On Wednesday March 5th, the Modern Slavery Bill passed through the House of Lords with a number of key amendments to the Supply Chains clause for companies.
The Modern Slavery Bill consolidates the current offences relating to trafficking and slavery, and is due to be passed into law by May 2015. It contains a specific supply chains clause requiring businesses to report annually on the action they have taken to ensure there is no modern slavery in their business or supply chain.
The primary amendments in the House of Lords will require a director to approve or sign a company's annual slavery and human trafficking statement, and also give guidance to the areas which may be included in the annual statement. These final changes are being debated in parliament on March 17.
The UK Government has launched a consultation into the Modern Slavery Bill provision which will require businesses with turnover above a certain level to publish an annual slavery and human trafficking statement.
In this statement a business must describe the steps they have taken to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place in any of their supply chains or their own business, or they must disclose that they have taken no such steps.
The consultation is seeking views on what level of turnover a business should be required to have for this provision to apply, and on what the statutory guidance should cover.