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Modern Slavery Policies: UK Businesses

Modern Slavery Policy Writers

In the UK, addressing modern slavery within business operations and supply chains is not only a legal obligation but also a moral imperative.

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 requires certain businesses to publish annual statements detailing actions taken to combat slavery and human trafficking.

This article guides UK businesses in developing and implementing an effective modern slavery policy, highlighting legal requirements, ethical considerations, and best practices.

Understanding the Legal Framework: The Modern Slavery Act 2015

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 is a landmark legislation in the UK aimed at combating modern slavery and human trafficking. It applies to all organisations with an annual turnover of £36 million or more, requiring them to produce a yearly transparency statement. This statement must detail the steps taken to identify and address any instances of modern slavery in their operations and supply chains.

Developing a Modern Slavery Policy

Creating an effective modern slavery policy begins with a clear understanding of the business’s specific risks and exposures to slavery and human trafficking. The policy should articulate the company’s zero-tolerance stance towards modern slavery and set out the principles and procedures to identify, prevent, and mitigate these risks. It should cover all aspects of the business, including supply chains, recruitment practices, and subcontracting.

Risk Assessment and Due Diligence

A critical step in policy implementation is conducting thorough risk assessments and due diligence processes. Businesses should scrutinise their supply chains, assess the risk of modern slavery practices, and establish strict due diligence processes. This involves vetting suppliers, conducting audits, and ensuring recruitment and labour practices transparency.

Training and Employee Awareness

Educating and training employees about modern slavery is vital. This includes understanding the signs of slavery and human trafficking, knowing how to report concerns, and ensuring that all levels of the business are committed to the policy. Training should be regular and tailored to different roles within the company, especially those involved in procurement and supply chain management.

Collaboration and Stakeholder Engagement

Addressing modern slavery effectively requires collaboration with stakeholders, including suppliers, business partners, and NGOs. Engaging with stakeholders can help share best practices, develop joint strategies, and create a united front against modern slavery. Regular communication and collaboration can enhance the effectiveness of the policy and demonstrate the business’s commitment to ethical practices.

Monitoring, Reporting, and Continuous Improvement

Continuous monitoring and evaluation of the policy’s effectiveness are crucial. This includes keeping records of due diligence activities, supplier audits, and training sessions. The annual transparency statement under the Modern Slavery Act should reflect these efforts, detailing progress and plans for improvement. Businesses should be transparent about the challenges faced and how they are addressing them.

The Impact of a Robust Modern Slavery Policy

Implementing a robust modern slavery policy has far-reaching benefits. It helps protect vulnerable individuals, enhances the company’s reputation, and builds trust with customers and stakeholders.

Also, it encourages ethical business practices, which can lead to sustainable, long-term relationships with suppliers and partners.

Developing and implementing a modern slavery policy is critical for UK businesses. By understanding legal obligations, conducting risk assessments, educating employees, collaborating with stakeholders, and continuously monitoring efforts, businesses can effectively combat modern slavery. Such policies comply with legal requirements and demonstrate a commitment to ethical and responsible business practices, contributing to a more just and equitable global economy.

How We Can Help

We write and review modern slavery policies for all company and organisation types, from non-profits to government and blue chips.

Please drop us a line below and see how we can assist you.


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Joanne: 07764 258 001
Shaun:   07908 688 170