United Kingdom

The UK 2013 NAP provides in the section detailing The existing UK legal and policy framework that [page 9]:

“The UK has created or endorsed a number of instruments that motivate different aspects of good corporate behaviour and respect for human rights. These include:

  • the UK Bribery Act where, in line with our OECD commitments, UK companies are now liable in the UK for acts of bribery committed anywhere in the world;
  • the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work adopted in 1998 and the 8 core ILO Conventions ratified by the UK on labour standards;
  • the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, where the UK is generally recognised as having one of the most effective National Contact Points;
  • Section 172 of the Companies Act 2006, which makes it clear that, in fulfilling their duty to act in a way which they consider would be most likely to promote the success of the company, directors must think about matters which might have a bearing on that success, including the interests of the company’s employees and the impact on the community of the company’s operations.

The UK 2016 Updated NAP reiterates these instruments [page 7] and makes an implicit reference to corporate law and governance when it raises the issue of the Modern Slavery Act which regulates reporting obligations of certain companies.

The UK 2016 Updated NAP also notes in the chapter on UK Action Plan implementation and further development that [page 24]:

“A non-exhaustive list of the different mechanisms for the promotion of good corporate behaviour, together with the Government departments that lead on them, is available on the online copy of this paper, found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/bhr-action-plan