You may have thought that slavery was a thing of the past and something which had been consigned to the history books. But, sadly, even though it may not be in the same form, slavery still exists today.
Modern day slavery can take many forms and is a serious crime, It encompasses slavery servitude and forced or compulsory labour and human trafficking, often affecting the most vulnerable groups in society.
Victims may be deceived and coerced into abusive situations that they feel they are unable to leave. It is a hidden crime, sometimes complex and everyone needs to work together to protect and help victims.
At Carillion we have a zero tolerance of modern slavery in all its forms in our own business and across our extensive supply chain.
In 2015, UK Parliament introduced the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (MSA) which is designed to tackle the growing issue of People Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery, not only in the UK but globally. The legislation applies to all of our international businesses: in the UK, Canada, Middle East and China.
The Act significantly enhances support and protection for victims, provides new investigatory powers, increases penalties for non-compliance and requires businesses to ensure that their supply chains are free from modern slavery.
UK commercial organisations with a turnover of £36 million or more, such as Carillion, must complete a statement for each financial year, detailing how they have ensured that no slavery or human trafficking takes place in its business or supply chain. (A copy of our MSA statement, can be viewed here).
Carillion condemns slavery in all of its forms and we work with our customers, business teams and supply chain partners to support human rights and the welfare of the employees. We take steps to prevent the occurrence of modern slavery in our business and supply chains and monitor the effectiveness of those measures.
We are among a small group of companies that have taken important steps to identify risks to human rights within their operations, develop procedures to address them, and report publicly on their efforts.
Our performance in this area has been acknowledged by the UK Independent Anti Slavery Commissioner, Kevin Hyland, who visited Carillion earlier this year to talk about the work of his office and the journey which we can all take to help eradicate modern slavery.
The Commissioner commended our pro-active approach to tackling modern slavery risk through establishing a steering group to identify modern slavery risks, rolling out training programmes for employees and introducing new contractual clauses with suppliers to ensure all comply with the Act. (Read the anti slavery commissioner statements).
The health and safety, wellbeing and working conditions of all our people are Carillion’s highest priority. We set high standards of corporate governance, supported by policies and procedures that are applied throughout our business in the UK and internationally. These cover human rights and our social responsibility.
Whilst the introduction of the UK Modern Slavery Act in 2015 did not drive our action in human rights, there is always more that can be done to develop and improve standards across an industry, and this is an area we will never be complacent about. Carillion will continue working towards its goals in relation to Modern Slavery in order to eliminate risk across its supply chain.
For more information or to report a case of modern slavery please call the helpline 0800 0121 700 or report it online on the modern slavery helpline website.