Leading anti-slavery charity Unseen launches an easy-to-access Modern Slavery Toolkit for UK SMEs, drawing on Alcumus’ specialist expertise
Alcumus and leading anti-slavery charity Unseen, are pleased to announce the launch of the Worker Exploitation and Modern Slavery Toolkit.
Alcumus and Unseen joined forces earlier this year to help combat the issue of modern slavery in UK businesses and their supply chains, addressing in particular UK SMEs by combining Unseen’s expertise in the field of modern slavery and Alcumus’ deep understanding of the SME market in this area.
Giving SMEs practical tips and advice on how to detect and deal with modern slavery in their business and supply chain is crucial. Not only do small and medium enterprises (SMEs) play a major role in the UK economy, accounting for 99.9%1 of the business population; the topic is of growing importance within global supply chains and many SMEs do not fall under reporting obligations of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. According to the Act, organisations only have to obey the law if they reach an annual worldwide turnover threshold of £36m. As a result, 64% of UK SMEs do not have a company policy on their approach to modern slavery2 which creates exposure through entire supply chains.
This free-to-access toolkit, developed by modern slavery experts at Unseen and supported by Alcumus, is designed to help close the knowledge gap and provide UK SMEs with information, practical guidance, hints and tips for dealing with the risks of modern slavery and worker exploitation in businesses and their supply chains.
Highlighting the importance of the toolkit, Gemma Archibald, Chief Operating Officer, SME at Alcumus, commented: “Identifying modern slavery within a business or from a supply chain requires an understanding of where it occurs. UK SMEs are showing a desire to address the issue of modern slavery, but with the lack of guidance they remain exposed to the risk of having modern slavery in their business or supply chain. We believe Unseen’s new Worker Exploitation and Modern Slavery Toolkit helps bridge this gap in knowledge and provides UK SMEs with the ability to recognise, eliminate and proactively engage with the subject. We are extremely delighted to support Unseen and their vision to build a world without modern slavery.”
Andrew Wallis OBE, CEO of the anti-slavery charity Unseen, added: “Modern slavery is an issue that happens everywhere and affects us all. There are at least 100,000 victims at any one time in the UK and over 40 million worldwide. For years we have been working with businesses to raise awareness of, and eliminate, forced labour and other forms of modern slavery in their supply chains and operations. The launch of this toolkit is an extension of our efforts to further empower UK SMEs with the information they need to eliminate modern slavery from supply chains. Working with Alcumus helps to bring about a step-change in SME understanding of modern slavery.”
2Survey Methodology: online survey with a large and representative sample of 505 UK SMEs (results contrasted with research with 55 UK Enterprises)