Government urged to act on modern slavery recommendations

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The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) has urged the Government to implement a number of key recommendations for improvements to the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

The recommendations have been made in a new report from the Independent Review of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, led by MPs Frank Field and Maria Miller and Baroness Butler-Sloss GBE.

Under the 2015 Act, commercial organisations with a turnover of £36 million or more must produce a statement each financial year, showing what steps they have taken to make sure there is no modern slavery in their business and supply chain.

In a recent statement, the health and safety professional body pointed out that several of the recommendations align with actions IOSH has previously called for.

The Institution is particularly keen for the requirement for transparency in supply chains to be extended to public bodies, for company disclosures to be of consistent quality, and for the Government to act as an exemplar in its use of procurement standards, performance reporting and disclosures.

IOSH also supports the recommendation for a Government-controlled central repository to help address the stakeholder confusion identified in the report from the current two “disclosure” websites run by non-governmental organisations.

Commenting on the issue, Richard Jones, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at IOSH, said, “Sadly, modern slavery continues to be a terrible scourge worldwide, one which campaigners believe is underestimated in the UK.

“It’s vital that more organisations are alert to this problem and publicly report their anti-slavery actions using better-quality disclosures that are meaningful and comparable for stakeholders and act as a driver to improved performance.

“The UK Government must act promptly and implement the recommendations from the review team. It needs to take the lead and show its commitment to doing more to help stamp out this abhorrent issue.”

Last reviewed 30 January 2019

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