Modern Slavery Act, 2015

United Kingdom Current 2014

Initiated in 2013, the Modern Slavery Act aims to tackle modern slavery by cracking down on traffickers and improving the protection and support available to victims. In the UK this implies diverse sectors such as agriculture, hospitality, fishing, private homes and brothels. According to the UN modern slavery and trafficking is today the second-largest criminal industry in the world. The Act was  passed by the British Parliament and became law in March 2015. It applies to all organisations with a turnover, or group turnover (total turnover of a company and its subsidiaries) of £36 million or more which are either incorporated in the UK or carry on a business in the UK. Section 54 of the Act requires those organisations to prepare and publish a statement setting out the steps that they have taken during that financial year to ensure that slavery and human trafficking are not taking place: (i) anywhere in their supply chains; and (ii) in any part of their own business. If the organisation is a body corporate, then its anti-slavery statement must be approved by the board of directors (or equivalent managing body), and be signed by a director (or equivalent).  The Act contains a list of information that may be included within an organisation’s statement, as follows:

  • the organisation’s structure, its business and its supply chains;
  • its policies in relation to slavery and human trafficking;
  • its due diligence processes in relation to slavery and human trafficking in its business and supply chains;
  • the parts of its business and supply chains where there is a risk of slavery and human trafficking taking place, and the steps it has taken to assess and manage that risk;
  • its effectiveness in ensuring that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place in its business and supply chains, measured against such performance indicators as it considers appropriate;
  • the training about slavery and human trafficking available to its staff.

Scope

Social

Industry sectors covered by the instrument

All/none specified

Organizations covered by the instrument

All organizations

Issuer type

Business/Trade/Industry

Type of instrument

Legislation

Mandatory or voluntary

Mandatory

The geographical scope

National/federal

Project Partners