PRESS RELEASE: Growing group of leading companies extends the exceptional package of support available to their supply chains to drive the responsible recruitment of workers

UK retailers Aldi, Asda, Co-op, Kingfisher, M&S, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose & Partners, joined by leading outsourced workforce management expert Geometric Results International (GRI), have today extended the benefits available to their suppliers and recruitment businesses in global supply chains to support them to achieve and demonstrate responsible recruitment practices.

Recruitment and the supply of temporary, contract and seasonal labour have been identified as presenting amongst the greatest worker exploitation risks in supply chains. In response, in 2019 many leading companies became sponsors of the Responsible Recruitment Toolkit (RRT), to enable businesses in their supply chains to gain free access to an online capacity building and self-assessment tool and training on embedding ethical and professional recruitment and labour supply practices.

Today, the growing number of companies have reaffirmed their commitment and extended the benefits available to their supply chains by offering unlimited training places on a wide range of responsible recruitment topics, enhanced functionality on the RRT online tool, and the RRT Business Partners programme, supporting businesses to publicly demonstrate their commitment to responsible recruitment.

“As leading companies committed to tackling modern slavery and protecting vulnerable workers, we are pleased to announce this extension of responsible recruitment support to the tens of thousands of businesses in our supply chain, helping them to achieve consistent high standards of responsible recruitment. Responsible recruitment has never been more important in the context of Covid-19. The pandemic has increased the vulnerability of jobseekers and workers, and responsible recruitment is key to building resilient supply chains”, said the Sponsor companies.

“We’re thrilled that our ten RRT Sponsors have reaffirmed their commitment to responsible recruitment. The extension of benefits will not only provide additional support to their supply chains, but also provide meaningful insights into the outcomes of their investment, as we measure the improvements in practices over time, and the benefits of those improvements for recruiters, clients and workers.” said Hannah Newcomb, Managing Director at RRT. 

Highlights of the RRT programme to date include:

  • More than 1,400 subscriptions to the RRT online tool from businesses in over 50 countries
  • More than 400 delegates attending responsible recruitment training with 100% of respondents saying they felt confident taking their next steps in responsible recruitment as a result
  • More than 800 downloads of RRT’s Practical Guide to Responsible Recruitment During Covid-19
  • Guidance and tools available in English and Spanish, with contextualised guidance developed for the UK, US and Malaysia so far

The RRT Sponsors will be contacting their suppliers to encourage them, and the recruitment businesses they use, to take advantage of the full package of free support and guidance available through the Responsible Recruitment Toolkit.

Brands, retailers and companies that are committed to embedding responsible recruitment and interested in providing the same substantial benefits to their supply chain should enquire about RRT Sponsorship at:  

Quotes from the Sponsors:

Aldi – “By working together, we can drive standards within the industry and equip our suppliers with the tools to understand and tackle this important issue. We’re committed to the welfare of workers throughout our supply chain, so it’s great to unite with other UK retailers and play a part in supporting this initiative”  Fritz Walleczek, Managing Director of Corporate Responsibility, Aldi

Asda “Asda believes in the power of collaboration to address systemic, industry-wide issues. We look forward to the beneficial output of these tools for our suppliers and labour providers, ultimately leading to a future where responsible recruitment is the norm. We are proud to support the Responsible Recruitment Toolkit in providing the resources, connectivity, and data needed to work toward that goal.” Lisa Domoney, Director Responsible Sourcing, Asda

Co-op – “We are pleased to join forces with other retailers to sponsor this important resource to support all our suppliers in working towards a future of high standards in responsible recruitment. It will help tackle modern slavery and eliminate illegal and unfair recruitment fees in global supply chains, which is a key commitment in our Future of Food sustainability plan” Cathryn Higgs, Head of Food Policy, Co-op

GRI – “At GRI, we are committed to tackling modern slavery and protecting vulnerable workers, and are pleased to join the other RRT Sponsors in announcing this unprecedented suite of support for our agencies to achieve consistent high standards of responsible recruitment.” said Andrew Preston, CEO at GRI.

Kingfisher Nick Lakin, Director of Corporate Affairs, Kingfisher plc, said: “It is on all of us in the retail sector to understand the risks and challenges in our supply chains and work in partnership with our suppliers to identify and mitigate them. It is a hugely positive move that so many retailers have joined forces to support the Responsible Recruitment Toolkit to help protect temporary, contract and seasonal workers.”

M&S – “We believe collaboration is key to finding solutions to some of our biggest industry challenges, so we are proud to be sponsors of the Responsible Recruitment Toolkit to help our suppliers upskill within their business and supply chains” Victoria Dodman, Senior Ethical Trade and Human Rights Manager, Marks and Spencer.

MorrisonsA representative of Morrisons’ Ethical Trade team said: “Collaboration with external partners plays a key role in our approach to ensuring good labour standards across our supply chains. We are proud to sponsor the Responsible Recruitment Toolkit to support our suppliers to improve understanding and address these important issues.”   

Sainsbury’s – A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said: “Collaborating on the Responsible Recruitment Toolkit is just one of the ways we are supporting our suppliers to ensure they are operating to the highest possible standards. We look forward to seeing the benefits and impact we believe this toolkit can bring.”

Tesco – “Responsible recruitment is a vital part of Tesco’s work to ensure good labour standards throughout our business and supply chains. We’re pleased to be sponsoring the Responsible Recruitment Toolkit, and look forward to continuing our work with our suppliers and labour providers to implement best practices.” Giles Bolton, Responsible Sourcing Director, Tesco.

Waitrose & Partners – “Waitrose & Partners is committed to the welfare of its workers and those employed throughout our supply chains. This is why we have joined together with other leading UK retailers in becoming Sponsors of the Responsible Recruitment Toolkit. Through our sponsorship, we hope to ensure our suppliers have the support they need in reaching the responsible recruitment standards we expect of them.” Sam Ludlow-Taylor, Ethical Trade Manager, Waitrose & Partners

#modernslavery #bizhumanrights #responsiblerecruitment #ethicalrecruitment

Further information:

About RRT:

RRT is a not-for-profit, global programme whose mission is to drive ethical and professional recruitment and labour supply that’s good for workers, recruiters and clients. RRT offers an unparalleled toolkit to help businesses achieve and be recognised for responsible recruitment including a ground-breaking online capacity building and self-assessment tool, interactive online training, events and collaborative sector forums, independent labour provider certification and expert consultancy.


E: Hannah Newcomb –