Don’t let your company make headlines with Modern Slavery

23 June 2016

We have previously written about the introduction of Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking statement. The requirement for large businesses to publish this statement came into force on 29 October 2015 and affects companies with a financial year ending on or after 31 March 2016. Businesses should seek to publish this as soon as reasonably practicable after the end of their financial year and are encouraged to do so within 6 months from the relevant date.

As we are seeing some of the businesses already publishing the statements on their websites I find myself wondering about their value and impact. And – voila – the answer hits me in the form of a High Court ruling which found that Lithuanian workers had been trafficked to the UK and were found to be working in inhuman and degrading conditions.

A Kent based chicken farm supplying eggs to high profile chains such as McDonalds, Asda, Tesco, Marks & Spencer’s and Sainsbury’s was ordered to pay compensation for failure to pay the agricultural minimum wage, failure to pay for time spent travelling between farms, unlawful withholding of wages and a failure to provide facilities to wash, rest, eat and drink.

It is encouraging to see that the new legislation is being enforced in courts but it can also be quite frightening to see how much onus has been placed on large employers to enforce the good standards down their supply chains.

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If you haven’t published your Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking statement yet and would like some help with it please contact the HR Solutions team 

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