Draft legislation in the form of a Bill to amend the compliance transparency provision of the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015 (Article 54) had its official first reading in the House of Lords on 12 July.
The Bill’s proposed amendments include the following:
- To bring public authorities within the scope of the compliance transparency provision;
- To make the six areas of content of the modern slavery and human trafficking statement compulsory (these six areas concern information about the organisation’s: structure and its supply chains; policies; due diligence; risk assessment; effectiveness (as measured) in ensuring that there is no slavery; and, training;
- The publication by the UK Government of a central list of the commercial organisations who are required to publish the annual slavery and human trafficking statement; and,
- To exclude organisations from participating in a public procurement procedure if they have failed to make the annual slavery and human trafficking statement.
The next step is for the second reading and general debate of the Bill in the House of Lords – a date still has to be set for this.
If adopted these amendments will in effect constitute a ramping up of modern slavery compliance enforcement.
For more information about how we can help with modern slavery compliance please see here, and our modern slavery compliance FAQs can be found here, and a short film about spotting the signs of modern slavery can be found here.
André Bywater is a commercial lawyer with Cordery in London where he focuses on regulatory compliance, processes and investigations.
André Bywater, Cordery, Lexis House, 30 Farringdon Street, London, EC4A 4HH
Office: +44 (0)207 075 1785