firm news

The new Modern Slavery Act
05 April 2016

The new Modern Slavery Act (the “Act”) has imposed a duty on organisations with a presence in the UK and a global turnover of over £36 million to publicly report steps taken to ensure that their operations and supply chains are transparent and free from slavery and human trafficking.  Organisations whose year end is 31 March 2016 will be the first affected by the Act.

To comply, organisations need to publish an annual statement on measures taken to combat slavery and trafficking both in their workplace and in their supply chains. This annual statement needs to be signed and approved by the board or equivalent level and made accessible on the organisation’s website.

As well as those larger organisations that come under the remit of the new legislation, common sense dictates that if an organisation has a demonstrable presence in the UK, or forms part of larger organisations' supply chains, it would be wise for that organisation to issue their own statement because voluntarily producing a statement can avoid negative publicity, attract customers, and facilitate transparency within the organisation.

We have produced a Modern Slavery Act Toolkit for employers which contains:

  1. An Organisation Guide to the Modern Slavery Act
  2. A Modern Slavery Act Policy for Employee Handbooks
  3. A Template Modern Slavery Act Statement

We also offer targeted Modern Slavery Act Training to employers and their staff, which will form part of your compliance with the Act. Training will cover, amongst other points:

  1. How to spot and respond to the signs of modern slavery
  2. How to provide whistleblowing and grievance mechanisms and
  3. The disciplinary penalties and commercial outcomes for non-compliance with the Act

If you are concerned about how the Modern Slavery Act affects your organisation or for more information on our Modern Slavery Act Toolkit or our Modern Slavery Act Training for your organisation, please contact Darren Smith on [email protected] or 0118 952 7112. 

Consistent with our policy when giving comment and advice on a non-specific basis, we cannot assume legal responsibility for the accuracy of any particular statement. In the case of specific problems we recommend that professional advice be sought.

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