The UK Modern Slavery Act is a piece of legislation designed to address modern slavery in supply chains. Companies with a global turnover of 36 million British pounds that conduct business, or part of their business, in the United Kingdom (UK) are required to publish a public statement each financial year on their website detailing the due diligence steps they have taken to reduce the risk of modern slavery in their operations.
For more information on the UK Modern Slavery Act, visit the UK Government website.
Company Requirements Under the Act
Companies are not required to follow a specific format when writing their statement. However, Section 54 of the UK Modern Slavery Act does provide some information companies should try to include in their disclosures. For example, the statement can provide details about the company’s structure and business, as well as the nature of its supply chain. The statement must also explain the due diligence processes the company has taken to eliminate modern slavery from its supply chain, or declare if no due diligence steps have been taken at all. Companies are recommended to include details about their policies to combat human trafficking, a review of the effectiveness of their approaches and more.
The statement must be easily accessible from the home page of the company’s website, approved by the board or equivalent and signed by executive staff. Compliance with the UK Modern Slavery Act necessitates companies to have a thorough understanding of recommended guidelines and mandatory requirements.
A detailed look at what to include in your company’s statement can be found in the eBook: Human Trafficking, Slavery & Your Supply Chain.
Non-Compliance With the Act
Non-compliance with the requirements of the act subjects companies to a variety of potential consequences under the law. For example, companies could be ordered to publish a statement by the court or be subject to an unlimited fine. Companies may also receive pressure from stakeholders and consumers to comply with the act and ensure their operations are free of modern slavery.