The CBI Modern Slavery Statement 2021

The Modern Slavery Act came into effect in October 2015 and requires businesses in the UK (having annual turnover of £36m or more) to disclose information regarding the steps they have taken to eradicate slavery and human trafficking from their business and supply chain.

The CBI is committed to acting ethically and with integrity and although our turnover is below the £36m threshold, we have taken steps to ensure that modern slavery is not taking place anywhere in our organisation or within our wider supply chain and are committed to producing a Modern Slavery Statement annually.

CBI overview and structure

The CBI is a Royal Charter organisation with 240 employees based in 10 offices across the UK and 4 international offices in Brussels, Beijing, New Delhi and Washington D.C.

In terms of corporate governance, operational and strategic issues are the responsibility of the CBI Board, chaired by the CBI President and supported by an Audit Committee and a Remuneration Committee. While day to day running of the CBI is led by the Director-General and the CBI Executive Committee. For more information, you can see who sits on our Executive Committee and the CBI Board on our website and more information on our governance in the About Us section.

This policy is reviewed annually by the CBI Audit Committee and led by the Director for Finance and Corporate Services at the CBI. 

Approach to Modern Slavery

The CBI previously conducted a high-level review of our suppliers and believe that all our active suppliers, totalling approximately 800 businesses, are low to medium risk given the country and context of operation, the type of organisation, our knowledge of the supplier and our level of spend.

As a professional services organisation our largest suppliers are engaged in the provision of services to support our staff and offices. Staff services include both direct costs (benefits such as pensions and health insurance) and indirect costs (such as IT provision and recruitment agencies). Office costs include rent, rates and services such as cleaning and catering). The other significant type of supplier is for our events, such as large hotels or venues and digital platforms.

The CBI can confirm that all suppliers to our London, Cannon Place office pay their staff, at minimum, the London Living Wage.

Through our recruitment and employment practices we screen all potential employees to ensure they have a right to live and work in the UK or in the relevant country where they have applied for employment with the CBI.

The CBI operate a Whistleblowing Policy which I kept under review by the CBI Audit Committee. The current policy allows for any member of CBI staff to make an anonymous protected disclosure to the Director of HR or the CBI Director-General. Where the employee believes that the issue is particularly sensitive and it would not be appropriate to raise it to either of these people, then the disclosure can be made to the Chair of the CBI Audit committee.

What we achieved in 2020

Code of conduct for suppliers: The CBI has developed a code of conduct for its suppliers, which all suppliers are required to adhere to before entering into a contract with the CBI. This code includes reference to the company's approach to modern slavery including ensuring they have conducted a review of their business to assess their risk from modern slavery and actions taken to reduce this. The code also requires businesses to make a reasonable effort to ensure that their wider supply chains adhere to the Modern Slavery Act.

CBI contract checklist: The CBI has developed and implemented a procurement contract checklist for CBI staff to use before entering into an agreement with a supplier. The purpose of this checklist is to add scrutiny to the procurement process and ensure CBI staff are taking the relevant due diligence before entering into any contract with a proposed suppler. The checklist includes ensuring that suppliers adhere to the above code of conduct.

Planned actions and improvements for 2021

Training and awareness: In 2021, the CBI plans to focus on increasing awareness and training for CBI staff on its compliance policies. This will include a focus on the above-mentioned policies on procurement which will in turn help our efforts around modern slavery.