Abbey Petkar, managing director of Magenta Security is advising business of all shapes and sizes that they might unwittingly be supporting modern day slavery through their use of low-cost security providers.
The Magenta team has recently lost tenders against low-cost security providers that charge workers out at less than £10 per hour, which Magenta believes is commercially unsustainable. When legally required taxes, pensions and other statutory requirements (such as holidays) are added to the national minimum wage it is impossible to charge such low rates, yet some continue to do so.
By hiring these low-cost security providers, businesses are often unwittingly going against their own CSR and anti-slavery policies, whilst allowing criminal levels of pay to continue.
Magenta is strongly advising business owners and directors to pay special attention to workers pay and to check their own systems and processes to ensure they are not part of the problem by condoning this practice.
“There are any number of perfectly innocent reasons why this is happening, and people might genuinely be getting a good deal,” comments Abbey Petkar, manging director of Magenta Security. “Perhaps workers on the ground making decisions have seen a good price and not considered the consequences, perhaps the security firm is providing guards as a loss leader for other services. However, in most cases low-cost traders are at fault, abusing their workforce, paying below minimum wage and getting away with it because the guards are desperate for work.”
Petkar concludes: “Owners, directors and managers of companies need to be made aware of what is going on within their businesses and they need to react accordingly. Whilst the actual criminal behaviour in this scenario might lie at the feet of the security provider, I think we can all agree that it is morally criminal for organisations to knowingly use cheap providers that in turn violate the basic rights of their workers and are therefore complicit in modern day slavery.”