Frequently Asked Questions.
Modern Slavery legislation is not just about the people who work for your company. It is also about forced labour risks associated with your products, logistical operations, contractors, suppliers, and workers up and down your supply chain. As more countries are adopting modern slavery laws for businesses, the legislation is having a “trickle down” affect across the global economy. Very soon, all companies will have to have a Modern Slavery Statement in order to compete for new contracts, meet supplier codes of conduct, comply with the law, and attract new investment.
Yes. Modern slavery legislation affects businesses of every size and sector—not just the ones considered to be high risk. If your organisation has a minimal physical footprint, few staff, and is not in a high risk sector, your Statement and due diligence process will be simpler and less robust, but it will still be necessary.
Yes, you can. But this will demonstrate to your stakeholders that your organisation has not taken any meaningful steps to look at its impacts and operations, understand its risks or taken any meaningful action toward doing its part in the fight against modern slavery.
Adopting a “zero tolerance” policy for your company does nothing to address the prevalence of modern slavery in the economy. Slavery is illegal and is therefore a hidden crime that cannot be found and remedied by a policy. Something endemic in the global economy cannot be eradicated without addressing its root causes of demand and supply.
A Modern Slavery Statement is a public report of the steps your company has taken (if any) to fight modern slavery in your organisation and supply chain. It outlines what you have done to learn about your risk areas, the programmes and steps you have taken to address those risks, and how effective they are. The statement also reports how you are training your staff and supply chain to spot the signs of slavery, and what kind of actions they take when detected.
Modern Slavery legislation requires due diligence and reporting specifically on the topic of modern slavery risks in your organisation and supply chain. Programmes and policies such as anti-bribery/corruption, whistleblower, harassment, workplace safety, ethics and CSR efforts do not satisfy these obligations.
Sourcing Justice provides risk assessments and programme development to help your organisation provide meaningful content to report on your Modern Slavery Statement. In the UK, for example, statements must include sections on: (1) business structure and supply chain; (2) policies; (3) due diligence; (4) risk assessments; (5) training; and (6) measuring effectiveness. If your organisation has failed to take action in one or more of these areas, it will have an incomplete statement that demonstrates a lack of commitment to your stakeholders. Sourcing Justice gives companies content for the statements by helping them to create meaningful and actionable steps that demonstrate commitment and progress to stakeholders.
The time and cost will vary depending on the size and level of the risk of your business. For small companies in low-risk industries, such as professional services or software development, the time and money commitment will be limited to only a few hours of staff and senior management team time. Organisations with lengthy supply chains and/or operating in high-risk industries or sectors will require greater resources to understand their risks and develop effective year-on-year programs and strategies. For these organisations, it is important to identify where resources can be most effectively applied to deliver the most impact.