Dame Sara Thornton welcomes Rathbones Group Plc Votes Against Slavery report
Rathbones Group Plc has today published its latest report on the Votes Against Slavery (VAS) coalition, which is supported by 97 investors with £7.8 trillion of assets under management.
In 2021, Votes Against Slavery targeted 61 FTSE 350 companies that were not compliant with the Modern Slavery Act. As a result of direct investor engagement, all 61 have since become compliant.
Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner Dame Sara Thornton welcomed the report, saying:
“The Votes Against Slavery coalition demonstrates the potential that investors have to drive up standards across the business community.
“The coalition found that levels of non-compliance with the Modern Slavery Act were nearly three times higher than in 2020. Although the Covid-19 pandemic, and subsequent furloughing of staff, was a contributing factor, the findings underline the fluid nature of compliance.
“Investors and lenders need to maintain ongoing vigilance of their financial portfolios. The principles behind Votes Against Slavery should be integrated into mainstream operations as soon as possible.”
Notes to editors
- Part 4 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 created the role of the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner. The Commissioner has a UK-wide remit to encourage good practice in the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of slavery and human trafficking offences and the identification of victims.
- The Commissioner is given an annual budget with which to appoint staff and carry out her duties. She is accountable through her strategic plan and annual reports, which the Secretary of State lays before Parliament, setting out the extent to which objectives and priorities are achieved. Her Strategic Plan 2019 – 2021 was launched in October 2019 and her Annual Report 2020 – 2021 was launched in September 2020.
- Dame Sara Thornton was appointed as the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner by the Secretary of State following consultation with the Scottish Ministers and the Department of Justice in Northern Ireland. She took up post at the beginning of May 2019 and her appointment is for three years.
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- Rathbones Group Plc (Rathbones), through its subsidiaries, is one of the UK’s leading providers of investment management services for individuals, charities and professional advisers. This includes discretionary investment management, unit trusts, tax planning, trust and company management, financial advice and banking services. Rathbones manages £68.2 billion of assets (as at 31 December 2021). This includes £13 billion managed by Rathbone Unit Trust Management. Rathbones has over 1,900 staff in 15 locations across the UK and Jersey.
- Rathbone Investment Management Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Registered office: Port of Liverpool Building, Pier Head, Liverpool L3 1NW. Registered in England No. 1448919. Rathbone Investment Management Limited is part of Rathbones Group Plc. Head office 8 Finsbury Circus London EC2M 7AZ.
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