Yorkshire Water

Working with Yorkshire Water, we investigated over 500 of their major suppliers to ensure Modern Day Slavery doesn't exist within its business and supply chains.

Project summary

The Challenge

Large companies want to tackle modern slavery, meet the requirements of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (UK) and mitigate risk in their supply chains.

The Approach

The Institute explored a number of major indicators and investigated over 500 of Yorkshire Water's suppliers, providing a risk rating for each.

The Outcome

A range of resources were provided which would enable procurement and contract teams to track suppliers' performance in tackling modern slavery risks.

Lead academics

The Challenge

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 (UK) is a giant step in the right direction in getting businesses to address modern-day slavery. But the intricacies of the issue at hand, combined with the complexities of today’s global marketplace, can mean companies are at a loss as to where to start. Our team works with businesses to target their specific concerns in relation to tackling contemporary slavery – and complying with the law.

We worked with Yorkshire Water to provide guidance on meeting two components of the Modern Slavery Act. Specifically their effectiveness in ensuring slavery is not present in its business and supply chains; and identifying the parts of their business where slavery risk exists and what they are doing to manage it.

Water droplet

The Approach

We investigated over 500 of Yorkshire Water's major suppliers and provided a risk rating for each. Producing a comprehensive report, we explored a number of major indicators.
Cristina Talens

Cristina Talens, Director of Modern Slavery Risk Assessments/ Head of Business Risk Assessment Services

The project focused on the following indicators:

  • Company awareness of the Modern Slavery Act and modern slavery risks.
  • Steps and processes in place that ensure compliance with the Act.
  • Modern slavery, trafficking and/or human rights policies.
  • Requirement for the company to report on the Modern Slavery Act.
  • Existence and quality of auditing /monitoring programmes to check labour and human rights conditions.
  • Steps were taken to resolve modern slavery risks where this is discovered.
  • Training provision for managers and supervisors on labour and human rights, and/or modern slavery.

The Impact

The project produced a series of recommendations to improve supplier communication and provided guidance for carrying out on-site risk assessments.  Briefing documents were produced detailing the key requirements of the Act for suppliers and another for internal procurement teams.

Finally, we developed a set of indicators that could be incorporated within the existing framework used by Yorkshire Water procurement and contract teams. The indicators enable Yorkshire Water to track suppliers’ performance in tackling modern slavery risks.