Are you a business with a turnover in excess of £36m, or a supplier of goods or services to such a business? If so then you have an obligation to complete a Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement.
In 2014, the Walk Free Foundation estimated there were 35.8 million victims of slavery in its many forms worldwide. In 2013, the Home Office estimate that there are between 10,000 and 13,000 victims of modern slavery in the UK. Since July 2014 the Home Office has tried to clamp down on the perpetrators with this statement the latest in a line of efforts.
The statement should include the details that your organisation has taken during the financial year to ensure slavery and human trafficking are not taking place. There is not a set format for the statement, but important parts to include would be your due diligence process and any measures you have taken to ensure slavery and trafficking are not taking place, as well as detailing the ways you will continue to monitor the situation into the future.
If you take no such measures, you are also required to publish a statement to that effect. Obviously admitting to this could cause some embarrassment, not to mention loss of business. If you feel no need to produce a statement, the Home Office could compel you to do so.
The completed and formally approved statement should be published on your company website with prominent links to highlight it from your home page. This should be undertaken as soon as possible with the obligation to do so already in force, with the need to update the statement every financial year.
For more information, visit GOV.UK.
Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.