Greater enforcement, greater protection
The Modern Slavery Act came into force in 2015 to recognise and thwart the growing
problem of slavery,
and human trafficking
in the UK.
The Act provides a clear definition of modern slavery and puts in place greater
powers to enable law enforcement bodies to tackle this issue, while ensuring that
victims can access support and protection. In addition, an Independent Anti-Slavery
Commissioner position has been created to encourage good practice in the prevention,
detection, investigation and prosecution of modern slavery offences.
The focus of the Act has been to strengthen the action to tackle modern slavery
and since its introduction there has been growing awareness and publicity of enforcement
action. For business, the main change has been the introduction of section 54, Transparency
in supply chains.
Does your business have a turnover greater than £36m?
If the answer is yes, then Section 54: Transparency in supply chains will apply
to your business. This requires
the production of a statement that should detail the steps your
business has taken to tackle modern slavery within the business, as well as within
its supply chain, during the financial year.
A link to the statement should be published on your company’s website homepage.
In addition, the Home Office are:
What to look out for in 2019
Many businesses have responded to the Section 54 requirement; however, there
has been criticism that policing of this has been limited. The Home Office has responded
by writing to organisations that they believe need to comply.
A list of non-compliant organisations will be announced following an
audit on 31 March 2019.
Do you need support?
According to TISC Report, there are 8,276 UK organisations, which despite having
had 12 months to produce one, have not yet published a statement. While a review
by the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre has highlighted that many companies
are not meeting the legal minimum requirements for the statements:
Source: Modern Slavery Registry, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
We can help businesses to meet requirements under the Modern Slavery Act. Please
Modern Slavery web page for further details of how we can help
or call us on 03450 682 572 to find out more.