Marshalls Front Line Staff Working to End Modern Slavery

7 months ago | News | Marshalls plc

Marshalls has engaged the power of its nationwide logistics operation to help eradicate modern slavery. The entire logistics management team has been trained by anti-slavery partner, Hope for Justice, and a bespoke training film, in-house training programme and supporting material is now being cascaded throughout logistics operations.

The initiative was officially launched on 7th March with the backing of West Yorkshire PCC and the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) lead on Modern Slavery, Mark Burns-Williamson, and with the support of the Gangmasters Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA).

Mark Burns-Williamson said “Businesses and their supply chains have a key role in putting an end to modern slavery. They are invaluable partners and well placed to help in the detection and prevention of these horrific crimes and abuses. This is a great commitment by Marshalls PLC. A West Yorkshire-based organisations, the UK’s leading hard landscaping and construction materials company, and with a national and global reach. Marshalls’ stance on this is already making a real difference. I hope and believe this is something that other businesses will definitely look to replicate and get involved in. Raising awareness and providing training among frontline workers is key in helping eradicate such abhorrent practices.”

Elaine Mitchel-Hill, Business & Human Rights Lead, and responsible for Marshalls’ response to the
implementation of the Modern Slavery Act said, “Colleagues throughout our logistics operations
recognise their unique role in helping to eradicate modern slavery. They absolutely know what’s right
and what’s not; they are already well equipped to make a moral judgement. This bespoke training helps
them to better understand the signs of modern slavery. They’re then empowered to make a call and
report what they’ve seen. And that’s all we’re asking them to do. Simply understand the signs, to spot
and then report; that’s more than enough. Job Done.”

Mitchel-Hill continued, “We already know that this highly visible front line logistics initiative has
incredible power in term of empowering and equipping colleagues who are out delivering to
construction site, yards and other locations not always visible to law enforcers. In one instance within
24 hours of training dash-cam footage was provided to local law enforcement when the driver was able
to recognise that what he was witnessing was most likely a serious indication of modern slavery.”

Samantha Ireland, Head of Business Change, at the GLAA who has developed and facilitates the GLAA
Construction Protocol Network commented, “Information and intelligence from the construction sector
is key. Since developing the Construction Protocol and engaging deeply with the construction sector
we’ve seen a significant increase in reporting and instances modern slavery. This very practical and
powerful initiative from Marshalls is exactly what is required.”

Chris Harrop OBE, Group Marketing Director responsible for Sustainability, joined the launch event
remotely from the businesses supply chain in China, “Our preventative activity on-the-ground in the UK
is every bit as important as the work that we do across the globe in our supply chains. The extent of
modern slavery in the UK shows little sign of stopping or slowing. It was reported just recently that 1 in
200 people globally are in slavery; more than 40 million people worldwide and more than at any other
time in history*. It’s vital that organisations really scrutinise their business operations to find areas that
can be leveraged in the fight against modern slavery. This frontline initiative is very simple and very
effective.

What next?

Marshalls is encouraging other businesses to watch and share its Power of Logistics Training Film  which can be used as a training guide within any organisation. 

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