We have been recertified to the Ethical Labour Sourcing Standard.
The Ethical Labour Sourcing Standard (ELS) verifies an organisation’s systems in relation to the Modern Slavery Act. Each year we have a stringent audit system by the BRE assessor.
We continue to be listed on GreenBookLive as a company which meets the requirements of the standard.
The process for this year’s audit was led by HSQE adviser Fiona Dowling. Colleagues from across the business provided over 100 pieces evidence which Fiona collated to support our assessment. BRE auditor Nigel Jones said “Thank you for all your hard work in the self-assessment and evidence gathering.”
VGC trainers run regular toolbox talks on spotting the signs of modern slavery at sites across the UK.
“Working ethically is just what we do,” said Ciara Pryce, chief operating officer. “We always strive to go beyond the minimum standards, and we thank BRE for such a thorough review of our processes. The ELS gives a good structure to help us to keep moving forward and stay at the forefront of ethical recruitment and employment.”
Our certificate is ELS0003 – we were the third company in the UK to be certified to the Ethical Labour Sourcing Standard. In February 2019, we were moved up from level 2 to level 3. (Levels are from 1 – 4 with 4 being the highest.)
Relevance of the Ethical Labour Sourcing Standard (BES 6002:2017)
According to the International Labour Organization, the construction industry accounts for nearly one fifth of modern slavery victims in the private sector. CIOB’s report Construction and the Modern Slavery Act found that thousands of workers are at risk because of the way the industry works. Factors such as fragmented supply chains, a cost-driven culture and project discounting all contribute to the challenges. The National Referral Mechanism recorded 130 different nationalities of potentially trafficked victims in 2018.
See also the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA).