Update Summer 2017

GoodCorporation strengthens human rights framework

GoodCorporation has been helping businesses to reduce the risk of human rights abuses occurring within their operations since it first launched the Business Ethics Standard in 2001.

As managing these risks has become ever more demanding we have revised our frameworks to help businesses strengthen their systems and processes as needed.

Our framework on managing human rights has just been updated to cover a wider remit and help organisations to identify, prevent and address any human rights issues arising from their activities and business relationships. It outlines a set of responsible management practices that can be implemented to demonstrate a commitment to respecting human rights, in line with the UN Guiding Principles. Best practice on policy and governance, the assignment of responsibilities, culture and awareness raising, managing relationships as well as monitoring and transparency are all included.

In addition to this framework, we have produced further guidance on respecting workplace and community rights which should be read in conjunction with the wider framework.

Contact us if you would like more information on this area.

Will the Modern Slavery Act help reduce modern slavery and can companies reduce the risks in their supply chain?

 

 

 

 

 

 

James Ewins QC led GoodCorporation’s debate on modern slavery which was hosted by Baroness Lola Young of Hornsey. He began with a closer look at the statute and an assessment of the effectiveness to date of reducing the risks in the supply chain.

Under the Modern Slavery Act (MSA), the criminal provisions have been consolidated with increased sentencing powers, protection for victims and reparation orders against those convicted of slavery. For corporates however, much of the focus has been on Section 54 – transparency in the supply chain. According to the Home Office, Section 54 was designed to enable organisations to be held to account, through modern slavery statements, for their actions to reduce slavery.

All those required to produce such statements under the new legislation should have now done so, but the response to these has been lukewarm. Some have included risk assessments, data and audit results, while others are bland and non-committal. But do they collectively meet the primary objective of facilitating civil society’s ability to hold companies to account and is this the right approach in the fight to eradicate slavery?

Our debate looked at this question, examining the likely impact of modern slavery statements and what businesses can be doing to reduce the risk of slavery in their supply chains.

Read the debate summary in full here.

How can companies overcome the compliance challenges of the GDPR?

Implementing systems and processes to meet the requirements of the GDPR is undoubtedly one of the major challenges currently facing legal and compliance teams.

Richard Brearley, head of compliance (EMEA) at Macquarie led our debate on the GDPR and began by looking at the likely impact of the new regulation and what will be needed to ensure effective compliance.

One of the biggest changes is the emphasis on the rights of the individual which may require a significant change for many organisations to the ways in which they collect, hold and transfer personal data.

Governance and accountability will be critical to effective GDPR compliance. This must become a board issue, with responsibility at the top of the organisation. Businesses will need to risk assess their data management systems, to ensure that individuals’ rights are protected and that the appropriate controls are in place.

Read the debate summary here and visit our website for more information on our data protection framework.

In Brief...

C5 Anti-Corruption London

GoodCorporation joined leading figures from the anti-corruption community to discuss some of the key compliance and enforcement issues dominating the anti-bribery agenda.

Gareth Thomas, who leads our work in anti-corruption and data protection, was on the “Challenge the Experts” panel discussing the difficulties faced by companies seeking to enter high-risk markets and the mitigation measures they should look to put in place.

Contact us for more information on our work in this area.

Corruption, DPAs and the prosecution landscape

This was the subject of our anti-corruption debate. Introduced by Lord Gold, the discussion began with the affirmation that the primary role of the UK Serious Fraud Office is to investigate and prosecute.

Deferred prosecution agreements (DPAs) were discussed in detail. These are likely to remain part of the SFO’s prosecution armoury despite the concerns expressed around self-reporting and in particular the loss of legal privilege.

Reporting was felt to be a significant issue. While some felt strongly that transparency is in the company’s best interests, with leniency when it comes to fines seen as a real incentive. Others felt the lack of immunity from prosecution for reporting and the fact that it hands control to the SFO, acted as a strong deterrent.

Click here for the full debate summary.

In the news

To make it easier to find articles, comment and opinion on a range of business ethics issues, we have revised the news section of the GoodCorporation website.

Visitors to the site can now search by subject area to see a range of advice and comment piece on a variety of business ethics topics.

The subject areas for our comment and opinion pieces include bribery and corruption, ethics and compliance, human rights and modern slavery, data protection, whistleblowing and corporate governance.

We have also updated the case histories section of the website, grouping our case studies around the areas in which we operate.