Legal & General has signed up to a UK government programme aiming to eradicate slavery and labour exploitation in the construction sector.
In an announcement on Thursday (20 August), the insurer said it had signed up to the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) Construction Protocol for its real estate portfolio businesses, as part of its commitment to advancing human rights across the sector.
Other signatories already signed up to the government initiative include some of the biggest names in UK construction.
“Through the GLAA Modern Slavery protocol, we are promoting a necessary sector wide shift, exemplary of our group-wide inclusive capitalism philosophy,” explained Sara Heald, L&G’s head of corporate social responsibility.
“As one of the largest managers of real assets in the UK, Legal & General has a responsibility to invest in a more resilient and responsible future.”
Heald said the business needs to ensure that it commits to a robust ESG and human rights agenda if it is to be able to successfully invest in, and create, socially and environmentally impactful assets.
“It is essential that all businesses take the appropriate steps to investigate and report matters such as worker abuse and exploitation, where we have the opportunity to create true tangible difference,” she added.
“I am proud of how the various L&G property businesses have worked together to commit to this important protocol and demonstrate significant accountability, as we look to transform the sector.”
In recent months, Legal & General has been pushing hard to expand its ESG commitments. In June, it announced plans to ensure all of its new housing stock would be “operational net zero carbon-enabled” by 2030.
Earlier in the year, the company also took a 36% stake in The Kensa Group, a ground source heat pump technology business.
Both strategic initiatives relate to the company’s commitment to prepare the business for a low carbon future.