A little can go a long way… The Modern Slavery Act is coming to place 1st November. From that day all companies with a turnover of over £36m that runs some activity in the UK will need to issue a yearly statement indicating the steps the organisation has taken (or not) to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place.
There is no penalty for not tackling potential slavery issues for businesses, however the reports have to be made public, with the implicit aim that public pressure will be enough for companies to do due diligence to preserve their reputation.
Companies could of course just follow a box-checking exercise, adhering to the minimum required by the law (which is not much) or the minimum they think is acceptable to avoid a public backlash.
However this could be turned into a very exciting opportunity for businesses. The legislation is indeed giving them the chance to create a report that would enable them to be themselves at the forefront of the fight against slavery.
Slavery, forced labour, trafficking are criminal activities that are usually hidden and require everyone’s vigilance and appropriate reporting systems. By championing awareness, training and code of conducts, best practices and outstanding KPIs in social responsibility, companies can create an environment where everyone is involved. Everyone, through small or big actions, could do a lot to fight slavery.
The 12,000 companies affected by the Modern Slavery Act have an incredibly powerful reach through the amount of activity they generate and the depth of their supply chain. Bringing the fight against forced labour, child exploitation, trafficking and poor and inhumane working conditions at the forefront of their activity can be a formidable driving force to make a change.
An increasing number of management leaders seek to improve the balance between economic benefit and ethical impact, to re-address the market-driven inequalities. This Modern Slavery Act is a great opportunity for all businesses to do so.
ChainChecked has been created to enable them to positively impact the lives of millions by helping them comply with the Modern Slavery Act, providing them with tools, resources, best practices and training that help them set the bar high and follow up on their objectives. They’re ready to take the plunge, and we’re here to take it with them.