The UK Government has confirmed that businesses must continue with reporting obligations despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Key points to note are:

  • More time to file your statement: If you are struggling to meet the reporting deadline, you can delay the release of your statement for up to 6 months and will not be penalised. The reasons for any delay must be COVID-19 related and be explained in your statement.
  • Possible COVID 19 impact: Consider how changes in your operating model may lead to new or increased risks of labour exploitation, such as:
    • changes in demand and availability of the labour or vulnerable workers could lead to them being exploited by third parties seeking to profit from heightened demand;
    • engaging with suppliers or carrying out due diligence where this is a risk of exploitation (e.g. factories forcing reductions in wages);
    • with education systems suspended, children will become more vulnerable to exploitation.
  • Damage to reputation and brand: In the UK, some businesses have seen reputation and brand damage where they have not followed government COVID-19 advice or have not provided guarantees to worker wages.
  • What should you put in your next statement? Demonstrate how you have monitored the risks during this period and adapted your activities and priorities in response.