This week the (legislative) Bill to amend the UK’s Modern Slavery Act 2015 reached the committee stage in the UK’s House of Lords. No changes were suggested to the Bill so it now goes directly to third reading, at a date still to be announced. The Bill includes the following amongst its aims:
- To require commercial organisations to include their slavery and human trafficking statement in their annual report and accounts;
- To require the UK Government to publish, in an easy and accessible place and format, a list that is categorised by sector of all commercial organisations that are required to publish a slavery and human trafficking statement; and,
- To require contracting authorities to exclude from public procurement procedures economic operators who have not produced a slavery and human trafficking statement.
If the Bill becomes law, this last requirement in particular will significantly increase the government’s compliance capability enforcement. Information about the Bill and its progress can be found here.
Many businesses will have had December 2015 as their financial end of year with the upshot that, if they meet the compliance thresholds of the Modern Slavery Act, they will have to issue a Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement to cover their compliance record in that regard over the period of December 2015 to December 2016, which they must publish by June 2017 at the latest. By many accounts the quality of statements that have been published so far (notably for those to meet the September 2016 publication deadline) have been uneven to say the least.
We provide solutions to help clients meet their compliance obligations including producing their Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement, drafting an Anti-Slavery Policy and making customised training videos – for more details please see here.
For more information please contact André Bywater or Jonathan Armstrong who are lawyers with Cordery in London where their focus is on compliance issues.
André Bywater, Cordery, Lexis House, 30 Farringdon Street, London, EC4A 4HH
Office: +44 (0)207 075 1785
Jonathan Armstrong, Cordery, Lexis House, 30 Farringdon Street, London, EC4A 4HH
Office: +44 (0)207 075 1784