Newsletter Issue 15 – June 2022
Welcome to the June issue of the Fast Forward Newsletter. This month’s news and signposts to helpful guidance are on:
Fast Forward news:
- The second Fast Forward Supplier Forum was held on the 9th June – slides now available
- Fast Forward transfers ownership to Stronger Together
- New guidance on supporting workers affected by the war in Ukraine
Industry and legislative news:
- Relevant industry highlights from the Queen’s Speech
- Leicester Textile and Garment Worker’s Trust publishes report – ‘Fashioning a Beautiful Future’
- Government available support for SMEs to train, invest and innovate. Are you eligible?
We’d also like to get your feedback whether you’re a brand, supplier, factory, warehouse or other organisation. Please do get in touch.
The Fast Forward Team
Supplier Engagement Programme (SEP)
Thank you sincerely to all suppliers that attended our second SEP Supplier Forum on 9th June. It was great to receive your further queries, input and feedback into the programme.
You can now access the slides from the Forum here (when logged-in) with the updates on developments to Fast Forward’s audit standards for 2022-2023, labour costing guidance, Brand Ethical Maturity Framework, new SEP resources available and other ethical compliance topics on the horizon.
The date of our next Supplier Forum will be announced shortly.
FAST FORWARD NEWS
From 1st June, Fast Forward transferred ownership to the not-for-profit organisation Stronger Together alongside our sister programmes the Responsible Recruitment Toolkit (RRT) and Clearview, formalising their not-for-profit status. All businesses will continue to be able to access our free guidance and resources and receive the benefits they are entitled to. Over the coming months, stakeholders will see further alignment between the programmes, activities and branding.
Stronger Together announced its relaunch with a wider mission and vision of “A world where all workers are recruited responsibly and have fair work free from exploitation”.
This wider remit enables Stronger Together to work together with organisations to embed responsible recruitment and employment practices alongside its current focus on mitigating forced labour and hidden labour exploitation – recognising that these go hand-in-hand in driving effective human rights due diligence in global supply chains.
Leading the new organisation will be two co-CEOs – Jantine Werdmüller von Elgg and Hannah Newcomb who will have shared responsibility for organisational strategy as well as defined functional accountabilities. David Camp is appointed as Company Chair and non-Executive Director. An independent Advisory Committee will be recruited to provide insight and thought leadership and aid the organisation in achieving its vision.
We would like to invite you to a launch webinar on 12th July at 3pm BST to hear more about how this change can benefit you, will expand our offering and answer any questions you might have.
Supporting workers affected by the war in Ukraine
An estimated 6.6 million people have fled Ukraine since Russia invaded in February this year.
In response, Stronger Together and its partners have created an informative guide for UK businesses to help in ensuring that workers affected by this conflict are protected from harm, and have a positive recruitment and employment experience.
Included in this guide:
- Up to date information on right to work, visa routes and offering work and accommodation.
- Practical steps to ensure responsible recruitment and employment.
- Guidance on supporting Ukrainians already in the UK, those looking to enter and people from other affected groups.
This document will be regularly updated as the situation progresses. The latest version will always be available through this link.
The Queen’s Speech
The Queen’s Speech signifies the formal opening of each new session of Parliament and allows the government to set out its priorities and programme for the coming session, including the legislation that it intends to pass.
The 2022 Queens Speech included:
- The establishment of a new statutory regulator to improve protection against risks to jobs, pensions, and suppliers from unexpected company collapses
- Reform of the UK’s competition regime
- Strengthening of the Modern Slavery Act, section 54 reporting updates:
- Single reporting deadline 30th September
- Common reporting period, 1st April – 31st March
- Mandatory content topics
- New official government run registry for all statements
- Financial penalties for non compliance
- A Bill to reduce economic crime, including fraud and money laundering and improve Companies House processes and data collection to inform business transactions across the country
- Modernisation of the business rates system.
There was no mention of the Employment Bill which was expected to be included for the government to fulfil its 2019 manifesto commitment “to make the UK the best place in the world to work”.
Leicester Textile and Garment Worker’s Trust
publishes research report
A study into the lives and working conditions of Leicester garment workers has identified nine key areas that the sector can improve upon.
The researchers have published their findings, along with their recommendations for intervention, and priority areas for major retailers and government agencies to focus on to improve workers’ lives and working conditions. Read more here
Government support for small or medium business (SME)
Get a discount of up to £5,000 on software, with Help to Grow: Digital – a UK-wide government-backed scheme that aims to help you choose, buy and adopt digital technologies that will help you grow your business. Eligible businesses can receive a 50% discount on buying new software worth up to £5,000 per SME, alongside free impartial advice and guidance about what digital technology is best suited to boost your business performance. For more information and to apply, visit Help to Grow on GOV.UK. To find out what other support may be available for your business, search ‘business support’ on GOV.UK.
Just Good Work
*Ukrainian poster now available for download
Just Good Work is a free, interactive mobile app giving jobseekers and workers from the UK or abroad critical information and advice on recruitment and employment. The Fast Forward audit now requires businesses to display the Just Good Work poster.
Posters are are available for download in seven languages languages from the Fast Forward website: Albanian, Bulgarian, English, Gujarati, Polish, Romanian and now Ukrainian.
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