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Further, it is important for large businesses to be transparent and accountable to investors, employees, consumers and the public. Due diligence processes and reporting are essential management tools that improve risk identification and long-term social, environmental and financial performance.
The requirement applies across all industry sectors, not just retail and manufacturing, as is the case with other laws dealing with transparency in supply chains (eg, the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act 2012).
"Applying a common sense approach will mean that organisations that do not have a demonstrable business presence in the [UK] will not be caught by the provision. Likewise, having a UK subsidiary will not, in itself, mean that a parent company is carrying on a business in the UK, since a subsidiary may act completely independently of its parent or other group companies."
as such conduct would represent good practice and demonstrates that the organisation is committed to preventing modern slavery. This approach is recommended in particular where the non-UK subsidiary is in a high-risk industry or location.
'Total turnover' is calculated as:
In addition to legal consequences for non-compliance, businesses may face consumer backlash and reputational damage for not having taken any steps or for having taken insufficient steps. Further, investors may choose to invest with businesses with more ethical practices.
Organisations which already have corporate social responsibility (CSR) or ethical trade activities, procedures or policies in place can build on those in relation to the requirements under MSA 2015, s 54.
Organisations may choose to link to publicly available documents or policies published on their websites to support the narrative in any modern slavery statements.
Annex E of the guidance provides information on the type of activity that could be included under each of the above bullet points (and why such information would be useful).
To increase transparency and accessibility, the statement should be published on an organisation’s website with a link in a prominent place on the home page (eg, clearly visible on the home page or part of a drop-down menu). The guidance recommends a link such as 'Modern Slavery Act Transparency Statement'.
If an organisation does not have a website, a copy of the statement must be provided to anyone who requests one in writing within 30 days or the receipt of the request.
If an organisation has more than one website, the statement should be placed on the most appropriate website relating to the organisation's business in the UK (or where there is more than one such website, a copy of the statement (or a link to it) should be included on each relevant website).
Organisations should publish their statements as soon as reasonably practicable after the end of the relevant financial year in which they are producing the statement, preferably within six months of their year end.
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