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How can modern slavery be stopped?

Posted on Monday, 7th March 2016 by

modern slavery

 

 

 

 

 

 
Modern slavery is a crime that affects communities and individuals across the world; it is an abuse of human rights involving, men, women and children.

The Government hopes that by tackling modern slavery this will help to protect those who are vulnerable and also prevent any violations to basic human rights. It can also be beneficial for businesses too:

 

  • the organisation’s reputation and brand is not only protected but also enhanced;
  • the organisation’s customer base can be expanded as more and more consumers look out for businesses who are ethical;
  • there will be an improvement in investor confidence;
  • the organisation can enjoy an increase in staff retention and loyalty as employees feel valued and respected; and
  • supply chains can be developed to be more responsive, stable and innovative

How is this problem being addressed?

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 introduced new obligations to large employers, and also simplified and codified the law on modern slavery.  The Act includes two offences: one for ‘human trafficking’ and another for ‘forced or compulsory labour, slavery or servitude’. These are defined in the practical guidance issued by the Government (see link below).

The key provision in the Modern Slavery Act 2015 for UK employers is section 54 which came into force 29 October 2015.  This section requires large commercial organisations to prepare a slavery and human trafficking statement for each financial year. Only commercial organisations carrying out business in the UK with an annual turnover of at least £36 million will be required to publish a statement. This is a statement that either:

 

  • sets out the steps that the organisation 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; or
  • states that the organisation has taken no such steps.

For organisations to produce an effective statement they will need to have a good understanding of their own supply chains in order to define the boundaries and to support the identification of risk.

More Information:

Should you need more information on Section 54 requirements, the Government has published a practical guide ‘Transparency in supply chains etc’ which gives advice on what employers can include in a statement.  Please see link below.

Transparency in Supply Chains – A practical guide

Should you require a Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Policy then please contact a consultant to discuss this further.  Having such commitment detailed in a policy can advertise to prospective potential customers, clients or suppliers and to internal stakeholders such as employees that your organisation is transparent and accountable.  Reporting requirements, even if you are not obliged to because of your organisations size, can drive better strategic understanding of the risks and impacts of an organisation’s core activities in relation to human rights and the environment.

If you would like to discuss this further please do not hesitate to get in touch with the employment law team in Loughborough

The information provided in all of our blogs reflects only a narrative of some elements to consider on the topic. The blogs do not contain considered legal advice and should not be relied upon as advice. Please see our website terms and conditions for full details of our disclaimer.  If you are interested in obtaining advice, please contact one of our solicitors who will be happy and able to advise you on your own particular circumstances.

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The information provided in all of our blogs reflects only a narrative of some elements to consider on the topic. The blogs do not contain considered legal advice and should not be relied upon as advice. Please see our website terms and conditions for full details of our disclaimer. If you are interested in obtaining advice, please contact one of our lawyers who will be happy and able to advise you on your own particular circumstances.

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Andrew Robinson - Employment Law
Andrew Robinson - Employment Law
andrew.robinson@ehlsolicitors.co.uk 01509 212 108
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