It is said that the UK construction industry is one of the sectors where modern slavery is most likely to be prevalent.
About one in eight of nearly 1,300 slavery cases recorded by Britain’s anti-slavery hotline in 2017 involved the construction industry, according to charity Unseen, which runs the service.
Earlier this year, 11 individuals were identified as potential victims of Modern Slavery after a joint operation was launched into an organised crime group suspected of trafficking Romanian nationals to the UK, to be exploited in the construction industry.
With cases of modern slavery on the rise in the sector, it’s vital that businesses know how to deter, detect and deal with modern slavery.
Are you compliant with the Modern Slavery Act?
As of 31 March 2019, UK businesses with a turnover of £36 million or more are required to have an up-to-date modern slavery statement in a prominent position on their website.
The statement should set out the steps they have taken in the last financial year to ensure slave and child labour is not in its business or supply chain.
What should a statement include?
Details of policies and procedures your company has established to reduce the risk of slavery occurring in its supply chains
Who has responsibility for anti-slavery initiatives
What due diligence is carried out with regards to your supply chain
How you train your staff on anti-slavery measures
What if my business’s HQ is based outside of the UK?
Every business supplying goods or services in the UK that has a total global turnover of £36m or more per annum is required to produce a modern slavery statement for each financial year.
This means that overseas organisations doing business in the UK may well be subject to the reporting requirements.
What happens if my statement is not up to date?
Even if your business has published a statement in the past, the Modern Slavery Act requires a statement to be published each year. Therefore, all existing statements should be reviewed and updated as necessary to ensure compliance.
From 31 March 2019, employers risk being publicly named and shamed on the Government’s list of organisations that have failed to publish a statement on their website detailing the actions they have taken to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place in their business and supply chains.
What if my business is under £36 million turnover?
It is still best practice to have a modern slavery statement, even if your business turns over less than the Government requirement, and it is often a requirement of a PQQ.
It is one of the pieces of information collected and verified by our online contractor management system, SafePQQ, along with financial, environment, quality management, equality, GDPR, anti-bribery, right to work, building information modelling and references.
SafePQQ reduces the need to provide compliance information to various clients at different times to win new business opportunities.
As a contractor, you sign up and submit details on one platform, once a year, opening you up to over 400 corporate clients who are looking to work with safe, sustainable, ethical businesses, just like yours.
Join our community of businesses who want to work and grow together, without compromising safety, sustainability, or ethics. For more information about how SafeContractor can benefit your organisation, get in touch today.