More action needed to combat modern slavery in construction supply chain - CHAS

Awareness of the importance of addressing modern slavery is high among construction SMEs, but there is a need to move beyond policy to action according to research carried out by supply chain risk management organisation, CHAS and the University of Nottingham Rights Lab.
The two surveyed a sample of 229 CHAS member companies, the majority of which are SMEs within the construction supply chain.

In terms of awareness of the issues, 72% of respondents confirmed that they have implemented a modern slavery policy; and 39% said they were conducting due diligence to address the issue (and have done so for more than six months).

Around 17% said their organisation had no intention of carrying out due diligence in the foreseeable future. And 50% said they currently have no intention of measuring KPIs related to modern slavery.

The report’s authors believe it is possible the vast majority of respondents have a modern slavery policy because of requirements by clients or contracts, particularly by large organisations captured by the modern slavery legislation.

However, 66% of the respondents said they do not feel pressure from the government and large businesses to address modern slavery, while 67% stated they do not feel pressure from consumers and other civil society actors to address the issue.

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 only requires companies with an annual turnover of £36m or more to report on steps taken to address the risk.

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