How will The Modern Slavery Act affect Procurement jobs?

Since being published in 2015, The Modern Slavery Act has pathed the way in tackling the slavery and trafficking issues across England and Wales. Following the addition of the supply chain clause, those businesses who turnover more than £36 million per annum, must now publish a reporting statement detailing the precautions they are taking to avoid exploitation within their supply chains. It has now become more critical than ever before for supply chains to comply with the Act. However, does the problem end with the larger organisations?

It has been concluded that a significant amount of SME’s are making little effort to analyse their supply chains. In fact, very few smaller companies are even aware of The Modern Slavery Act 2015. Guided by CIPS, there are a number of ways to review and pinpoint where exploitation can be found within the supply chain, these include: highlighting risk areas by mapping the chain, making sure that UK employees are paid at least the minimum wage, visiting supplier warehouses and thoroughly reviewing contracts.

So how will this affect Procurement professionals? There is likely to be much more emphasis around contractual terms that include the company’s stance on The Modern Slavery Act. With this embedded from the beginning, it will be easy to iron out exploitation issues to ensure the supply chain is fully compliant. Risk assessments, site visits and audits will also help monitor any issues.

Slavery and trafficking cases can make or break a company’s reputation. Reports have been made detailing poor sanitation, underpaid labour and abuse within supply chains and in this day and age, it has become even more important for the supply chain and procurement function to help put an end to this.

With the Act now at the forefront of many organisations’ minds, employers may now seek that environmental awareness from internal employees and external applicants, as part and parcel of their roles. Having an understanding of The Modern Slavery Act, the willingness to audit the supply chain and the influence in adding this to new/existing supplier contacts, may set you apart from other applicants when applying for Procurement jobs.


About the Author

Emma Lambert

With over 10 years’ international recruitment experience, 5 of which focused specifically in Procurement Recruitment, Emma will work with our Consultants to partner businesses and provide sourcing solutions for those niche roles. Having previously worked with Rupert Gaster (Director, Procurement Heads), Emma has ‘hit the ground running’ and involved with key campaigns. When not in the office, you’ll find Emma enjoying family time with her husband and young son, walking by the water in Hampshire with pit stops at the local bistro.

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