for Altius, Len Simmons explained that it is vital that contract, procurement and health and safety managers come together, with support from their senior colleagues, to share the collective responsibility of understanding and implementing effective policies to prevent slave labour.
Construction firms need to act on and implement their policies to ensure both they and their contractors and sub contractors are compliant, he added.
Associate Professor at the University of Derby, Dr. Dave Walsh collaborated with Altius on the report and claims that private sector companies face a ‘hard slog’ to full compliance, not least because modern slavery can be difficult to identify due to the lack of visible signs of restraint.
Providing compliance software and management services, Altius aims to help organisations identify and eliminate the risk of modern slavery across their supply chains.
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