BRE Ethical Labour Sourcing Standard

Since the introduction of the Modern Slavery Act, organisations legally affected (i.e. those with a turnover of more than £36m) have been seeking guidance and legal opinion on how best to respond. Whilst many companies have prepared and issued the required statements, many are not meeting the requirements and some have not really grasped the intent of the Act.

No organisation in the world can legitimately claim to have assessed all of their suppliers and the entire value chain from constituent products to office furniture and cleaning materials. The intent of the Act however is to urge companies to demonstrate they are taking the issues seriously and are proactively trying to do something about it.

The standard (which is a verification approach) is built on a maturity model over 12 core issues including the following:

  • Management systems
  • Auditing & Assurance
  • HR Immigration
  • Supply Chain
  • Procurement
  • Bribery & Corruption
  • Learning & Development

The aim of this standard is to provide verification of organisations as to their knowledge and commitment in dealing with the existence of Modern Slavery and Ethical sourcing in their own organisation and supply chains.

Verification in this regard gives companies greater confidence that these issues are being recognised, evaluated and acted upon. In an ever increasing global supply chain the permutations and combinations of risks are significant.

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Dr Shamir Ghumra, Director – Centre for Sustainable Products

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