Modern Slavery Act 2015 update
Those of you who have attended our seminars over the past year may already be familiar with the obligations on some businesses under the Modern Slavery Act 2015, which is aimed at combating crimes of slavery and human trafficking. The Act consolidates offences relating to 21st century trafficking and slavery and is designed to enhance support and protection for victims; give law enforcement the tools they need to target today’s slave drivers; ensure perpetrators can be severely punished; and include a world leading provision to encourage businesses to take action to ensure their end-to-end supply chains are slavery free.
Section 54 of the Act, which came into force on 29 October 2015, requires a large organisation to set out the steps it has taken during the financial year to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place in any of its supply chains, and in any part of its own business. This means that commercial organisations, which operate in the UK and have a global turnover above £36 million, now have to publish a slavery and human trafficking statement for each financial year that ends on or after 31 March 2016.
The Home Office has published guidance on section 54, entitled, “Transparency in Supply Chains etc. A practical guide”. The guidance sets out the basic requirements of section 54, advice on what can be included in the statement and case studies on various topics that may be included in the statement. The Home Office guidance can be accessed here: www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/471996/Transpar