You have until 31st March 2019 to publish your modern slavery statement if your business provides goods or services in the UK and has an annual turnover exceeding £36million.
Publishing a modern slavery statement encourages businesses to be proactive in tackling issues of forced labour and human trafficking within their business and supply chain.
Any organisation which is required to but has not yet published its latest statement risks being named and shamed by the Home Office if they do not do so by 31 March 2019 when the Home Office will undertake an audit of statements. The Home Office have been proactive so far, writing to the chief executives of over 17,000 organisations that it believes are non-compliant.
Organisations who continue to fail to comply, and are not put off by the risk of public shaming, should also be aware that the Government are looking to implement more robust reporting requirements in the near future. Current recommendations include implementing personal accountability for board members, fines and the establishment of an enforcement body.
Organisations that have published their modern slavery statement should notify the Home Office of this. The Home Office also recommends publishing the statement for no charge on the database maintained by Transparency in Supply Chains (TISC) and the Modern Slavery Registry.
We strongly recommend that businesses comply with this requirement to help end modern slavery for good. This alone is enough reason to do it. In addition, any business that fails to comply faces reputational damage and harsher sanctions in the coming years.
The Home Office guidance on writing your modern slavery statement can be found here.