top of page
  • elin9975

Modern Slavery - It's Closer Than You Think

Slavery and human trafficking remain a blight on our global society and we all have a responsibility to be alert to the risks within our own business and in the wider supply chain. From forced labour, to domestic servitude in addition to sexual or criminal slavery, The International Labour Organisation estimates that over 49.6 million people worldwide are affected. Breaking this down further, they estimate that 1 in 4 children, and 71% of victims are women and girls. Globally, those affected has increased by nearly 10 million people in 5 years, making £121 billion in illicit profits (which is more than the GDP of 130 countries).

How does the UK fare in comparison? It’s certainly closer than you think. Anti-Slavery International suggest there are over 100,000 trapped in slavery in the UK. In 2017 alone over 5000 victims were identified, with over 150 investigations launched according to the Gangmasters Labour Abuse Authority. The UK is also one of the main destinations for trafficked workers who are forced into markets such as transport, fishing and agriculture, and for those who are paid, this can be for as little as £2 an hour.

What are the indicators you can look for?

  • Are workers in possession of their own legal documents, passport, ID? If someone on their behalf is providing these, question why.

  • Medical care – is someone suffering from an untreated injury, and declining to seek medical help?

  • How does their behaviour present – do they seem withdrawn or frightened? Does an accompanying third party speak on their behalf, or are they reluctant to provide basic information such as their address?

  • Appearance – do they seem unkempt or have few personal possessions?

  • Fear of authorities – do they seem reluctant or afraid to report to any official bodies?

As an Umbrella company dealing with temporary workers, we have to be extra vigilant as this is a market that is easily exploited – workers can be trafficked into temporary roles individually or in ‘gangs’ who operate under the LTD company of one person.

How therefore can we do our part to identity potential cases?

  • Our custom built registration portal, plus payroll software flags up duplicate bank details, NI numbers and even email addresses to prevent potential exploitation.

  • Each individual worker must register with us with their own email address and details – even if there is a language barrier and there is one ‘leader’ who speaks on behalf of a group of workers, workers can use our online chat which instantly translates in over 40 languages to help them.

  • Our team are trained to show awareness of who supplies the RTW documentation – has it come from the individual, or a third party? Is it a clear enough copy and have we checked it with the government’s online checking system to ensure it’s not fraudulent?

Our staff are also trained to raise any concerns with their line manager, and we strongly encourage all of our recruitment partners and connections to refer possible modern slavery through these channels:

· or their helpline on 0800 012 1700

· In case of emergency or serious threat, the police on 999

For more information and access to our Modern Slavery resources (flyers/guides and presentation) please contact us on 01305 233170 or via your dedicated point of contact.

20 views0 comments


bottom of page