More to be done on supply chain reporting, says anti slavery tsar

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
12 October 2016

Anti slavery commissioner Kevin Hyland will be promoting the development of a system so company supply chain reports are transparent and easy to compare.

In his first annual report since the Modern Slavery Act became law last year, Hyland said transparency in supply chains was “not an end in itself but rather a means to create accountability”.

“There is still much more to be done to ensure that companies produce statements that both comply with the Act’s obligations and point to decisive action being taken, as opposed to merely being a tick box exercise,” he said.

“Here the role of consumer and investor pressure is crucial. I will be promoting the utilisation of effective models to allow for easy scrutiny and comparison of statements.”

The Act requires all firms with a turnover of £36m or more to produce a statement outlining their approach to slavery in their supply chains.

Hyland said the Act had “forced the business community to discuss the topic of slavery openly to an extent that has not occurred since the days of the 19th century abolitionists”.

The commissioner said he was working with the UK government to have expectations around modern slavery included in its code of conduct for suppliers. He said he had held meetings that had “facilitated opportunities for the UK government to lead by example in the management of its supply chains”.

Hyland said his priorities for 2017 included victim identification and care, improving law enforcement and private sector engagement.

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