The BHRE has published its new report on Universities reporting under the Modern Slavery Act. This report analyses the Slavery and Human Trafficking statements published by universities for the financial year 2016-2017 (and published up to 31ST May 2018). Our research for this report has undertaken a qualitative analysis of statements released by 98 universities (including two university hospitals) which are obliged to produce a statement under s.54. These include:
· 69 statements produced by universities reporting for the second time, and
· 29 by universities reporting for the first time.
In our previous report (“UK Modern Slavery Act 2015 Transparency in Supply Chains: The First Year of Reporting by Universities”, BHRE Research Series, Report 1. August 2017) we analysed the statements produced for the financial year 2015-2016 (up to 31st January 2017).
The deadline to publish the 2016/2017 statement was, for most universities, 31st January 2018, six months after the end of the financial year. Our research was conducted in two phases. Firstly, we analysed 63 statements published up to 31st January 2018. In May 2018, with the help of the Higher Education Procurement Association (HEPA) we analysed a further 34 statements, which had been published after the deadline. The increase of reporting was due, in part, to the featuring of our research in Research Professional (see Universities Failing to Disclose Slavery Risks, 19th February) and HEPA´s communications to universities regarding their modern slavery reporting obligations.
Including the first and the second year of reporting and the second and first statements produced by all those which reported, we have analysed 156 statements from 115 universities.