Tens of thousands of slavery and human trafficking victims – Are you doing enough to ensure you are compliant with the Modern Slavery Act 2015?
Do you know what your company’s obligations under the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (MSA) are?
The MSA was introduced to tackle slavery and human trafficking. However, its impact appears to have been limited with the National Crime Agency (NCA) revealing that cases of slavery and human trafficking are occurring in ‘every large town and city in the country’ and it is ‘far more prevalent than previously thought.’
In response to statistics released by the NCA on 10 August 2017, which showed there are more than 300 current live policing operations targeting modern slavery, the NCA is commencing a new campaign focused on sexual and labour exploitation.
As an employer, what does this mean for you? Businesses that are part of a supply chain need to be aware of the scope of the MSA and their obligations under it.
Although the obligations under section 54 of the MSA only apply to certain employers (see link above for further detail), namely those at the top of a supply chain, we have had several businesses seek advice following an important client of theirs insisting on evidence of anti-slavery good practice, including anti-slavery policies, and inserting anti-slavery compliance obligations into commercial terms.
In light of the recent substantial media coverage, if you are part of a supply chain it might be a good idea to ensure you have good anti-slavery practices in place and that these can be readily evidenced if a big client so requests.