What do you think of when you hear the term slavery? History lessons about the rich Western societies bringing ships of people against their will for back-breaking labour? Or do you think about the cases we have now? Did you even realise that modern slavery was something to be considered. Before I worked for MPI I didn't consider it to be an issue. Of course I had heard of the odd case of human trafficking ( when it hits the news) or watched an episode of a police show where they bust a gang trading in "sex workers" but i thought it was rare. The reality is sadly a different story.
Many people don't realise it is still happening everywhere in the world with an estimated 45.8 million people living in conditions of slavery around the globe.
Modern slavery can be defined with two basic elements
(1) the deception or coercion of an individual (2) for the purpose of exploitation.
In the UK, the National Crime Agency recorded an actual figure of 10,267 potential victims of human trafficking in 2019, a 52% increase on 2018 figures. 2020 saw a drop in reporting due to COVID-19. But the reality is that the Centre for Social Justice believes that beyond human trafficking there could be up to 100,000 potential victims of slavery in the UK.
Examples of modern slavery that you may not have considered include:
·Bonded labour where individuals are forced into debt and have to pay to get a job
The Government have implemented many labour laws that sim to combat discrimination, abolish exploitation and eliminate modern slavery. These include:
·Gangmasters Licensing Act 2004
·Employment Agencies Act 1973
·Agency Worker Regulations 2010
·National Minimum Wage Act 1998
·Modern Slavery Act 2015
·Immigration Act 2016
·Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003
It might be surprising to realise that the recruitment sector is a prime target for modern slavery practices because there can be many links in the supply chain which make monitoring hard and therefore we must be extra vigilant and put plenty of measures in place to ensure we don't fall victim to playing a part in modern slavery.
MPI are proud to not only have lots of measures in place for EVERY person we place currently but to confirm we also review this regularly and update our policy yearly with any new considerations.
Checks are interwoven throughout MPI’s business practices and support legal requirements such as right to work and compliance with the Immigration Act:
We ensure candidates undergo identity checks and review passports and visas to determine the country of origin, to make certain that they have the right to work in the UK. A victim may not have access to these documents.
We also verify addresses as where a number of people have the same address or should the same address be used consistently by workers assigned by MPI to a Client, then this could indicate that a criminal gang is operating.
Payroll check each assignee’s bank account details and review any requests made for monies to be paid into a different account, to eliminate the risk of individuals having no access to their earnings.
We also verify all umbrella companies and suppliers policies before approving them to ensure they have the same high standards we do.
We also train our staff in warning signs and factors and have a confidential and zero retaliation policy for people to report any concerns.
If you would like to review our full modern slavery policy please follow this link:
So as today is the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery we thought we would reassure you of the steps we take on a daily basis to mitigate this horrible practise and hope that one day we can live in a world without slavery.