Every country is impacted by modern slavery. It has been uncovered in numerous sectors, such as garment manufacturing, construction, agriculture, and mining. According to NPR, almost 50 million people are enslaved across the globe. This figure has grown by 10 million over the past five years.
Bearing this in mind, it is essential to ensure no form of slavery is taking place across your supply chain. Similarly, you need to communicate this with your customers through a modern slavery policy. Below we will dive into slavery policies further and how small businesses can write theirs.
What is a modern slavery policy?
A slavery policy is essentially a statement made by a business or organisation to share its stance on slavery. In the statement, a business explains the issue of modern slavery.
They also share the steps they are taking to deal with modern slavery risks in their supply chains and within their own business. Many organizations must, by law, publish their policy.
The current slavery policy is based on the Modern Slavery Act 2015, a globalpiece of legislation. This legislation lays out a number of measures on how human trafficking and slavery should be dealt with.
Not all of the Act is relevant to businesses; however, section 54, ‘Transparency in supply chains’, is particularly important. For businesses that fit the criteria, they must publish a slavery policy statement every financial year.
How to create a modern slavery policy?
There is no right or wrong way to write a modern slavery policy. However, there are some things you should definitely include in your statement. For instance, your organization structure and supply chains need to show you have full transparency and are minimising risks of slavery within your business.
Additionally, you should include policies addressing human trafficking and slavery and your due diligence processes. Risk assessment and management, as well as training on trafficking and slavery, should also be mentioned in your policy. Another important thing to note in your statement is key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the effectiveness of the steps you are taking to minimise slavery.
How can a slave policy benefit business?
There are a number of ways publishing a slavery policy can benefit your business. For instance, it will improve your reputation as you are clearly communicating your stance on slavery.
In addition, you are showing you are taking the necessary steps to tackle this problem. A slavery policy also reveals to customers that you are demonstrating corporate social responsibility (CSR). This is because you are showing your business is ethical and compliant with the Modern Slavery Act.
Complying with the Act also has other advantages for your business. One of which is increased transparency when it comes to your supply chain, which is important to growing a profitable business. Complying with the Act will also likely help you win more customers.
A slavery policy is a requirement for many businesses and involves communicating your stance on slavery and what you are doing to combat it. As well as the improved transparency for your customers, a slavery policy also has many advantages for your business.