THE MODERN SLAVERY ACT – WHO NEEDS TO COMPLY ?

The Modern Slavery Act and Who Needs To Comply ?

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 states that:

“Every organisation carrying on a business in the UK with a total annual turnover of £36m or more will be required to produce a slavery and human trafficking statement for each financial year of the organisation.”

This would seem a very straightforward requirement. Unfortunately, as at October 2019, it is estimated that as many as 25% of organisations required to comply have yet to do so. This is 4 years after the Act was introduced.

However, there is good news. In the last 4 years, many of the UKs leading firms are ‘stepping up’ and looking to drive improvements in their supply chains. Firm’s like Marks & Spencer, Tesco, and other major retailers, as well as firms across all UK business sectors.

3 REASONS AN SME SHOULD COMPLY WHEN THEY AREN’T REQUIRED TO?

  • Because it is the right thing to do! Business owners or directors surely do not wish to take advantage of people trafficked for work. Shouldn't they also insure that their own workforce or that of their suppliers are not living in conditions of slavery.

  • If that’s not a good enough reason in itself, complying with the Modern Slavery Act enables you to stay ahead of competitors. This may allow you to win a place on the supplier roster for the biggest tier 1 UK firms. Many SME businesses will already be finding that their larger customers are looking for evidence that slavery or human trafficking are not a risk in their supply chain.

  • Thirdly, do you employ anyone under the age of 35? If so, the chances are they are expecting you to demonstrate good social and environmental values.

    https://www.wespire.com/10-things-millennials-look-for-in-an-employer/

PRACTICAL STEPS TO HELP AN SME BUSINESS COMPLY WITH THE MODERN SLAVERY ACT 2015

  • Appoint a senior member of the business to lead the firm’s understanding of the issues. They will need to own the actions and understand the basic requirements of The Modern Slavery Act.

  • Secondly, carry out an assessment of your business. Use the findings to create action plans and move the business forward. Try using the Bizblocs cloud based anti-slavery software to start your journey and plan the way ahead.

  • Train your people in how to “spot the signs” of slavery in the workplace. A number of organisations including Unseen (the anti slavery charity) and Stronger2Gether (specialist training and consultancy firm) have a range of solutions to train your key personnel.

  • Draft a Modern Slavery Policy for your firm to set out how you will manage your business. This will ensure there is no opportunity for human trafficking or forced labour in your business or your supply chain.

  • Begin to fully question your supply chain. Incorporate a modern slavery questionnaire in your procurement and supplier management processes. Commit to the production of a modern slavery statement on an annual basis. Submit the statement to TISC so that you appear on the national register of firms complying with the Act.

Posted in Modern Slavery.

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