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Ensuring slavery doesn't drain human resources

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.

The Modern Slavery Act is a giant step in the right direction in getting business to address modern-day slavery. But the intricacies of the issue at hand combined with the complexities of today’s global market place 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.

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 including

  • company awareness of the Modern Slavery Act and 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 taken to resolve modern slavery risks, where found
  • training provision for managers and supervisors on labour and human rights, and/or modern slavery.

We compiled a series of recommendations to improve supplier communication and provided guidance for carrying out on-site risk assessments. We created briefing documents 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.