Beyond compliance – using Modern Slavery legislation to add business value

Complying with the regulations will require time and business resources. However, it offers the opportunity to go beyond compliance and to ensure these compliance processes add value to your business.

What is the difference between a response that merely meets regulatory requirements and one that adds business value? We’ve provided an overview of what a box tick approach looks like compared to an approach that adds real value and demonstrates commitment to responding to modern slavery.

Requirement Box tick approach Value add approach
Structure of supply chain General description of services and products alongside high-level numbers and basic knowledge of suppliers and customers. Detailed structure of supply chains including region and country of the operations, manufacturing and source of products and services. Assessment of critical vs. transactional suppliers to inform a strategic approach to supply chain management. Description of how suppliers are engaged e.g. seasonal, temporary contracts or long-term relationships.
Risk assessment One off modern slavery risk assessment that relies on internal knowledge to identify hot spots and lists priority areas. May be limited to a few tiers of the supply chain. Does not specify the actions to be taken to mitigate the risks. Complete heat map and hot spot identification of the supply chain integrated into the organisational risk management approach. Both issues and the risks are identified and prioritised with a strategic action plan for mitigating risks and ensure remedies are in place. This should include responsibilities and timing for review and continual improvement.
Policies and procedures Existing code of conduct or policy relating to labour rights, health & safety, procurement or ethics or existing minimum requirements for contracts that do not reference or relate directly to modern slavery. A set of organisational principles or framework that sets the expectations around modern slavery and human rights, integrated into updated policies and processes that explicitly relate to modern slavery issues and business relationships. For example, Code of Ethical Purchasing or a policy for remediation action.
Engagement and training General awareness raising and untargeted training on modern slavery staff. Provision of a supplier questionnaire but only limited engagement with, or support for, suppliers. Targeted and tailored education for staff such as how to identify modern slavery and undertake engagement, support and education for suppliers with the provision of training, capacity building and resources. Dedicated engagement and education at the board level, with regular updates on risk and actions taken

 

As with our approach to all our work, we ensure that sustainability initiatives are more than just a box ticking exercise. We have a wealth of experience that we can use to help clients meet the requirements of the Acts – including recent work with the likes of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, University of Melbourne and Public Transport Victoria.

If you would like to understand our approach, specialised tools to identify risks and opportunities and wider sustainable procurement services, please get in touch with us by emailing nicole@edgeenvironment.com or check out our service offerings. To find out what the leading UK companies are doing, read our blog Case studies – What does best practice look like?

 

 

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