Blog • 21.02.24

Eradicate forced labour risk in your supply chain

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Up until now, reporting on forced and child labour was optional in Canada, but in the face of such a big global issue, it’s now becoming mandatory. Here in Canada, we’ve been slow to adapt to mitigating strategies to help tackle it. But in 2024, with the introduction of the Forced Labour in Supply Chains Act in Canada, businesses will need to prove they’re compliant with hard data and evidence. So, who will it affect?

The new Act will impact a significant proportion of businesses and will demand increased scrutiny over contractor management, and increased accountability if compliance is not up to scratch. Businesses will be asked to supply annual reports on how they address forced and child labour risks across their supply chains, by sharing how they’re working to identify and mitigate these risks. They’ll also need to show, if risks are found, the proactive steps they’re taking to solve them.

And it can’t be ignored. If you fail to comply or provide up-to-date information on your efforts to mitigate forced labour risks, you’re risking financial penalties and damage to your reputation – which is even harder to overcome.

Fines could hit up to $250,000 and you could even face criminal convictions for your lack of compliance. What’s more, there’s limited time left to whip your company into shape.

Why should we adopt the Act early?

In terms of the introduction of the new Act, things are going to start moving very quickly in 2024. The first reports are due by the May 31st, 2024 – so it’s best to get started as soon as possible. This will ensure you’ve got everything ready and in place for a smooth transition into the era of the Canadian Modern Slavery Act.

What can I do to start?

There are many practical things you can do straight away to make your business more compliant. Firstly, you can source your contractors more responsibly to ensure your supply chain is ethical and free of corruption. You can do this by:

  • Carrying out spot checks and audits on new hires
  • Not imposing unreasonable demands that could tempt them to cut corners.
  • Championing fair and sustainable trade

Alongside this, you should also look for a partner who can help you stay on top of compliance reporting, to take the new reporting. Alcumus SafeContractor is the leading provider of innovative, technology-led risk management solutions, providing clients with advice, expertize, and support to help identify and mitigate risks, navigate compliance, and keep people safe.

Don’t forget to bring contractors on your ESG compliance journey with you. This ensures everyone is on the same page when it comes to compliance, and helps you keep the wider supply chain on track.

Find out more in our next blog here – which tells you exactly how to engage your supply chain.

Our latest guide

Download our latest guide, ‘The Compliance Clock is Ticking on Forced Labour. The Time to Act is Now’, to learn the practical steps you can take to prepare for the new Act.

Download guide