How modern slavery affects businesses

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How will the Modern Slavery Act affect your organisation?

Commercial Organisations who supply goods or services and who have a group turnover of more than £36 million now have to publish a ‘modern slavery statement’. This will either say they have taken “no steps to eliminate modern slavery” (imagine the bad PR on that one!), or describe their business and supply chain and explain what they are doing to combat modern slavery.

You might say: ‘but surely this will only affect the biggest companies, so why should I care?’. The answer is that this will ‘trickle down’ to affect all businesses who are in the supply chain of the Commercial Organisations who are directly affected.

If you supply goods or services to other businesses, then watch this space and expect to be asked by your clients to confirm the steps you are taking to remove modern slavery from your business and your supply chain.

What should you do?

  • adopt a policy on modern slavery
  • identify parts of your business or supply chain that are at risk to modern slavery
  • identify steps you will take to assess this risk
  • decide what you will do to prevent modern slavery in your business or supply chain
  • decide how you will measure the success of efforts to prevent modern slavery
  • train relevant staff (e.g. those responsible for procurement)

I know what you are thinking: ‘surely to comply with these things we are now going to require all of our suppliers to do all of this!’. You’re right of course! This is how the ‘trickle down’ will happen.

Even if your supply chain is completely free from modern slavery, you will still be affected because the largest businesses in the UK have only two choices: they can admit they are doing nothing and suffer the bad PR, or they can pass the problem down the food chain.

If your business needs help with modern slavery statements, policies or training reach out to us.