Modern slavery is an increasing global issue. It includes human trafficking, slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour.
No form of modern slavery is acceptable in our operations, or in those of companies who work with us or on our behalf. And neither is child labour. No one should be made to work against their will. No one should be deprived of their identity papers, nor have to pay to work with us. Yet an estimated 40 million people around the world are exploited and forced into work. They often suffer physical, psychological or sexual abuse in the process.
We only work with people who choose to work freely. We respect the right to equal opportunity, freedom of association and collective bargaining. This is set out in our Modern Slavery Statements (below), The BT Way - our ethics code and human rights policy. We also live it every day through our supplier standard on working conditions, Sourcing with Human Dignity.
We want to make sure modern slavery isn’t taking place in our own business or supply chain. The risk of modern slavery within our own operations is low as around 80% of our people are based in the UK, they're highly skilled and we do most of our recruitment ourselves. But risks of modern slavery are higher within our supply chains. We use risk factors to determine the modern slavery risk for each of our direct suppliers. These include the type of product or service being provided, the country it’s being provided in, and the workers’ skill levels.
Our assessment team may visit the sites of higher risk suppliers to better understand the reality of working conditions. If needed, we’ll put in place an improvement plan and monitor it closely. If a supplier doesn’t improve it can, and sometimes does, mean we cancel our contract.