Modern Slavery Act

Despite slavery being outlawed in modern Western society, we still hear of instances of gang masters oppressing and exploiting the vulnerable. We hear of instances of people in developing countries being forced to work for little or no money in appalling conditions. It is because of these issues, the UK government introduced the Modern Slavery Act.

Not understanding all the levels of your supply chains or not being aware of signs that a person working for a third party vendor is being exploited can leave your organisation exposed to risk of prosecution under the Modern Slavery Act. People who have been trafficked, are being exploited or used as slave labour will often not speak out. Suppliers who have obtained goods or materials from questionable sources will not want you to know where their supplies have been sourced. Making sure your business obtains and maintains full transparency of suppliers and vendors is vital to protecting the organisation it’s value and reputation.

There are simple things you can do to protect your organisation and ensure that modern slavery is challenged and stopped. Businesses need to be in a position to effectively demonstrate due diligence processes in their supply chains and transactions in order to be able to confidently provide a positive ‘Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement’. Being wise to the risks of modern slavery is not simply about avoiding legal action and censure, it is about demonstrating a strong commitment to ethical behaviour and good governance. Diagnostic and compliance assurance reviews can form part of management’s tool kit and improve risk identification.

Supply chains are often opaque and they can be extremely complex. People who have been trafficked and exploited may remain silent but there are red flags. Moore Stephens is experienced in assessing supply chain risk and understanding the signs that people are being exploited and we can help you navigate the pitfalls of modern slavery.

 

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