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Ethical Business Programme

Driving Ethical Procurement practices

Our Ethical Business programme supports your business’ social and regulatory compliance, providing a holistic view across labour practices supported with guidance to help you analyse and prevent unethical business practices within your supply chain. We equip companies with the tools to support continuous improvement in tackling the problem, and the means of tracking progress to help stay ahead of unethical business practices in individual business and supply chains.



  • Assess how your standards are followed by suppliers and contractors
  • Manifest your company’s commitment to ensuring the fair treatment of workers


  • Understand the trends and workforce profile of your supply chain
  • Demonstrate actions based on independently verified evidence


  • Mitigate risks that could lead to labour malpractice and safety issues in your business and supply chain
  • Enhance transparency and visibility of working practices within your business and supply chain
  • Receive an independent, impartial view of supplier or contractor performance

Hear from Alice Hands, Head of Ethical and Sustainable Procurement at Sir Robert McAlpine on her experience with our Ethical Business Programme (formally Labour Practice Audits).

The Programme

Our Ethical Business Programme is supported by the Achilles Ethical Business Working Group formed of leading construction and infrastructure companies and is supported by anti- slavery charity, Unseen UK. The Ethical Business programme has the primary objective of raising standards relating to ethical employment practices through cross industry collaboration. There are two types of assessment we use to support customers within the programme:

Ethical Site Survey

Dynamic, confidential worker interviews capturing feedback on the employment conditions of workers across multiple disciplines and trades on operational project sites.

Ethical Employment Audit

Focussing on your company’s processes of engagement and employment of both direct and indirectly employed workers. Involving an inspection of company’s documents employment records, policies and procedures.

Continuous improvement is the key to mitigating risks of worker exploitation and modern slavery. Having a long-term approach to managing and mitigating risks and regularly reviewing progress will ensure businesses know where they are and where they need to get to. In doing so, businesses will be able to recognise the signs of exploitation and deal with them effectively, learning lessons and applying them back into core business practises. To make the progress needed, we must create a more transparent environment and move away from the tick box mentality that is sadly failing workers in all sectors.’ Justine Currell, Executive Director, Unseen UK.

5 Key Parts of the Ethical Business Programme

The 5 parts of our programme can be tailored to your organisational needs, specific to your requirements.



Develop a high level understanding of your suppliers’ compliance on ethical business and human rights focused on regulatory requirements and recognised international standards.


Going beyond the high-level view in stage 1, our qualified auditors will carry out anonymous face to face interviews on site with a random sample of workers. You will be able to gather insight into workforce wages, right to work, temporary work, provision of rest time, fair treatment, and modern slavery awareness.


An in-depth management system audit designed to identify areas of improvement through the assessment of employment processes and employment terms conditions. The audit is focussed on all aspects of the workforce including your own employees, agency staff, sub-contractors and other third parties.


To support continuous improvement within the programme, we offer discounted training services with partners such as Unseen UK and SCSS. Providing you with the correct tools to address issues and develop meaningful, long term targets to help prevent any future risks of unethical business practices in your supply chain.


We will provide you with a regular key insight report across the whole programme, including high level stats and strategic information to benchmark and drive continuous improvement.

Why us?

At Achilles, our purpose is to help you raise your ethical business standards and improve your business performance. With our Ethical Business Programme, we empower organisations allowing you to identify, analyse and improve your business’ social and regulatory compliance. We guide you through the whole cycle offering insights to track and measure improvement, helping you take the action where necessary and mitigate the risk of unethical business practices in your business and supply chain. Request a call back for more information.

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