Modern slavery reporting could be strengthened by new rules

11 Jul 2019 03:44 PM

The Home Office is consulting on tougher new rules under Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act.

The Home Office has published its response to the Independent Review of the Modern Slavery Act which includes a consultation that could lead to tough new reporting rules for businesses. The report was commissioned to look at how the Act can be improved and made several recommendations.

Most of the recommendations focused on the actual crime of modern slavery, so were aimed at the legal system, police and councils who have a responsibility for the welfare of victims, but a significant number related to Section 54, the section covering Transparency in Supply Chains.

Under Section 54 the rules are quite clear – any firm turning over £36m or more needs to set out in a statement how they are looking to remove modern slavery from their operations and supply chains. This has to be published on the UK homepage and signed by a Director or Board member.

However since the Act came in in 2015, there have been criticisms on the lack of enforcement for non-complying companies, the variation in report quality and lack of metrics to directly contrast companies. At techUK we have been helping members improve their responses, producing a report last year and running workshops and events on this critical issue. To amend this, the Home Office is now consulting on ways to strengthen reporting requirements and is proposing:

techUK is responding to the consultation via the Sustainable Supply Chain group. Members interested in responding should get in touch using the contact details below.