Regulatory Outlook

Modern slavery | UK Regulatory Outlook March 2023

Published on 28th Mar 2023

Managing modern slavery risks within UK supermarket supply chains

Managing modern slavery risks within UK supermarket supply chains

This month it has been reported that a number of UK supermarkets have partnered up to form a task force which will fund independent audits on British farms, following calls from investors regarding worker exploitation within supply chains.

The action taken by some of the leading UK supermarkets follows on from reports that Asian agricultural workers were coming to work in the UK after paying fees to hiring agencies in their home countries. This left them to having to work to pay off these debts, known as debt bondage –which is recognised by the International Labour Organisation as an indicator of forced labour.

These recent developments provide pointers for other businesses looking at how to manage issues in their supply chains, including: action being taken collaboratively in a sector; the focus on actions to address specific identified issues (in the above case debt bondage); and a recognition that modern slavery is not just an issue that arises "somewhere else".


* This article is current as of the date of its publication and does not necessarily reflect the present state of the law or relevant regulation.

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