M&S is best FTSE 100 for tackling modern slavery

posted by Francis Churchill
23 October 2018

Marks & Spencer (M&S) has topped a FTSE 100 ranking for its compliance with the Modern Slavery Act (MSA).

The retailer achieved the highest company score in an analysis of publicly available modern slavery statements, compiled by the non-profit Development International (DI) as part of its inaugural Global Governance FTSE 100 League Table.

M&S was followed by Tesco, British American Tobacco and Morrisons.

Under the MSA all firms with a UK footprint and a turnover of more than £36m are required to publish an annual statement outlining the steps they are taking to identify and eradicate modern slavery.

By analysing these statements, DI has given all FTSE 100 firms a score out of 100 based on their compliance with the mandatory disclosures required by the MSA, their conformance with the recommended talking points within the law and the evidence statements contained on wider good practice.

All but three FTSE 100 companies filed modern slavery statements. The average score based on DI’s criteria was 46.8% – indicating there is still room for improvement – while the top 10 firms scored an average of 76.1%.

On average, DI said, companies only scored a quarter of the points available for best practice, which includes tackling the use of recruitment fees in the supply chain and creating whistleblowing channels. Only M&S and Tesco scored above 70% for best practice.

DI hopes the league table, produced in partnership with research group BRE – which developed the Ethical Labour Sourcing Standards – and communications firm Sustain Worldwide, will act as an index to track improvements in reporting.

Company scorecards and the league table would be updated biannually, in April and October, said DI.

The Global Governance FTSE 100 League Table top 10

1. Marks & Spencer Group

2. Tesco

3. British American Tobacco

4. WM Morrison Supermarkets

5. BT Group

6. Unilever

7. Rentokil Initial

8. Diageo

9. Anglo American

10. J Sainsbury

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