Depending on the type of business you operate, the Modern Slavery Act may require you to report on your anti-slavery and anti-human trafficking efforts every year. Our employment solicitors can help you draft your Transparency Statement and comply with the Act.

Modern slavery and human trafficking affect people all over the world, including the UK. Your business has a responsibility to prevent exploitation, such as slavery and human trafficking, in your supply chains or any part of your business.

The Modern Slavery Act means that if you run a business of a certain size, you’ll need to publicly disclose what you’re doing to prevent slavery and human trafficking by publishing a yearly Transparency Statement.

We’re rated as a top law firm by independent legal guides like Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500. Our lawyers are experienced at helping organisations in all business sectors manage their regulatory compliance. Our international expertise is particularly valuable if your business handles worldwide supply chains.

Contact us on 0808 271 2602 or send us an email and we’ll discuss how we can help your business comply with the Modern Slavery Act.

Frequently asked questions

What is the modern slavery act?

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 was designed to help fight modern slavery in the UK, make sure perpetrators are suitably punished, and improve support for victims.

The impact of the Act is wide-ranging and includes:

  • Bringing together and simplifying existing anti-slavery laws
  • Making punishments for modern slavery crimes more severe
  • Giving courts and law enforcement agencies new powers to combat slavery
  • Creating an independent anti-slavery commissioner to coordinate anti-slavery efforts
  • Introducing measures to identify, support and protect victims of slavery and trafficking
  • Requiring businesses to report on their efforts to prevent slavery and human trafficking.

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Which businesses does the modern slavery act affect?

The Modern Slavery Act’s reporting and disclosure requirements apply to any commercial organisation that supplies goods or services in the UK and has a turnover of at least £36 million.

This figure relates to the company’s total turnover, including the turnover of any subsidiaries which are incorporated in the UK or do business in the UK.

The government encourages smaller businesses to also produce a Transparency Statement, but they aren’t legally required to do so.

Smaller businesses can still be indirectly affected if they supply goods or services to large organisations that do have anti-slavery reporting duties. If you supply a large organisation, you may be asked to give them a statement about your own anti-slavery efforts or policies as part of their reporting duties and due diligence.

Disclosing anti-slavery information is also often an essential part of the bidding process for new clients as well.

If you’re unsure whether the Modern Slavery Act applies your business, our employment solicitors can help you make sure that you’re compliant. Contact us online or call 0808 271 2602 for more information.

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How does the modern slavery act affect my business?

The Modern Slavery Act requires commercial organisations over a certain size to produce and disclose a Transparency Statement every year.

This statement must detail what your business has done to keep its operations and supply chains slavery-free. It must also identify any areas of risk and evaluate the business’s efforts.

Because this information has to be made public, your business may face reputational damage if its anti-slavery efforts are substandard or ineffective. The Secretary of State may apply to the court for an injunction if you fail to comply. This injunction will compel you to publish a compliant statement and your business could face an unlimited fine for contempt of court if you don’t.

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What is a Transparency Statement?

A Transparency Statement is a document that businesses supplying goods and services must publish every year to disclose their anti-slavery and anti-human trafficking efforts.

It should include information about the business’ policies for preventing slavery and human trafficking in its operations and supply chains.

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What should my Transparency Statement include?

Your Transparency Statement should include:

  • Your organisation's structure, its business and its supply chains
  • Its policies and processes to prevent slavery and human trafficking
  • Identifying areas where there’s a risk of slavery and human trafficking in your business and supply chains
  • What it’s done to assess and manage that risk
  • How effective its anti-slavery measures have been
  • Details of staff training.

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How can Irwin Mitchell help?

The complicated, global nature of modern supply chains can make compliance with the Act difficult. Our team of experts can help you:

  • Assess your compliance needs
  • Draft anti-slavery and anti-human trafficking policies for your business and its supply chains
  • Provide anti-slavery and anti-human trafficking training for your staff
  • Prepare Transparency Statements.

If your business is investigated for not complying with the Act we can represent you and guide you through the investigation process. Our lawyers will work with you to refine or draft new policies to help you comply with the Modern Slavery Act.

Applying anti-slavery policies and preparing your Transparency Statement might highlight additional legal issues within your organisation or supply chains. With our expert solicitors on hand, you’ll have the support you need to manage any situation.

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Contact us

Call us on 0808 271 2602 or contact us online to speak to a member of our team and find out more about how we can help.

Find one of our solicitors near you

We have offices in major cities throughout the UK and our lawyers can arrange to visit you or your business in person if necessary. We also have international capability, with global links to other legal specialists.

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