Guide to compliance with Modern Slavery Act published by UK government

Paul Snell is managing editor at Supply Management
29 October 2015

The Home Office has published guidance for firms covered by the Modern Slavery Act.

The document, Transparency in supply chains etc. a practical guide, has been produced by the UK government with the help of businesses and civil society to help companies comply with the legislation.

The Act, which gained Royal Assent in March and came into force in October, requires companies with a turnover of more than £36 million a year to prepare a statement explaining what they are doing to tackle modern slavery.

The guidance provides details on who needs to comply, how a statement should be written, constructed and published, and what to do if slavery is identified in the supply chain.

It said a statement must contain the steps taken by an organisation, approved and signed by a director, member or partner, and must be published on an organisation’s website with a prominent link on the homepage.

Home secretary Theresa May said in the foreword to the guidance: "It is simply not acceptable for any organisation to say, in the 21st century, that they did not know. It is not acceptable for organisations to ignore the issue because it is difficult or complex. And, it is certainly not acceptable for organisations to put profit above the welfare and wellbeing of its employees and those working on its behalf.

“We must take a strong and collective stand to stop the callous and brutal individuals who are prepared to abuse men, women and children for their own personal gain. I know that many large global organisations are already tackling this issue head on but we must not let our guard down.

“By increasing supply chain accountability, more workers will be protected and consumers will have greater confidence in the goods and services they buy. That is why the transparency in supply chains provision is world leading and will bring about the change that is so vitally needed.”

The document also features case studies from organisations, as well as practical support. In addition it provides links to other guidance and external resources such as the modern slavery helpline.

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