Survey finds construction sector not aware of the risks of modern slavery

Survey finds construction sector not aware of the risks of modern slavery: The findings of a recent survey has revealed that more than 50 per cent of construction firms would not know how to take action against a case of modern slavery being unearthed within their supply chain.

The survey was conducted by Supply Chain School, which is an initiative which represents a common approach to sustainability within supply chains and includes businesses such as Skanska, Carillion and Willmott Dixon. The findings highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of the construction industry’s efforts to combat the problem.

Conducted in the same week as the UK’s Anti-Slavery Day (18th October), the survey also revealed that 84 per cent of the 14,000 construction industry members agreed that the United Kingdom should take leadership on combatting modern slavery and human trafficking. A further 51 per cent said that they did not know what measures they should take if a slavery issue arose within their business.

75 per cent of the survey respondents were also found to be aware of The Modern Slavery Act (MSA) 2015 and what it covers. A further 74 per cent said that they were aware of how the MSA affects their business.

The MSA was officially implemented in October 2015 and requires businesses to publish an annual statement if they have an annual turnover of £36million or more. The statement should confirm the steps the business has taken to make sure that human trafficking and slavery are not occurring within a company. Alternatively, the business must declare in its statement that no steps to confirm the occurrence of human trafficking and slavery have been taken.

Theresa May announced in July this year that additional measured would be introduced to assist the MSA’s implementation. May cited the creation of a task force to arrange Government action, as well as a budget of £33.5million.