Modern Slavery and HR
We know that your direct employees and the people working within your supply chains are invaluable for your success as a business. We also know that there is a real risk of modern slavery hiding somewhere in your labour force, which has the potential to damage your reputation and brand image. Modern slavery is where someone is forced to work for little or no pay. There are an estimated 13,000 victims in the UK alone. You may be surprised to know that modern slavery has been found in many places of work and different sectors including farms, factories, care homes, nail bars, transport and logistics, construction sites, fisheries and hotels.
Over the past year there have been numerous damaging headlines about unethical labour practices. This includes warehouses in Derbyshire, modern slaves in textile factories in Leicestershire, and criminal convictions of gang masters in Nottinghamshire. What is clear is that slavery is happening right here in the East Midlands.
Your employment practices can be the difference between a positive, ethical and moral brand image, and getting into the headlines for all the wrong reasons.
The UK Modern Slavery Act 2015, places a duty on all UK companies to consider how they tackle modern slavery and human trafficking. It also requires larger companies to publish a statement explaining how they are doing this. This means that larger organisations will be expecting their supply chains to be delivering on anti-slavery initiatives and to demonstrate their social responsibility.
Starting to tackle modern slavery may seem like a daunting prospect, but don’t panic. Putting in place the right processes starts with some simple steps, and can bring business benefits such as:
- Reduced risk
- Improved brand image
- Competitive edge and a greater capacity to win work
- Demonstration of your social responsibility.
On the 13th June, our Principal Consultant and social responsibility expert Sonia Sehgal will be speaking at the East Midlands Chamber HR Forum in Derbyshire. Her presentation will cover what the Modern Slavery Act requires HR professionals to consider. This will include: What HR policies and practices are affected by the Act, what training you should think about providing for your workforce, and where to get advice and support. Sonia will also give some examples of bad practice and explain what could have made the difference in those cases.
The HR Forum is taking place on Tuesday 13th June, from 08:45am – 9:45am. It is taking place at the Chesterfield Golf Club, Matlock Road, Chesterfield. There are a limited available of places left, so click here to book your place.
Sonia is also running a training course for the East Midlands Chamber on the 21st September. The course will run from 9:30am – 12:30pm and will explain how to protect your business from unethical practices. Click here to book your place.