William Eichler 22 September 2020

Councils to ‘regularly report’ on efforts to fight modern slavery

Councils to ‘regularly report’ on efforts to fight modern slavery  image

Local authorities and other public bodies which have a budget of £36m or more will be required to regularly report on the steps they have taken to prevent modern slavery in their supply chains.

The measure was introduced today by the Government as part of an effort to strengthen the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and ensure that large businesses and public bodies tackle modern slavery risks in supply chains.

The Government will also mandate the key topics that modern slavery statements must cover, from due diligence to risk assessment, to ensure more transparency.

‘Sadly, we know that no sector is immune from the risks of modern slavery which can be hidden in the supply chains of the everyday goods and services we all buy and use,’ said safeguarding minister Victoria Atkins.

‘We expect businesses and public bodies to be open about their risks, including where they have found instances of exploitation and to demonstrate how they are taking targeted and sustained action to tackle modern slavery.’

The Government will also introduce a requirement for organisations with a budget of £36m or more in all sectors to publish their modern slavery statements on a new digital Government reporting service to be launched next year.

Peter McAllister, executive director of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), commented: ‘ETI is pleased to see the changes introduced by Government, in particular mandated reporting areas and extension to the public sector.

‘We hope that this leads to greater compliance and greater action from more companies. There is no excuse for any business not to play their full part to contribute to eliminating the scourge of modern slavery.’

Photo: CatwalkPhotos / Shutterstock.com

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