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Corporate reporting on modern slavery

Time is running out for businesses to ensure they are prepared for the implementation of new reporting obligations. Many large businesses operating in the UK will soon be required to disclose publicly the steps they are taking to ensure both their business and their supply chains are free from modern slavery.

It is reported that nearly 0.5% of the world’s population live in modern slavery and the issue remains high on the global agenda. The Modern Slavery Act 2015 has consequently introduced reporting obligations with the aim of increasing transparency in supply chains.

Businesses which operate in the UK supplying goods or services and which have a global turnover of at least £36 million will be required to comply. Those businesses which meet this criteria must produce a statement each financial year setting out the steps taken to ensure that modern slavery does not occur within the business or its supply chains. The obligation applies to businesses for the financial year on or after 31 March 2016 with the expectation that the statements will be published as soon as reasonably practicable after the year end. The statement must be published on the website with a link to it in a prominent place on the home page.

Square One Law has been working with companies to help determine whether the obligations apply to them. For those that must meet the new reporting requirements, we can assist with the preparation of the statements, drafting policies and conducting training programmes for those involved in procurement or with responsibility of the supply chain management.

If you would like to know more about the obligations and how they may impact on your business, please get in touch with Eleanor Wilkinson, associate in the employment team at Square One Law on 0843 224 7940 or eleanor.wilkinson@squareonelaw.com

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