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6 months ago by Helen Doughty

Meridian Signs up to the GLAA Construction Protocol

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Modern slavery, which includes forced labour and human trafficking, is a form of organised crime based on profiting from the exploitation of vulnerable people. It’s easy to think of modern slavery as something that happens in other far-off countries, but the reality is that it happens much closer to home.

Meridian is committed to helping eradicate slavery in all of the industries we operate in and in the UK, the Construction industry is particularly susceptible to modern slavery as labour is often employed through sub-contractors or agents.

Meridian has recently signed up to the GLAA Construction Protocol, a joint agreement between the GLAA (Gangmaster and Labour Abuse Authority) and some of the biggest names in UK Construction with the aim of eradicating slavery and labour exploitation in the building industry. 

The agreement commits signatories to:

  • Work in partnership to protect vulnerable workers
  • Agree to share information, where possible, to help stop or prevent the exploitation of workers
  • Work together to manage information sensitively and confidentially
  • Commit to raising awareness within the supply chain
  • Maintain momentum through this protocol by communicating regularly

Meridian already has robust procedures in place in regard to Modern Slavery.  We already work with the GLAA as we are a  GLAA Licence and our partner status with Stronger Together underpins this.  Furthermore, our Learning and Development Team delivers mandatory legislation training across the business, which ensures that all of our staff are kept abreast of issues in this area. 

Derek Skelton, CEO, said “I am very pleased that we have signed up to the Construction Protocol, joining forces with other Construction companies to help eradicate slavery.  Taking advantage of vulnerable people is something that still happens even though we can’t easily see it in our day to day lives.  Anything we can do to support the fabulous work the GLAA and Stronger Together teams do we will.”

GLAA Deputy Director of Business Change Mark Heath said: “We are delighted that Meridian Business Support has signed up to our Construction Protocol and pledged to fight modern slavery and labour abuse.

“When organisations agree to the protocol, they commit to work in partnership with us to protect vulnerable and exploited workers. They also agree to share information to stop exploitation and pledge to raise awareness of slavery through supply chains.

“Around three million people are employed in UK construction and the industry contributes over £100 billion to the economy. However, there are challenges and we consider construction to be a high risk sector for labour abuse and exploitation.

“It is therefore more important than ever for respected organisations such as Meridian Business Support to sign up to the protocol and work with us to protect the reputation of the construction industry. Together, we can put an end to modern slavery and labour exploitation for good.”

Meridian is dedicated to meeting the requirements of this agreement, not just in policy and procedure but in custom and practise at all times throughout our business.