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GMI Construction Group Supports Fight Against Labour Exploitation By Signing Up To GLAA Protocol

GMI Construction Group is supporting the fight against modern slavery and exploitation in the building industry by joining the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority’s (GLAA) protocol.

It joins some of the biggest names in the sector, including main contractors, sub-contractors, industry bodies and recruitment agencies, which have pledged to work together to eradicate modern slavery and labour exploitation within the supply chain.

By signing the regulator’s construction protocol GMI, one of the largest privately-owned construction companies in the North of England and the Midlands, pledges to abide by a series of principals.

These include:

  • Sharing information and concerns regarding potential abuses within the labour supply chain
  • Raising awareness of labour exploitation among workers, particularly at site level, and focus on the help and support available
  • Working in conjunction with the GLAA to continually review best practice guidance to prevent exploitation
  • Construction has been identified as one of the most common sectors in the UK for labour exploitation, while a report by Independent Slavery Commissioner Dame Sara Thornton published in April warning that even legitimate businesses can be caught up in criminality without oversight of and close co-operation throughout the supply chain.

It added that the sector faces challenges in the ethical management of labour, which is exacerbated by an ongoing skills shortage, and the complex network of subcontractors.

Claire Preston, GMI’s Head of Responsible Business, said: “We are pleased to sign up to the construction protocol and pledge to work proactively with the GLAA, together with other construction companies and subcontractors, to rid the industry once and for all of the cowboy operators and elements of organised crime. Through our strict processes to onboard with GMI, we will ask our supply chain, including the recruitment agencies we work with, to sign up to the protocol.

“This is a business that places a high value on its workforce and is dedicated to being both respectful and accountable – and that means ensuring no-one connected with GMI suffers any form of exploitation.

“We intend to raise awareness through briefings, information displayed on all of our sites and our regular toolbox talks, so that individuals recognise when they or a fellow worker needs help and support.”

The GLAA is an arms-length body of the Home Office and is authorised under the Modern Slavery Act to investigate and prosecute offences of exploitation within the labour market.

Its Chief Executive, Elysia McCaffrey, said: “I welcome the addition of GMI to the growing membership of our construction protocol. We believe industry can play a pivotal role in eradicating the exploitation of workers through an alliance of cooperation with law enforcement agencies like ourselves.”

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GMI staff attend a construction site tool box talk on the subject of labour exploitation

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