Article_four_photo.jpgHas the Modern Slavery Act had an impact on business?

Ergon Associates and Historic Futures have combined their skills and insight to research what effect the Modern Slavery Act (MSA) is having on businesses across the United Kingdom.

A total of 34 companies from a range of sectors and sizes took part in the study to determine the degree to which the MSA was driving broader changes in areas including risk assessment, supply chain management and ethical trade of human rights processes.

The report has indicated there is a greater focus on policy development, risk assessment and monitoring of modern slavery within businesses, with increased engagement on the issue of modern slavery. However, the findings also suggest that most businesses do not yet have a systematic approach to assessing risks and that few do this beyond their first tier suppliers.

There has been a significant increase in engagement on supply chain risk issues following the introduction of the Act. 76% of respondents reported that directors are now more engaged with issues of risks within supply chains, with 62% of buyers and 58% of ethical trading teams also recognising the importance. Businesses also recognise that MSA statements should be signed off at board level as a catalyst for of change.

There has also been increased engagement on issues of risk within supply chains leading to a greater focus on policy development, risk assessment and risk monitoring. This included 74% reporting an increased focus on policy development and codes of conduct. However most companies are still at the stage of assessing what policies to put in place and therefore less change has been reported regarding remedial action.

The MSA guidelines indicate companies need to demonstrate how they collect data about the structure and complexity of their supply chains. The report showed that very little useful data beyond tier one is collected and mechanisms to collect data are ad hoc and not done in a systematic way. 56% of companies report that they rarely receive information about who is involved in their extended supply chain.

To help businesses moving forward, Ergon Associates has outlined best practice in regards to the Act including:

  • Better and more consistent risk assessment
  • Greater use of collaborative risk assessment and due diligence processes
  • Detailed action plans and focussed responses to identified risks of modern slavery
  • More transparency in MSA statements on where companies have taken defined steps to prevent the risk of modern slavery or respond to specific scenarios.

A full copy of the research report can be found here

FAST FACT

  • In 2016 our members contributed $236M to the community and 0.14% of total revenue on average

     

  • LBG members have
    an average of
    4 full time staff
    members dedicated
    to community
    investment activities

  • LBG members on average contributed 0.56% of pre-tax profit to the community in 2016

  • In 2016 our members contributed $831 per employee on average

  • Employee time made up 10% of contributions by our members in 2016

  • Social Welfare causes received the majority of member contributions in 2016

  • In 2016 on average 11 hours per employee was contributed to the community

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

  • Jawun.jpgLBG members NAB, Woodside Energy & Wesfarmers support employees on five week secondments assisting Indigenous organisations with economic and social development projects.

    view spotlight

  • ANZ_case_study.jpg "Seeds of Renewal" is a grants program, supported by ANZ, which aims to contribute to building thriving communities in regional Australia.

    view spotlight

  • TUK.pngDatacom helps make the internet safer for kids through ThinkUKnow, an internet safety program delivering interactive training to parents, carers and teachers.

    view spotlight

  • Essendon_EFC_Dyson_Heppell_and_Friends.jpgThe Essendon Football Club aims to strengthen communities through sport, and a key partnership is with the Tiwi Bombers Football Club located 80 kilometres North of Darwin. 

    view spotlight

  • Heart_Foundation_photo_small.jpgThe Medibank Community Fund and Heart Foundation partnership was born out of a shared 'For Better Health' philosophy to encourage healthy eating, more physical activity and greater community connectedness.

    view spotlight

  • National_Gallery_Ab_art_062.jpgIn 2009, the National Gallery of Australia and Wesfarmers Limited established the Wesfarmers Arts Indigenous Fellowship program 

    view spotlight

  • Optus_casestudy_small.jpgOptus partners with The Smith Family to deliver 'student2student', a unique program that has helped many students to significantly increase their reading skills.

    view spotlight

  • OF_logo_new_white_small.pngOrigin Foundation supports Youth Off The Streets with skilled volunteering and financial support of the The National Scholarship Program and Dollars for Scholars Program. 

    view spotlight

  • Jawun.jpgLBG members Woodside Energy, NAB & Wesfarmers support employees on five week secondments assisting Indigenous organisations with economic and social development projects.

    view spotlight

  • josh_kennedy_kg_small.jpgWest Coast Eagles FC inspires high school students in the Pilbara with "Kicking Goals", a curriculum-based mentoring program in partnership with BHP Billiton and Swan Districts Football Club. 

    view spotlight