Modern Slavery Act

Our transparency statement on modern slavery and human trafficking

Whilst the British Library does not believe that its business and supply chains are especially susceptible to slavery or human trafficking, it is committed to conducting its affairs and securing goods, works and services without causing harm to others.

This statement, pursuant to section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, outlines how the Library ensures that modern slavery or human trafficking is not taking place within its own operations or its supply chain.

We often procure goods and services through framework agreements. These require suppliers to respect high ethical standards (such as the Base Code of the Ethical Trading Initiative) when engaging with international supply chains. We audit those which appear to include a medium to high risk of modern slavery, human trafficking, forced or bonded labour, or labour rights violations.

We seek assurances from all our key suppliers and organisations tendering for contracts, to ensure that they are observing acceptable ethical standards in relation to modern slavery and human trafficking. We expect all contracted suppliers to be compliant with the Modern Slavery Act and to give us assurances that they enforce ethical standards within their own businesses and supply chains. If we discover that any of our suppliers or potential suppliers are, or have been, involved in modern slavery, our policy is to do one or more of the following:

  • report any unlawful behaviour to the relevant authorities
  • take reasonable steps to encourage the supplier to remedy any unlawful or unethical behaviour
  • take reasonable steps to require the supplier to provide further assurances that all unlawful or unethical behaviour has ceased and will not recur, and
  • where possible, refrain from providing any further business to those suppliers. 

We notify relevant staff of the law in this sector and inform them about modern slavery, human trafficking, forced and bonded labour and labour rights violations.

We have clauses in our standard contracts which require suppliers and their supply chains to ensure that modern slavery, human trafficking, forced and bonded labour and labour rights violations do not occur in their supply chains.

Our recruitment policy, including checking every employee's right to work in the UK, helps safeguard against human trafficking.

All employees, agency workers and other representatives of the Library are expected to comply with our Code of Conduct. A whistleblowing policy enables any employee to raise concerns without fear of reprisal.