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Modern slavery reporting to be toughened up

Plans to beef up enforcement of the modern slavery reporting regime have been published.

Hard on the heels of the biggest ever modern slavery prosecution in the UK, comes news that modern slavery enforcement and reporting will be strengthened and extended to the public sector.

The government’s plans are outlined in a Home Office consultation which proposes the following:

Content of statements

  • Too many statements are failing to go beyond minimum compliance and the government wants to increase the comparability of statements. Currently such a statements suggest reporting on six areas - the proposal is to make this reporting compulsory.

Transparency, compliance and enforcement

  • A new, on-line registry will be developed where employers will be required to publish their modern slavery statements.
  • There will be a single reporting deadline for all organisations.
  • A new civil penalty regime may be introduced to increase compliance, possibly featuring a variable monetary penalty. This may be enforced by a new Single Labour Market Enforcement unit. Such a penalty regime would not come into force until one year after any other changes to the transparency requirements.

Public sector supply chains

  • Public sector employers with a budget of £36 million or more will be brought within the scope of the modern slavery reporting requirements.