The Modern Slavery Act 2015, expected to come into force this October, will require certain organisations to publish annual reports detailing the steps taken to ensure that neither slavery nor human trafficking have taken place within their businesses or supply chains.
All organisations are required to submit reports if they do the following:
- Supply goods or services
- Work in the United Kingdom
- Earn a profit above a certain minimum amount, which is yet to be determined
Organisations must provide information pertaining to at least one of these six components of their businesses:
- The structure of the organisations, their businesses and supply chains
- Their policies concerning slavery and human trafficking
- What processes are in place to manage instances of slavery and human trafficking
- The steps taken to assess and manage the risk of slavery and human trafficking that may exist in either their businesses or supply chains
- How effective they have been in ensuring that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place within their businesses
- What training they provide to educate staff about slavery and human trafficking
Regardless of how much information an organisation chooses to include in its report, the document must be published on the company website and include a link to it on the home page. If an organisation does not have a website, it must supply the report to anyone that requests a copy within 30 days.
The Modern Slavery Act 2015 is yet another regulation following the increasing trend toward corporate transparency—expect this trend to continue. To prepare, organisations should assess any possible risks associated with slavery, servitude, forced labour or human trafficking that may occur in their businesses or supply chains.