We believe that everyone is entitled to basic rights and freedoms, whoever they are and wherever they live. That’s why we’re against all forms of modern slavery, everywhere.

Human trafficking, slavery, child labour, servitude and forced or compulsory labour - these practices have no place in our operations. And that goes for those companies and people who work with us and on our behalf too, wherever they are in the world.

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, Being trusted: our code and human rights policy. We also live it every day through our supplier standard on working conditions, Sourcing with Human Dignity.

0

onsite supplier assessments this year (including remote and third party audits)

0

concerns identified with suppliers which indicate potential forced labour

0 %

of colleagues completed the Being trusted: our code training

0

reports to our Speak Up hotline related to modern slavery concerns

  • Our policies set expectations of how we – and everyone who works on our behalf – will work to prevent modern slavery. 

    We are guided by the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and our commitment to the United Nations Global Compact.

    Our policies
    Our policies

    • Scope

      • Our ethics code.
      • Sets out our values and guides people on doing things right, every time.
      • Applies to all BT colleagues globally. And those acting on our behalf.

      Refers to…

      • United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

      Relevance to modern slavery

      • Emphasises that we don’t tolerate modern slavery, child labour or other human rights abuse in any part of our operations or those of businesses we work with.
      • Points people to our Speak Up channel if they need support or have a concern.
    • Scope

      • Covers our potential impacts on human rights and what we do to address these.
      • Includes our commitment to responsible sourcing of minerals and to identify, and remove, conflict minerals from our supply chain.
      • Applies to all our colleagues globally and all those acting on our behalf.

      Refers to…

      • International Bill of Human Rights.
      • International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.
      • United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
      • OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Mineral Supply Chains.

      Relevance to modern slavery

      • Sets out our commitment to prevent modern slavery and human trafficking in our business operations and supply chains.
      • Makes clear that we only want to work with people who choose to work freely, with rights to equal opportunity, freedom of association and collective bargaining.
      • Includes our aim to use tantalum, tin, tungsten, gold and cobalt from responsible sources and work with our suppliers to perform appropriate due diligence to identify, and remove, conflict minerals from our supply chain.
    • Scope

      • Sets our standards for a fair and ethical workplace, where workers are treated with dignity and respect.
      • Applies to all our suppliers and their supply chains, globally.
      • Available in ten languages and accessible to our suppliers via our dedicated portal Selling to BT.

      Refers to…

      • Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
      • ILO conventions.

      Relevance to modern slavery

      • Details our expectations of freely chosen employment, prevention of underage workers, working hours, wages and benefits, humane treatment, non-discrimination, freedom of association, collective bargaining, and health and safety.
    • Scope

      • Sets out our principles for recruiting responsibly.
      • Applies to colleagues in the UK on permanent or fixed-term contracts, except for colleagues working in our Mainline subsidiary.

      Refers to…

      • Being trusted: our code.
      • Aligned with Employer Pays Principle.

      Relevance to modern slavery

      • Modern slavery is not acceptable in our own operations nor in the operations of those who work with us or on our behalf.
      • We won’t charge recruitment fees either directly or indirectly to candidates as part of the recruitment process, and we extend this to our ‘Refer a Friend’ recruitment programme, which considers applications from people known to our colleagues. A referral doesn’t carry any weight in the fair selection process.
    • Scope

      • Sets out our zero-tolerance approach and procedures to prevent and detect bribery and corruption.
      • Applies to everyone working for, or on behalf of, BT.

      Refers to…

      • Being trusted: our code.

      Relevance to modern slavery

      • Highlights ‘red flags’ that are also potential indicators of modern slavery, such as cash payments or payments to be made indirectly via a third party.
  • We want to reduce the risk of modern slavery in our own operations and help our suppliers and our customers do the same. The risk of modern slavery within our own operations is low; around 80% of our people are based in the UK. They're highly skilled and we do most of our recruitment ourselves. But the risks of modern slavery are higher within our supply chains. You can see how we assess and respond to this risk below. 

    Assessing supplier risks

    Assessing Supplier Risk
    Assessing Supplier Risk

    Conflict Minerals

    We know from our risk assessment activities that mining the minerals and metals used in manufacturing electronic equipment is an area of high risk. We’re particularly concerned about the risks of forced and child labour in mining related to tin, tantalum, tungsten, gold and cobalt from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and neighbouring countries where the rule of law is weakened by conflict and civil war.

    We are a member of the Responsible Business Alliance and Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI) and follow their guidance when engaging our suppliers. 

    Our human rights policy describes how we prevent raw materials associated with the risk of funding armed conflict – or with other issues such as working conditions and child labour – from being used in our products.

    On an annual basis we issue a conflict mineral questionnaire to direct (Tier1) suppliers. Our assessment from 2022/23 is below:

    0 %

    were able to say their product was conflict free 

    0 %

    had received responses from over 75% of their suppliers

    0 %

    did not use gold, tin, tantalum, tungsten in the product

    Where supplier responses identified smelters, we checked the names of smelters against the RMI’s list of Conformant Smelters & Refiners and asked suppliers to complete RMI’s Cobalt Reporting Template. 

    Overall, our analysis suggests an improvement in the due diligence processes that our suppliers have implemented. 

    0 %

    of suppliers confirmed that cobalt is not used in the products they supply to BT

    0 %

    responded that they have a publicly available policy on cobalt and survey their suppliers on cobalt use

    0 %

    of suppliers received cobalt survey responses from over 75% of their suppliers

  • We partner with others to support the use of technology to tackle modern slavery.

    We think helplines should play a role in tackling modern slavery. Low public awareness of the signs of modern slavery and knowing what to do when you spot it are key challenges in tackling modern slavery. That’s why, six years ago, we set up the UK’s Modern Slavery and Exploitation Helpline with Unseen, a UK charity focusing on tackling modern slavery. 

    The Helpline’s open round-the-clock, every day of the year. If people suspect someone is a victim of modern slavery, or they’re a victim themselves, they can call the helpline to report their suspicions or get help. It also gives the public, statutory agencies and businesses information and support.

    The helpline is supported by a free to-download app that we worked with Unseen to develop. The app gives users tips on how to spot the signs of modern slavery and makes it easy to report suspected cases to the Helpline. Endorsed by the National Police Chiefs Council, many police forces are now using the Unseen app to help them in their work.

    The Helpline not only provides a critical lifeline for those who need it most, it also provides crucial information that helps those combating modern slavery better understand how and where to help those affected. It a lynchpin to the UK’s national response and essential in the fight against modern slavery. Unseen also offer support services to victims of modern slavery. These are provided to individuals in safe houses or living in the community.

    Modern Slavery and Exploitation Helpline

    Call 08000 121 700 to get help, report a suspicion or seek advice or file a report online at www.modernslaveryhelpline.org

    Modern Slavery and Exploitation Helpline - Call 08000 121 700
    Modern Slavery and Exploitation Helpline - Call 08000 121 700

    The Responsible Business Alliance (RBA) is the world's largest industry coalition dedicated to corporate social responsibility in global supply chains. Founded in 2004 by a group of leading electronics companies, the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA), formerly the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC), is a nonprofit comprised of electronics, retail, auto and toy companies committed to supporting the rights and well-being of workers and communities worldwide affected by global supply chains. RBA members commit and are held accountable to a common Code of Conduct and utilize a range of RBA training and assessment tools to support continuous improvement in the social, environmental and ethical responsibility of their supply chains.

    We work with the Joint Audit Co-operation (JAC), from Ecovadis which is an association of telecom operators aiming to verify, assess and develop sustainability implementation across our manufacturing centers. Members work together to engage our networks of trading partners to promote transparency and raise supply chain sustainability/sustainability standards, including labour and human rights standards.

Modern Slavery Statements

You’ll find more detail on our work fighting modern slavery in our annual Modern Slavery Statement.