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Addressing the risks of slavery in businesses and their supply chains

Working with rail suppliers voestalpine UK, we carried out an independent assessment to identify risks to labour standards focusing on its direct operations and wider supply chains in the UK.

Although the legislation only requires organisations with a turnover of at least £36 million to publish a modern-day slavery statement, some companies with a conscience and turnovers below that threshold are going above and beyond the requirements of the law. voestalpine UK – who supply rail infrastructure to all major UK national rail operators – is one model example.

voestalpine UK has a commitment to responsible sourcing. As part of this, the company is adopting a proactive approach to tackling contemporary slavery. Voestalpine has an established programme that ensures suppliers meet quality standards – but they wanted to extend this further to identify and eliminate forced labour from within their business.

As a result of our partnership, voestalpine is now in the process of

  • reviewing key policies and procedures to improve ethical practices
  • ensuring that policies and procedures adequately manage risks with suppliers of goods and services
  • developing an assessment of their top suppliers to analyse risks within their direct operations and their wider supply chain
  • revisiting their draft statement to meet all legal requirements of the Modern Slavery Act
  • implementing a training programme to enable staff to carry out Modern Slavery Risk Assessments. This will promote awareness and create a basic risk template staff can apply as part of their supplier audits.

We carried out an independent assessment to identify risks to labour standards focussing on Voestalpine’s direct operations and its wider supply chains in the UK. Our work included reviewing their modern-slavery statement, investigating suppliers and delivering training.