Analyses of statements under the Modern Slavery Act show FTSE 100 boards failing to appreciate slavery risks in their supply chains
When it comes to compliance with the UK’s Modern Slavery Act few companies are doing more than the barest minimum to meet the law. And as the recent Panorama documentary about Syrian refugees in garment workers Turkish supply chains showed (see page 6), even Marks and Spencer, a company showing leadership on the issue, can be tripped up, with the BBC finding refugees in one of its tier-one suppliers.
"There is only a handful of companies who are strong on disclosing risks and commitment to actionand a very long tail of insufficient disclosure,"says Phil Bloomer, executive directorof the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre, which has analysed the 27 statements published so far by the FTSE 100 in a recently published report. Some companies told the BHRRC that board-level buy in was lacking.
"Among the FTSE 100 we found patchy compliance with the legal requirements of the act," he adds. "Analysis shows most are missing the opportunity to provide much-needed leadership to eradicate forced labour from business operations and supply chains. The majority of company statements demonstrate weak risk assessment and due diligence. "
For financial years ending 31 March 2016, companies with a turnover of £36m face the new requirement to issue...