The UK 2016 NAP’s Introduction provides that [page 2 & 4]:

“This update allows us to:

-reflect the developments which have taken place at the international level since the UK’s National Action Plan was first published, including guidance on implementation and the experience of other countries;

As part of our commitment to updating the National Action Plan the Government held a series of public consultation events, looking at the plan as a whole, the approach to implementation, and examining in more detail some of the elements contained in the three pillars of the UNGPs. The consultations produced some clear messages from business and civil society regarding the Government’s responsibilities and actions in this regard. These included suggestions that the Government should:

  • support, and signpost, sector-specific guidance, whilst recognising that Government is often not best-placed to be the primary source of such guidance;”

The UK 2016 NAP in The existing UK legal and policy framework states that [page 6]:

“The UNGPs set out the general regulatory and policy measures a state may take in order to fulfil their duty to protect against human rights violations by third parties, including business enterprises. They recommend that states should:

  • Provide guidance to business enterprises”

The UK 2016 NAP in Actions taken states [page 9]

“To give effect to the UN Guiding Principles, the Government has:

(v) in 2015, the ISO 28007 maritime standard and ISO 18788 land standard for Private Security Companies were published. The UK Accreditation Service (UKAS) conducted a pilot certification process and has issued guidance for certifying bodies for ISO28007, including on human rights. UKAS will also issue guidance on ISO18788.

(vi) supported the UN Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises in their role to promote uptake of the UNGPs and develop guidance and best practice.

The UK 2016 NAP makes an explicit reference to guidance to business in the section devoted to Government Expectations of Business [page 14]:

“The Government has supported important industry led initiatives that have gained ground over the last two years, including on reporting, benchmarking performance and practical sector guidance”.

The UK 2016 NAP in the section on Actions taken to support business implementation of the UNGPs notes that [page 15]:

“To help businesses to fulfil their responsibility to respect human rights the Government has:

(ii) provided guidance to companies on transparency in supply chains and implementing the reporting requirement in the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

(iii) partnered with the Cyber Growth Partnership industry guidance on assessing human rights risks relating to cyber security exports, with techUK and input from civil society. port_Risks_website_FINAL_3.pdf

(iv) provided funding to the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark Initiative, the first wide scale project to rank companies on their human rights performance..

(v) supported the UNGPs Reporting Framework, the world’s first comprehensive guidance for companies to report on how they respect human rights.

(vi) provided funding for the Economist Intelligence Unit research report on business leadership attitudes to and actions on the corporate responsibility to respect human rights.

(vii) continued to update and promote the joint FCO-UKTI Overseas Business Risk (OBR) service, which provides information about business environments in the countries where UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) has a presence, to ensure it includes specific country human rights information and links to the UNGPs and other relevant tools and guidance.”

The UK 2016 NAP in the section on Government Commitments mentions guidance to business while discussing how the government will continue to encourage UK companies to respect human rights in their work [page 16]:

“We will: provide support to Board Directors on human rights reporting and practical guidance for companies in the care and security sectors in the UK, through Equality and Human Rights Commission funded projects. (…)”

The UK 2016 NAP, states in the section UNGPs Reporting Framework + Unilever Human Rights Report, that [page 17]:

“The FCO’s Human Rights and Democracy Fund supported Shift to develop the UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework. This is the first comprehensive guidance for companies to report on human rights issues in line with their responsibility to respect human rights. In today’s ever more transparent world, companies are under increasing pressure to show that they respect human rights throughout their operations and value chains. There is increasing demand for greater formal reporting by companies on their human rights performance, including from regulations such as the EU non-financial reporting directive and the UK’s Companies Act and Modern Slavery Act reporting requirements. The UNGPs Reporting Framework provides companies clear and straightforward guidance on how to answer these questions with relevant and meaningful information about their human rights policies, processes and performance. We are pleased to see UK companies at the forefront of best practice in reporting on human rights. Unilever became the first adopter of the Framework when they published their groundbreaking human rights report in July 2015”.

The UK 2016 NAP refers to guidance to business in Care and Security Sectors [page 17]:

“The Commission is working with the Institute of Human Rights and Business to publish guidance in early 2016 for UK businesses in the care and private security sectors. The guidance will include an assessment of the main human rights impacts in each sector and practical guidance for managers in areas such as human resources, operational delivery and procurement.”

The UK 2016 NAP further addresses guidance to business with regards to Cyber Export [page 18]:

“Normally, exports that could cause harm, such as arms, are covered by the export licensing regime. However, many cyber capabilities, products and services are not listed. This problem was recognized by the Cyber Growth Partnership a joint body representing industry, academia and government. The FCO worked with techUK, a technology trade association, and the Institute for Human Rights and Business to produce practical guidance for companies on managing human rights risks.”

The UK 2016 NAP, in the section devoted to Government Commitments, a case studies highlights the EHRC-project on grievance mechanisms [page 22]:

“The Commission is working with Ergon Associates to publish guidance early in 2016 for UK companies to ensure their grievance procedures are aligned with their human rights impacts. It will provide guidance on how to satisfy the criteria for effective grievance mechanisms in the UN Guiding Principles and illustrate these with relevant case studies. It will help companies to think about their human rights impacts and how they manage complaints in relation to their workforce (including supply chain), their customers and for the communities they operate in. It is being developed in consultation with business, government and civil society stakeholders.”