Modern Slavery | UK Regulatory Outlook November 2022
Published on 30th Nov 2022
Impact assessment on eradicating slavery and human trafficking in NHS supply chains | European Parliament adopts position on proposal for a Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive
Impact assessment on eradicating slavery and human trafficking in NHS supply chains
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has recently published a document that sets out a number of impact assessments for additional measures that will be introduced under the Health and Care Act 2022.
As noted in a previous Regulatory Outlook, under the Act, regulations must be made by the Secretary of State (SoS) to eradicate slavery and human trafficking in supply chains. From page 51 in the document it sets out the proposal summary for this policy, highlighting that "the NHS has a significant role to play in combatting it, including through taking steps to ensure that NHS supply chains and business activities are free from ethical and labour standards abuses."
The SoS will conduct a review of NHS supply chains and must publish and lay before Parliament a report on the outcome of the review by January 2024. It goes on to give an example of the scope of the review on NHS supply chains and outlines that at a minimum, NHS Supply Chain, a company wholly owned by NHS England, will complete an assessment of products identified as high risk by geography and/or material assessment as part of the review. Any further scope is to be agreed with the SoS.
The paper also highlights that regulations created under this power will comprise of provisions with the overarching aim to eradicate the use in the health service in England of goods or services that are tainted by slavery and human trafficking. These will include:
- provisions in relation to processes for the procurement of goods and services for the health service by public bodies, with a focus on the circumstances in which a supplier is excluded for consideration for the award of a contract;
- steps that must be taken by public bodies for assessing and addressing the risk of modern slavery in supply chains, ensuring that the risk is minimised with a view to eradicating the use in the NHS of goods created with forced labour;
- matters for which provision must be made in contracts for goods or services entered into by public bodies for the purposes of the health service. Businesses that will be caught under the scope of this review should read this document to understand how the regulations, when introduced, will apply to them and what may be asked of them during this review.
European Parliament adopts position on proposal for a Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive
Please see ESG.