Tackling the potential risks of modern slavery in the health workforce

In March of this year the UK government’s modern slavery statement was published. It sets out the steps that have been taken to identify, address and prevent modern slavery in supply chains.

A consultation on transparency in the supply chain has also taken place, and the government has recently announced tough new measures for the public sector. These include:

  • harnessing the spending power of the public sector to drive up labour standards in supply chains by extending the transparency requirement to public bodies with a budget of £36 million or more
  • introducing mandatory reporting topics that statements must cover, such as due diligence, to incentivise better quality and more detailed reporting
  • requiring modern slavery statements to be published annually on the new government reporting service by a single reporting deadline, to encourage compliance and empower investors, consumers and civil society to monitor progress and scrutinise action taken

With implications for all NHS trusts we want to let you know how the NHS Workforce Alliance can help you effectively address the potential risks of modern slavery in your health workforce supply chain.

Tackling the potential risks

As responsible and ethical organisations, all NHS trusts should have a modern slavery policy in place and take a risk-based approach to tackling modern slavery in the supply chains that they manage or use.

By recruiting clinical and healthcare workers through NHS Workforce Alliance frameworks you can be certain that supply chains have been assessed to a standard over and above the current public sector procurement regulations, giving you greater assurance that any potential for modern slavery abuses have been identified and robustly addressed.

The NHS Workforce Alliance frameworks

It is our role to ensure the suppliers on our frameworks understand their obligations and take appropriate action to identify and address the risks of modern slavery in their supply chains.

In all NHS Workforce Alliance health workforce frameworks we require suppliers to:

  • meet with the standards set out in the Supplier Code of Conduct, which include requirements to comply with the Modern Slavery Act 2015
  • include anti-slavery and human trafficking provisions in their contracts
  • implement policies and procedures to identify and prevent modern slavery occurring in their supply chain
  • prepare an annual statement setting out the steps they have taken to tackle modern slavery in any part of their business or supply chain.

Help and support

If you have any questions or need advice and support to ensure you are doing all that you can to tackle the potential risks of modern slavery in your workforce supply chain, please contact your local NHS Workforce Alliance partner:

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