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A Third of Firms Don't Comply With Slavery Law, Survey Finds

One third of businesses have failed to complete a modern slavery statement despite being required by law to do so, according to a report by the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS).

A survey of supply chain professionals found that 34 percent of businesses required to publish a modern slavery statement have failed to do so. However, there are no legal consequences for businesses that do not complete the statement.

The CIPS survey also found that 37 percent of supply chain professionals in businesses required to deliver a statement had not read the government guidance.

“The results of our survey are shocking,” said Cath Hill, CIPS director. “Legislation that was designed to be world leading has fallen at the first hurdle: compliance.”

From 31 March 2016, every business with a turnover of more than £36m and a footprint in the U.K. is required to publish an annual transparency statement.

U.K. businesses have fared better than international firms operating in the U.K., with 71 percent doing so compared with 40 percent from internationally-based businesses, CIPS found.

Awareness of how to deal with modern slavery issues appears to have been raised by the act, says CIPS. The proportion of U.K. supply managers who do not know how to handle slavery in their supply chain has fallen to 17 percent this year from 52 percent in 2015. And those who have mapped their suppliers to understand the risk and exposure to modern slavery has risen to 45 percent from 33 percent.

More U.K. supply chain managers have found slavery in their supply chains since the act, up from 6 percent to 10 percent.

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