Business: Ethics

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 7th March 2018.

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Photo of Barry Sheerman Barry Sheerman Labour/Co-operative, Huddersfield

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government is taking encourage businesses to adopt (a) ethical business practices and (b) policies that protect workers from being abused and exploited in (i) the organisations and (ii) the global supply chains of such businesses.

Photo of Andrew Griffiths Andrew Griffiths Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

The Government expects businesses to behave ethically as part of their social and environmental responsibility, and we encourage responsible business practices across policies and legislation. The welfare of workers is addressed in employment provisions such as the National Minimum and Living Wages, health and safety in the workplace, and regulation of employment agencies; whilst the Government’s Good Work Plan responded to the Matthew Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices to focus on improving the quality of jobs. The Government’s national action on business and human rights responds to the UN’s Guiding Principles, and it includes steps to address human rights implications of UK business activities both at home and overseas. As a result of the world-leading provisions in the Modern Slavery Act 2015, thousands of businesses have published transparency statements detailing how they are tackling modern slavery in their business and supply chains. The Government has also launched the ‘Business Against Slavery Forum’ which aims to establish a new partnership between Government and business to accelerate progress in tackling modern slavery and help smaller businesses to take action.

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