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Friday, July 19, 2024

Parliamentary and Business Leaders Addressed by Lancaster Modern Slavery Expert

A Lancaster University Management School researcher took his work on modern slavery to the UK Houses of Parliament.

 

Dr Mahmoud Gad, a Lecturer in the Department of Accounting and Finance and a member of the Pentland Centre for Sustainability in Business, was one of the speakers at the Tackling Modern Slavery breakfast in the House of Commons Dining Room, hosted by the Industry and Parliament Trust, an independent charity that provides a trusted platform of engagement between Parliament and UK business.

 

Dr Gad is an expert in financial transparency. His current research focuses on measuring the quality of modern slavery reporting by firms. Dr Gad worked alongside Lancaster colleague Professor Steve Young, the Financial Reporting Council, and the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner on the Modern Slavery Reporting Practices in the UK report, published in 2022.

 

“Our report identified shortcomings in the quality of companies’ modern slavery reporting,” said Dr Gad. “The Modern Slavery Act of 2015 made it compulsory for firms with a turnover of more than £35m to annually disclose their work to tackle modern slavery, but thousands still do not. There are at least 10,000 people in the UK in situations of slavery, and it is vital that this issue continues to be highlighted and reporting standards improved upon.

 

“Speaking to such an influential audience of policy-makers and business leaders provides a platform to ensure people in position to influence and action change know what must be done.”

 

Dr Gad addressed an audience including the Chairs of the Home Affairs Select Committee, and the Select Committee on Procedure, alongside members of the All-Party Parliamentary Groups for Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery; Domestic Violence and Abuse; and Justice and Home Affairs.

 

There were also representatives from global consulting group Ankura; the British Standards Institution; multinational accounting firm network RSM; law firms Reed Smith LLP, Russell Cooke, Shoosmiths, and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP; and Hestia, who provide support for victims of modern slavery and domestic abuse.

 

Dr Gad spoke alongside Professor Andrew Crane, Director of the Centre for Business, Organisations and Society at the University of Bath; and Professor Simon Green, of the University of Hull at the event, chaired by Alison Thewliss MP, SNP Spokesperson for Home Affairs.

 

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