Awareness and attitude towards modern slavery acts by British and Australian small and medium sized enterprises
- End date: 1 January 2021
- Principal investigator: Professor Hinrich Voss
- Co-investigators: Dr Matthew Davis (Socio-Technical Centre); Dr Mark Sumner (School of Design)
- External co-investigators: Dr David Webb, Associate Professor in Marketing; Dr Donella Caspersz, Senior Lecturer in Management and Organisations; Dr Fiona McGaughey, Senior Lecturer at the Law School, all University of Western Australia, Perth and part of the Modern Slavery Research Cluster
The modern slavery acts of the UK and Australia are focused on the conduct of large businesses. In both countries a turnover in excess of £36 mn or AUD$100 mn a year must be achieved by a company for it to fall within the remit of the Act. Yet, both acts have an explicit focus on the global value chain of the large businesses and the eradication of modern slavery in these value chains. Taking account of sector variations, these chains typically involve small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). The modern slavery acts thus indirectly target the business conduct of SMEs as well. SMEs that are not compliant with the acts or support large businesses in being compliant face the possibility of being excluded from global value chains which would have significant economic and social implications.
We are conducting interviews with key stakeholders and SMEs in Australia and England to understand the SMEs’ engagement with the modern slavery acts.