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Modern Slavery Policy: A Comprehensive Template

Looking to implement a modern slavery policy? Get a comprehensive template and guidance for your policy in this blog post.

September 19, 2023

Introduction

For many vendors, it seems Modern Slavery is completely irrelevant, particularly in Software, IT, and Consulting areas.

Unfortunately, Modern slavery remains a significant global issue affecting millions of people worldwide. It is crucial for many businesses to demonstrate a commitment to eradicating this unethical practice by implementing a modern slavery policy.

A comprehensive policy helps businesses identify and manage potential risks in their supply chains, particularly when participating in RFPs or dealing with government customers in the UK and Australia. Here, we provide a modern slavery policy template in Word, discuss its importance, and guide you on editing and customising it for your business.


What is Modern Slavery?

Modern slavery encompasses a range of serious exploitation practices in violation of human rights, including:

  • Human trafficking

  • Slavery

  • Servitude

  • Forced marriage

  • Forced labour

  • Debt bondage, including withholding worker identity or immigration documents

  • Deceptive recruiting for labour or services

  • Unlawful child labour

Many international organisations, such as suppliers from developing countries, have been found to use coercion, threats and deception to enable these practices. Even large companies with strict procurement practices have sometimes found themselves purchasing goods & services from criminal enterprises.

In first-world countries, underpayment still remains a challenge. So, more organisations are ensuring that their suppliers are paying employees correctly in line with the legislation of that particular market.


Understanding the Modern Slavery Policy Requirement

In response to these issues, governments have introduced legislation, such as the UK's Modern Slavery Act 2015 and Australia's Modern Slavery Act 2018, to address modern slavery in supply chains. These acts impose reporting requirements on large businesses and other entities to publish annual Modern Slavery Statements in a central register. Modern slavery is also deemed a crime.

Although your business may not be required to report under these acts, having a robust modern slavery policy demonstrates your commitment to ethical practices and can be a vital component when responding to RFPs from government customers.


Why Modern Slavery Policies are Essential in RFPs and Procurement


Modern slavery policies have become increasingly significant in RFPs and procurement processes, even for categories like software. Understanding why they are so important can help businesses recognise their value and take steps to implement them. Here are some key reasons, along with some facts and figures, that emphasise the importance of modern slavery policies in the RFP process:


1. Legal Compliance: Governments worldwide have established regulations to combat modern slavery. These laws require organisations to disclose their efforts to prevent modern slavery in their supply chains. By including modern slavery policies in RFPs, government and corporate customers ensure that they collaborate with legally compliant vendors. This helps them avoid potential legal ramifications and reputational damage.


2. Ethical Supply Chains: Approximately 49.6 million people are victims of modern slavery globally (source: International Labour Organisation 2021). By requiring vendors to have a modern slavery policy in place, government and corporate customers demonstrate their commitment to maintaining ethical supply chains, reducing the risk of contributing to modern slavery practices.


3. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): As CSR and sustainability become central business concerns, modern slavery policies play a critical role in demonstrating a company's commitment to responsible practices. Including these policies in RFPs ensures that potential suppliers align with government and corporate customers' CSR goals, fostering a culture of ethical responsibility across industries.


4. Public Perception and Reputation: Today's consumers are more aware of ethical business practices and expect organisations to uphold high standards. A recent survey showed that 80% of consumers would switch brands if they knew their preferred brand was associated with modern slavery (source: Ethical Trading Initiative). By requiring modern slavery policies from vendors, government and corporate customers can protect their reputation and meet public expectations.


5. Competitive Advantage: Organisations prioritising ethical practices and demonstrating a robust commitment to combatting modern slavery can gain a competitive advantage in the market. Government and corporate customers may prioritise suppliers with clear modern slavery policies in place, giving these vendors an edge in the procurement process.


Modern Slavery Policy Template

We have provided the Modern Slavery Policy Template in a .docx format to easily be edited.

As a first step, here's a Modern Slavery Template for you to customise for your business and jurisdiction. Replace [Company Name] and [Designated Person/Department] with your organisation's name and the appropriate contact for reporting instances of modern slavery. Update the 'Last updated' date and modify the policy as needed to reflect your company's specific operations, risks, and supply chain relationships.


Conclusion

In conclusion, Modern Slavery Policies are vital documents to have on hand for government and corporate customers' RFP and procurement processes. Ensuring legal compliance, ethical supply chains, adherence to CSR goals, and positive public perception is essential for success in today's market. Are you ready to implement a comprehensive modern slavery policy and showcase your dedication to responsible business practices?

Don't miss out on the opportunity to gain a competitive advantage. Click the link below to download our free, customisable Modern Slavery Policy Template in Word (.docx) to help you get started on crafting a policy tailored to your organisation's needs.

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