The Modern Slavery (Transparency in Supply Chains) Regulations have brought into force section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, with effect from 29 October 2015. The new measures will apply to financial years ending on or after 31 March 2016.
Section 54 of the Act requires commercial organisations with a global turnover of at least £36 million, that carry on a business or part of a business in the UK, to produce a slavery and human trafficking statement for each financial year. The statement must contain details of the steps that the organisation has taken in that year to identify and eradicate modern slavery from both its own business and its supply chain (or state that no steps have been taken, if this is the case). The expression ‘modern slavery’ encompasses the offences of slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour and human trafficking, set out in sections 1 and 2 of the Act.
To coincide with section 54 coming into force, the government has published guidance, entitled Transparency in Supply Chains etc: A practical guide, explaining what is meant by the expressions modern slavery and human trafficking, who is required to comply with the new requirements, the steps involved in producing and approving a statement, some practical steps an organisation may wish to take with regard to training and supply chain due diligence, as well as what an organisation should do if it identifies the existence of modern slavery within its supply chain.