09 Apr 2021

New techUK guidance for SMEs on modern slavery

Modern slavery is a major crime that all businesses need to be aware of and is very prevalent in the UK with over 100,000 estimated victims. While many SMEs will be low risk, there are still several ways small and mid-sized organisations could be inadvertently supporting or facilitating modern slavery or human trafficking.

Companies should be doing all they can to operate ethically, and the legal requirements as well as customer expectations have grown significantly in the past few years. With the Social Value Act, new EU mandatory due diligence and a strengthened UK Modern Slavery Act coming down the line, SMEs need to take account of their risks and have proper due diligence processes in place.  While many of these rules only apply to larger organisations, requirements are already cascading down the supply chain. Even though SMEs are less exposed to modern slavery risks, due diligence and having policies in place is becoming a condition of winning business (particularly for those selling into the public sector) and for ESG minded investors looking at where to put their money.

Therefore to help our SME community understand this complex and emotive issue and navigate the compliance, reporting and due diligence challenges, we have produced a guidance document. The document helps members upskill themselves in this area and covers:

  • Why it matters for SMEs and the increasing requirements and expectations for business
  • What to consider and how to approach modern slavery risks
  • Where the risks are more likely to be found in SME operations and supply chains
  • Mitigating risks and steps firms can take to ensure they are not complicit in slavery
  • A list of further resources and help from leading organisations

You can read the full report here.

To learn more about how techUK helps companies comply and understand rules on modern slavery and business human rights issues please join our Responsible Business Conduct Group or get in touch using the details below: 

Susanne Baker

Susanne Baker

Associate Director, Climate, Environment and Sustainability , techUK

Craig Melson

Craig Melson

Head of Digital Devices, Market Access, Environment and Sustainability , techUK