The Modern Slavery Act 2015 – what you should know

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What is “the Modern Slavery Act”?

The Act is a piece of legislation that was introduced into UK law last year to ensure transparency in an organisation (including its supply chain) with respect to slavery and human trafficking

Does it apply to my organisation?

If your organisation:

  1. supplies goods and/or services;
  2. carries on any part of its business in the UK; and
  3. has a minimum global annual turnover of £36 million.

Then, yes, the Act will apply to your organisation.

What do I have to do?

If the Act applies to your organisation, you are required to publish an annual slavery and human trafficking statement (Statement). The Statement must be approved at Board level, signed by a company director and published on your organisation’s website.

What do I include in the Statement?

There is no prescribed form for the Statement nor any set criteria for its content. The Act itself does, however, provide guidance as what to include in the Statement as follows:

  • the organisation’s structure, its business and its supply chains;
  • its policies in relation to modern slavery;
  • its due diligence processes in relation to modern slavery in its business and supply chains;
  • the parts of its business and supply chains where there is a risk of modern slavery taking place, and the steps it has taken to assess and manage that risk;
  • its effectiveness in ensuring modern slavery is not taking place in its business or supply chains, measured against such performance indicators as it considers appropriate; and
  • the training about modern slavery available to its staff.

Do I have to produce a Statement now?

Although the requirement to publish a Statement took effect from 29 October 2015, any organisation whose financial year end is before 31 March 2016 does not have to produce a Statement for their 2015/16 financial year. You will, however, have to publish a Statement next financial year.

I have some questions about this

If you have any questions about the Act, the Statement or your organisation’s requirements, please contact Anthony Coultas on 0191 211 7976 or [email protected].