Modern slavery and supply chains: Part 1

Modern slavery and supply chains: Part 1

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 (MSA 2015) came into force a few weeks ago on 31 July 2015.

It is the first of its kind in Europe to specifically address slavery and trafficking in the twenty-first century.

What's more, companies with a turnover of more than £36m will be required to report on slavery and human trafficking in their supply chains from October 2015.

Claire Falconer, legal director of Focus on Labour Exploitation, examines this reporting requirement in more detail and the implications for companies if they do not comply.

What obligations does MSA 2015 place on employers in terms of preventing slavery and human trafficking taking place in their supply chains?

MSA 2015, s 54 requires certain businesses to prepare and publish an annual ‘slavery and human trafficking statement’ that outlines what businesses are or are not doing to address slavery and human trafficking.

This provision will come into force in October 2015 and will apply to ‘commercial organisations’ conducting business or part of a business in the UK, and with an annual turnover of £36m or more.

Statements must set out what steps the business 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.

A statement may also say that a business has taken no such steps.

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