Sara Heald

Sara Heald

Group Head of CSR

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Anti-Slavery Day 2019

Friday 18 October marks UK and European Anti-Slavery Day, an annual day to raise awareness of all forms of modern slavery and the need to eradicate them from our society.

Modern slavery comes in many forms, and is present here in the UK. There are an estimated 13,000 people in the UK classed as modern slaves because of their restricted working conditions. At L&G we rarely come into contact with these industries but we recognise that we can play a key role with our suppliers to ensure that our supply chains are slavery free.

What is modern slavery?

Modern slavery can occur in different ways. One of the typical examples may see a person enticed to the UK with the promise of a good job which does not materialise. They may have had to take out a loan to relocate or be recruited and upon arriving in the UK may be held to threats around repayment, and their passport taken away.

Recet figures show that 239 suspects were charged with modern slavery offences and 185 people were convicted in the UK last year. These figures show how much more there is to do to ensure we are all acting to recognise the signs of modern slavery.  

What are we doing at Legal & General?

We’re proud we do business responsibly and ethically.  Our Supplier Code of Conduct, contract terms and governance safeguards the relationships between us and our suppliers. We set standards to ensure they operate ethically, are environmentally responsible and workers are treated with respect and dignity. Our Modern Slavery statement can be found here

We have in place a wide range of processes and controls to prevent modern slavery from entering into our workplace. These include right-to-work checks, real living wages, a strong union relationship and focused training. We also put in place additional checks where we think they might be needed, for example, Legal & General Homes have modern slavery questionnaires for contractors and sub-contractors.

Working with industry experts and our key suppliers we have developed a number questions that we are starting to ask suppliers in relation to their direction of working standards and quality jobs. These are being integrated into our supplier code of conduct, and we are looking at new digital tools that will help us gather more information about our suppliers.

How to find out more

The signs of modern slavery, especially in the UK, aren’t always obvious. They are subtle and often hidden. So it’s everyone's responsibility to be vigilant, look out for signs of modern slavery. Please visit the Anti-Slavery International for more information on modern slavery in the UK and how you can help. https://www.antislavery.org/slavery-today/slavery-uk/

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