PRESS RELEASE: Retailers unite in mission to drive the responsible recruitment of workers in global supply chains

UK retailers including Aldi, Asda, Co-op, Kingfisher, M&S, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose & Partners have today announced an exceptional package of support for suppliers and recruitment businesses in their global supply chains to embed 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, the retailers have joined together as 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 with supporting training on embedding ethical and professional recruitment and labour supply practices.

“As leading retailers committed to tackling modern slavery and protecting vulnerable workers, we are pleased to announce this unprecedented suite of support for our supply chain to achieve consistent high standards of responsible recruitment. Tens of thousands of suppliers and recruitment businesses at every tier in our supply chains will be entitled to free support, helping to ensure we minimise the risks of worker exploitation and maximise the fair and ethical treatment of jobseekers and workers in our supply chains around the world”

Sponsor retailers

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

Brands, retailers and companies 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 some of the Sponsors:

“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 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

“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”

Aisha Aswani, Ethical Trade Manager, Co-op

“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.”

Nick Lakin, Director of Corporate Affairs, Kingfisher Plc

“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

“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.”

Ethical Trade team representative, Morrisons

“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.”

Sainsbury’s spokesperson

“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 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