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Large employers required to publish yearly slavery and trafficking statements

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 was hailed by the Government as 'world leading' legislation to counter slavery and trafficking in the 21st century.

Last year the Global Slavery Index estimated that there were 8,300 people in modern slavery in the UK. But modern slavery is primarily a cross-border problem, with an ever-present danger that goods and services sold in the UK may have been the product of slave labour somewhere else in the supply chain.

Slavery and trafficking statement

Section 54 of the new legislation will attempt to address this issue be requiring large employers - those with a total turnover of at least £36 million a year - to make a slavery and human trafficking statement.

They will have to outline the measures they have taken to ensure that slavery and trafficking are absent from supply chains.

The statements will have to be prepared each financial year and may contain information on a company's supply chain structure; due diligence processes; a risk assessment about parts of the supply chain where there may be a problem; measures taken to counter that risk; and training on the issue offered to staff.

The statements will have to be signed off by the top tier of the company and published.

The Modern Slavery Act received Royal Assent in March 2015, but this section of the legislation is due to come into force in October.

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