Modern Slavery Symposium at House of Commons

10 November 2016 | by Alan James Cherry

With the advent of the Modern Slavery Act which was put into law during October 2015 there has been noticeable awareness and issues relating to slavery and ethical labour standard in businesses have become more relevant. In our earlier post in GlobalBLOG, we mentioned how significant is the MSA was to organisations particularly those under the construction industry in the UK whose sales turnover is at the level of £36 million and above. However, there is much more to this, considering the very core of why MSA was enacted into law.

During 2015 work started on the a standard for Ethical Labour (ELS) was launched by the Building Research Establishment (BRE). BRE is a world leading building science centre enabling the government and clients from the private sector to meet the challenges by means of delivering higher performing, quality, safer, more secure, and more sustainable product homes, buildings and communities. The ELS aims to provide a framework to organisations to ensure that the whole system and all its processes demonstrates conformity in relation to Modern Slavery Act. It also aims to improve their ethical labour sourcing practices in the whole supply chain. As Dr Shamir Ghumra, BRE said it is recognised that there is a need to strengthen some of that work (ELS) and since then the Modern Slavery Act has come out. It’s not just about how to comply with the act but looking at ethical labour issues as a whole.

Modern Slavery and Ethical Labour in Construction Leadership Symposium

On the 10th November 2016, a symposium about the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and its implications to the construction sector will be delivered by BRE at the House of Commons in London. The law brings a challenging impact and presents risk for organisations, and to all people in the sector as well, since everyone is involved in exerting collective effort to ensure that modern slavery, problems on forced labour or human trafficking and labour ethics is eradicated in the supply chain.

As one of the very first few stakeholders that engaged and supported the development of the Ethical Labour Standard, Globalgroup is proud to be the major sponsor of this big event that is partnership with Sustain Worldwide . The symposium at the House of Commons is the sector’s forum to discuss and debate the law’s requirements, implications, challenges, risks, responses and opportunities.

Some of the speakers and key presenters on various topics include Dr Shamir Ghumra of BRE (Ethical Labour Standard: The Verification of Continuous Improvement), David Camp of Stronger Together (The Need to Map Your Labour Supply Chain and Apply Due Diligence), Neil Wilkins of Institute for Human Rights and Business (Migrant Workers and Responsible Recruitment), and Mark Heath of GLA (The Emerging Trends of Labour Exploitation in the UK.
For a better understanding of MSA’s impact to organisations, you can watch the video below. This short animation from BRE website was funded by Responsible Solutions and BRE with the intention of raising awareness to the construction industry knowing that modern slavery has the potential to exist in any project.

We at Globalgroup have been consistent in ensuring that ethical standard is being practised in all of our business transaction and services, hence we did not think twice in sponsoring this major event. As a matter of fact, we have been building our own Code of Conduct audit that will help organisation meet the criteria of the standard even before the MSA was enacted into law in 2015. For more information on our CoC services, you may send us an email at enquiry@globalgroup.net