Is your company subject to the Modern and Slavery Act regulation?

  • Radia Guira

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It is designed to combat modern slavery in the UK and consolidates previous offences relating to trafficking and slavery. The act extends essentially to England and Wales, but some provisions (for example, relating to modern slavery statements and cross-border pursuit) apply in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The UK Modern Slavery Act states that companies must publish an annual statement if it has sales of more than £36 million and if some or all of its business is in the UK .It must confirm the steps taken to ensure slavery and human trafficking are absent from the business and supply chain or they must declare that no steps have been taken. This is in response to the global concern in growth of modern slavery globally.
The possible answers are:
– Yes
– No
If the answer is ‘Yes’, please provide attach your latest report.

This question addresses your organization’s legal obligations, specifically in relation to the Modern Slavery Act. This act is a UK legislation designed to combat modern slavery and human trafficking. It’s important to understand whether your company is under this regulation as it reflects upon your company’s ethical practices especially in relation to human rights.

An affirmative response means your company is under the jurisdiction of this law and is actively involved in combating modern day slavery. A negative response would mean this specific regulation doesn’t apply to your company. It doesn’t necessarily mean your company is engages in unethical practices but can reflect on the nature of your company’s work and geographical location.

For instance, you can answer this question as follows:
(example: « Yes, our company is subject to the Modern Slavery Act regulation » or « No, our company is not subject to the Modern Slavery Act regulation »)

Understanding the Modern Slavery Act

The UK Modern Slavery Act, which came into force in 2015, is a landmark legislation that requires businesses operating within the UK to disclose the steps they are taking to combat slavery and human trafficking in their operations and supply chains. The primary purpose of this act is to increase transparency, thereby enabling consumers, investors, and other stakeholders to make better-informed decisions.

To determine if your company falls under the purview of the Modern Slavery Act, it’s essential to consider several criteria. First, the Act applies to any organisation that carries out business, or part of a business, in the UK. Additionally, the threshold for compliance is an annual turnover of £36 million or more, which includes the turnover of any subsidiary organisations.

Compliance Criteria and Reporting Requirements

If your company meets the criteria, it is legally required to produce an annual statement that outlines the efforts made to prevent modern slavery within the operation and supply chains. This statement should be approved by the board of directors and signed by a director (or equivalent), and then published on the company’s website with a prominent link in a visible location.

The statement should mention the organizational structure, its business model, the sectors and countries of operation, the nature of the supply chains, and most importantly, the actions taken to evaluate and manage the risks of slavery and human trafficking. The UK government provides a comprehensive guide on what to include in the statement, which can be found in their Practical Guide.

Best Practices for Ensuring Compliance

Ensuring compliance with the Modern Slavery Act is not only a legal requirement but also a moral and ethical obligation. Establishing a robust due diligence process, training employees, engaging with suppliers, and undertaking regular risk assessments are key steps in demonstrating your commitment to eliminating modern slavery.

For businesses seeking guidance on how to comply with the Act’s requirements, resources such as those provided by Sedex can be invaluable. They offer detailed insights on how businesses can develop transparency within their supply chains and ensure compliance through effective management systems and reporting standards.

As you prepare to answer questions regarding your ESG score, understanding the Modern Slavery Act and your company’s compliance status is crucial. Being well-versed in the act’s requirements ensures that you can provide accurate information that reflects your company’s commitment to social responsibility and ethical practices.

In summary, compliance with the Modern Slavery Act is an ongoing process that involves constant vigilance, assessment, and improvement. By actively participating in this process, your company not only adheres to legal standards but also contributes to the global fight against the exploitation and trafficking of individuals.