On Thursday 14th September, John Devereaux (middle of photo), Supply Chain Manager and Brian Handcock (right of photo), Head of Sustainability at John Sisk & Sons ran a webinar to educate staff on Modern Slavery. O’Neill & Brennan Director Julian King was invited to present on the recruitment section of modern slavery and the systems and procedures we have in place to ensure compliance.

The webinar was a success and touched on points that many people would not be aware of as part of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, and what we can do collectively to help prevent it.

The key take outs from the webinar were:

The forms of Modern Slavery

  • Forced Labour – any work or service which people are forced to do against their will
  • Debt bondage or bonded labour – the most common form of slavery, when people borrow money they cannot repay and are required to work to pay off the debt
  • Human Trafficking – transporting, recruiting or harbouring of people for the purpose of exploitation, using threats, violence or coercion
  • Descent-based slavery – people are born into slavery because their ancestors were captured or enslaved
  • Child Slavery – occurs when child labour is exploited for someone else’s gain. Includes child trafficking, child soldiers, child marriage and domestic slavery
  • Forced and early marriage – when someone is married against their will. Most child marriages can be considered child slavery

What can we do to help?

How to spot signs of Modern Slavery

  • Physical Appearance – victims may show signs of physical or psychological abuse
  • Isolation – victims may not be allowed to travel on their own
  • Poor Living Conditions – victims may live in cramped, dirty or overcrowded accommodation
  • Few or No Personal Effects – victims may have no form of identification or few personal belongings
  • Restricted Freedom of Movement – victims may have their travel documents retained
  • Unusual Travel Times – they may be dropped off and collected from work regularly either very early or late at night
  • A Reluctance to Seek Help – victims may avoid eye contact, appear frightened and hesitant to talk and fear law enforcers for many reasons whilst not knowing where to get help

How to report suspected slavery


Police 999 or Non-Emergency dial 101

Modern Slavery Helpline 0800 0121 700

Crimestoppers 0800 555 111


Gardai 999 or 112

Crimestoppers 1800 25 00 25

How O’Neill & Brennan ensure Modern Slavery is not in our business

As part of our clients supply chain, we need to be 100% compliant in our recruitment processes.

  • We look to the latest checking technology advancements
  • We ensure robust systems and procedures internally
  • We are audited by the REC for compliance (100% at last audit)
  • All workers are paid National Living wage as a minimum
  • All workers are paid into their own bank accounts

We do not withhold identity documents, wages are paid on time, working conditions are safe and decent, we do not charge fees to workers, our contracts are clear, workers are free to leave if they wish.

The webinar conclusion

Despite it being illegal, Modern Slavery still exists today more than ever.

As businesses and individuals we have a responsibility to ensure we do everything we can to stop it through:

  • Introducing tougher legislation in all countries
  • Ensuring we speak up and inform the authorities if we suspect it
  • Ensure we have and abide by industry leading practices in checking and screening people
  • Ensuring our own Supply Chains are free from Modern Slavery
  • Educating others on Modern Slavery

(This formed part of John Sisk & Sons monthly webinar series for internal staff)