Contractors sign up to ethical labour commitments

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7 contractors have joined forces with SCAPE to reaffirm their commitment to eradicating modern slavery in the construction industry

To mark World Anti-Slavery Day 2021 (18 October), Balfour Beatty, Kier, Morgan Sindall, Willmott Dixon, Mace, Sisk and McLaughlin & Harvey have all pledged to increase their efforts to tackle unethical supply chain practices and boost employment opportunities for survivors of modern slavery.

The pledges will see independent 24/7 modern slavery helplines established across SCAPE projects to support victims and whistle-blowers in reporting concerns or incidences.

The Ethical Labour working group operated under the advice of ACHILLES and Mark Heath of Mercaston Solutions on modern slavery and a former deputy director at the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority.

The firms involved will also increase their engagement with social enterprises who support survivors of modern slavery through SCAPE’s Social Partnership Portal.

The Ethical Labour Working Group founded by these organisations will collaborate in creating industry best-practice guidance in relation to workforce engagement and labour audits.

‘A flagbearer in stamping unethical practice out’

Mark Robinson, group chief executive at SCAPE, said: “Modern slavery has no place in an economy as developed as the UK’s, and yet it still maintains a presence in some of our most important industries – construction included.

“The public sector must always act as a flagbearer in stamping unethical practice out, setting standards and stimulating positive change through the partners it works with.

“As World Anti-Slavery Day reminds us of the increased need for action post-pandemic, the collective power of this group of major contractors in the coming years – combined with best-in-class procurement practices – can go a long way to improving our industry’s record and ultimately lift people out of slavery.”

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