Protocols make way for business-owned prevention activity
9th November 2022
At the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA), our core focus will always be working in partnership to protect vulnerable workers from exploitation.
We cannot eradicate modern slavery alone and we truly value our partnerships at a local, regional, national and international level, and only by working together can we build an alliance against labour exploitation.
Over the last few years, one of our main ways of engaging with you has been through our protocols, whether that is in the food, construction or textiles sectors. The protocols have played an important role in introducing you to the role and remit of the GLAA and provided a forum to share concerns and best practice with industry leaders.
But the time has come to review what we do and explore how we can enhance the service and support provided to you.
Just as the labour market is constantly changing and evolving, so must we in how we effectively engage with you to maximise our partnerships across all sectors and prevent labour exploitation.
That’s why we will be putting our resources into developing and supporting more focused partnership activity which is business-owned, with the GLAA providing the strategic oversight and expertise.
Only last week we have seen an example of this with some of Britain’s biggest names in construction joining forces in an effort to drive out slavery and promote ethical labour in the building industry.
The ‘Alliance against Exploitation’ has seen SCAPE, one of the UK’s leading public sector procurement authorities, partner with the GLAA, the modern slavery charity Unseen, the University of Nottingham’s Rights Lab and Achilles, the global leader in supply chain risk and performance management.
The partnership is aimed at eradicating slavery and labour exploitation across the building sector by sharing intelligence, identifying emerging trends and committing to robust auditing procedures.
We are also proud to be part of another great business-owned and business-led partnership – the Indirect Procurement Human Rights Forum Waste and Recycling Working Group, which aims to increase and prioritise activity to address human rights issues in the waste and recycling sector.
They have also recently launched their new Modern Slavery Protocol; a voluntary agreement and public pledge of commitment to work collaboratively to tackle modern slavery and prevent the exploitation of workers in the waste and recycling industry.
These industry-led initiatives are precisely the sort of targeted partnerships we want to encourage and see prosper moving forward.
By moving away from a rigid approach where businesses sign up to a protocol, we believe we will have more meaningful engagement with you in the months and years to come.
We still recognise the importance of our regular meetings such as the Labour User/Labour Provider and Worker NGO meetings, and these will continue. We have also revived the Retailers’ Forum with the leading supermarkets in recent months.
We are equally committed to working ever more closely with our fellow labour market enforcement bodies, the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate and HM Revenue and Customs’ National Minimum Wage team through joint webinars, expanding our reach and engaging with new audiences in the process.
Business continues to play a huge part in tackling the exploitation of workers and only by working together can we ever hope to eradicate modern slavery for good.
Anyone involved in any of the protocols is not required to do anything; you will continue to receive relevant GLAA news and information - unless you wish to opt out, which you can do by simply indicating in a reply email. And the GLAA is still on hand to provide advice and support and will continue to engage with you and work with you as it always has.