Last updated 20 September 2021

Read how a contact centre supplier improves Modern Slavery Assessment Tool (MSAT) score from 52% to 85%.

In 2019 the government announced new measures for the public sector on transparency in the supply chain, which includes modern slavery. The aim of this is to harness the spending power of the public sector to drive up labour standards in supply chains. One of the ways that CCS tackles the risk of modern slavery in public sector procurement is by asking its suppliers to fill out a Modern Slavery Assessment Tool (MSAT). This is a modern slavery risk identification and management tool.

The CCS contact centre category sits within the People pillar and has created a framework to procure contact centres for public sector organisations. The risk of modern slavery in contact centres is generally low because there are relatively few risk factors for contact centre employees. However, these risks can increase as you get further down the tiers of the supply chain such as facilities management. 

Risk evaluation

The category asked all the suppliers on its framework to complete a MSAT return and then assessed each individual report for possible improvements that the suppliers could make. There was a wide variety of scores between the suppliers with a few having rigid safeguards in place to avoid instances of modern slavery throughout all tiers of their supply chain to other suppliers who were relatively lax even in the first tier of their supply chain.

The MSAT analyses specific areas and provides recommendations where the supplier could improve, however, sometimes this must be done manually. The category looked at one specific supplier that had a net score of 52%, one of the worst performing in the category. Initial evaluation showed that there were significant areas for improvement as well as measures that could be termed ‘easy wins’, small measures that would have a large impact on the overall score on the MSAT. These included educating their workforce on the dangers of modern slavery, introducing KPI’s to make sure that their workers read a modern slavery statement and conducting frequent supplier reviews.

Working with suppliers as partners

A meeting was set up to discuss the findings of the MSAT. The approach taken by the category was to strike a balance between policies that were overly onerous to business and those that would make a difference to preventing instances of modern slavery. The acknowledgment of this is beneficial in building a receptive relationship with the supplier.

The recommendations that were given by the report were put forward to the supplier who broadly supported them. One of these was to add a provision to their training including a KPI’s to make sure that their workers will read a modern slavery statement. They also agreed to conduct annual supplier reviews to have a view of further tiers of the supply chain.

The suppliers also acknowledged that some of the questions were answered incorrectly and this may stem from some of the questions being ambiguous. Furthermore, the supplier felt that the questionnaire is too general and has questions that do not apply to contact centres.

Safeguarding against modern slavery

A summary of the recommendations and government materials was sent to the supplier. The supplier then implemented the recommendations especially around using KPI’s to measure modern slavery training and inserting safeguards further down the supply chain. The supplier undertook a new MSAT and was awarded a score of 85%.

Following on from actions with the initial supplier, we have undertaken an assessment of all 8 Contact Centre suppliers on RM3815 through the MSAT tool. For each supplier we have agreed recommendations and remedial actions to amend policies, and implement new procedures that mitigate against the risks of modern slavery in their organisation and further tiers of their supply chains. All the MSAT reports are maintained and updated by our suppliers and are available for review by our customers, so that they can be assured CCS suppliers have safeguarded against the risk of modern slavery.

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