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IRM responds to "Good Work Plan: establishing a new single enforcement body for employment rights"

The IRM is the leading global institute for risk management professionals. We drive excellence in managing risk to ensure organisations are ready for the opportunities and threats of the future. We do this by providing internationally recognised qualifications and training, publishing research and
guidance, and setting professional standards.

For over 30 years our qualifications have been the global choice of qualification for risk professionals and their employers. We are a not-for-profit body, with members working in all industries, in all risk disciplines and in all sectors around the world.

We are responding to this consultation document because we recognise that this is a significant issue that many of our members and many organisations need to continue to address as we move forward. They will need the appropriate support both in terms of the regulatory framework required and the support and training to implement improved practices. As has been acknowledged, the issue of employee rights remains significant. We believe that by setting up a risk-based approach to the enforcement of appropriate employment principles, the single enforcement authority can be much more effective. For example, when looking at employment issues the approach should take account of the relevant industry, the countries involved, and, as increasing data is collected relevant to employers, this could also be factored in.

We equate a risk based approach to an intelligence-led enforcement strategy. For example, there were about 5,000 potential victims of modern-day slavery and human trafficking referred to the UK government in 2017, according to the National Crime Agency — an increase of 35 per cent on the previous year — while the number of minors referred rose by 66 per cent. “The scale of modern slavery and human trafficking is increasing steadily, and the threat is growing.

According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) around 21 million men, women and children around the world are in a form of slavery. The Walk Free Foundation has the figure at closer to 36 million. The illicit profit estimated by the ILO is $150 billion a year, much of it in corporate
supply chains. The recent growth of modern slavery can be connected to several geopolitical issues, including increasing poverty and inequality, global conflicts and the consequent large-scale population movements, as well as consumer demand for ever more things at lower cost. These factors make human trafficking and labour exploitation a lucrative activity for organised crime group.

Dr Ian Livsey, the Chief Executive of the Institute of Risk Management (IRM) has commented in the past: 
There is always scope for inappropriate behaviour where people and processes are involved, and our stance is that these vulnerabilities should be considered as part of risk modelling to protect human rights as part of the overall risk management strategy.

Download the complete document here

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