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Our work with companies

Through our three-tiered Clarity-Vigilance-Remedy approach,
the Reflex team works with companies to help shine light on actual and potential
supply chain problems and implement practical solutions quickly.
We will help you achieve important early improvements as you pursue long-term,
integrated and sustainable solutions.

1. We start with strategy and staff training to develop clarity and help advance your overall program.
2. We help you adopt active vigilance by overcoming initial policy development barriers and
social audit limitations.
3. We focus on remedy by helping you apply positive communications along with proactive
remediation and compliance planning.

Clarity through preparing your business
Get educated on the issue, the response options already being used, and the resources available
Comprehend the scale of the issue for your company
Get leadership endorsement on owning the responsibility to provide remedy where people are at risk — not just where the company is at risk
Work through collaborative approaches rather than go-it-alone
Carefully target resources to respond effectively — structure, staff, budget
Change procurement practices that drive suppliers to use forced labour
Specific, focused supply chain mapping exercise assessing sectoral and regional risks

Vigilance through leveraging existing resources
Join (or start) ethical business alliances where companies share joint concerns and resources
Adopt joint supplier certification model with alliance partners
Implement joint supplier audit program with alliance partners
Engage suppliers to identify opportunities for parties in the same supply chain to share and cooperate
Collaborate on monitoring, including through "worker voice" processes

Remedy through proactive response
Put in place a corporate code of conduct based on a recognized industry template
Communicate to staff, investors, suppliers, customers and the public
Produce a Transparency in Supply Chains statement
Train staff
Engage on giving vulnerable workers a voice
Reflex at a glance

Reflex – a specialized program of the Research and Communications Group – offers customized engagements to help organizations implement practical, timely solutions to labour issues within their supply chains.

Throughout global supply chains, many workers continue to be heavily exploited in situations that they cannot realistically leave. In dealing with this modern form of the slave trade, many companies simply don’t know where to start.

We can work with you to move beyond standard social audits, helping you to:
- develop sound communication, remediation and compliance plans
- establish or improve mechanisms to give workers a voice
- identify how technology can assist in meeting your goals.

We can also help you develop links and work collaboratively with other organizations.
See “What we offer” for a comprehensive list of our services.

A shared goal and vision
RCG’s Reflex team is committed to working with all parties toward developing sustainable global supply chains free from exploitative labour practices. To achieve this goal, we must:
- ensure a voice for all workers
- drive the adoption of values and global standards/norms through remedial actions
- develop robust mechanisms to deal with exposures and instances of noncompliance
- keep commercial objectives in mind, including through minimizing direct compliance costs, using shared resources, and seeking offsets such as productivity gains
- identify and target areas of high risk and impact, including the “first mile” of the migrant worker recruitment journey
- measure forced labour remediation outcomes and take action to avoid recurrence.

The RCG Reflex team
John Dove  -  Phil Marshall  -  Alessandra Spigno
Our consultants have authored or co-authored various publications
on ethical labour practices in supply chains, including:
The Reflex approach

RCG Reflex encourages companies to pursue long-term, integrated and sustainable
to eliminate exploitative labour practices from their supply chains.

Since 2011, when California legislation focused attention on the exploitation of workers in global
supply chains, governments have begun to implement laws on supply chain transparency, ban imports
made from forced labour, and place more attention on their own recruitment practices, including through prohibitions on worker recruitment fees.

As the legal framework continues to evolve, and technology provides consumers with easier access to information on how products are made, companies have also begun to face civil action from both workers and consumers.

Recognizing that responses aimed at meeting minimum legal requirements are short-sighted and inefficient, we will help your business move toward exemplary supply chain practice.

Supply chain clarity, vigilance and governance
Workplace fairness and remediation of labour violation
Risk assessment and monitoring
Management commitment, policies, staff training
Criminal legislation
Government procurement eligibility
Supply chain transparency reporting
Restrictions on imports made with forced labour
Compliance with labour laws
What is the problem?

There are 24.9 million people in forced labour globally, of whom 16 million are in the private economy, often involved in making products that reach global supply chains. Many more face unfair working conditions.

Workers in supply chain may be exposed to:
  • Excessive recruitment fees
  • Contract substitution
  • Excessive overtime and withholding of benefits
  • Non-payment of wages and overtime
  • Debt bondage
  • Illegal deductions
  • Withholding of passports and other documents
  • Deprivation of liberty
  • Intimidation, threats and violence
  • Discrimination
  • Child labour
  • Unsafe workplaces and living conditions

Companies need to act to:
  • Comply with labour laws
  • Comply with supply chain reporting requirements
  • Ensure sustainability of human rights in supply chains
  • Reduce reputational risk
  • Ensure eligibility for government procurement contracts
  • Reduce the risk of legal actions

What we offer

  • Targeted research and policy guidance
    • Migrant worker experiences
    • Ethical recruitment practices
    • Worker voice initiatives
    • Sector-specific issues

  • Tool development
    • Interactive, web-based toolkit for identification and remediation of labour abuses
    • Due diligence checklist for the hospitality sector application
    • Compliance with supply chain transparency legislation

  • Senior staff engagement and training
    • Introduction to forced labour issues in supply chains
    • Legal and ethical responsibilities
    • Key components of an effective response
    • Developing policies and codes of conduct

  • Training for operational staff (e.g. procurement staff, CSR staff)
    • Introduction to forced labour issues in supply chains
    • Work process breakdown — sequence, quantify, assign
  • Procurement processes (code of conduct, certification, verification)
    • Supply chain mapping and risk assessment
    • Working with suppliers
    • Managing and complementing audit (monitoring)
    • Supply chain reporting