Modern Slavery Act Compliance

Universities with an annual turnover of £36 million or more should have already published their first Modern Slavery Act Statement.  Many will be preparing to publish their second, which should set out what steps they have taken during the financial year to ensure that modern slavery is not occurring in their supply chains and in their own organisation.  These statements must be approved by an appropriate senior person within the University, and published on the external web-site with a prominent link from the homepage.

HEIs cannot afford to be complacent about the reality and proximity of modern slavery.  According to a recent report from Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services, thousands of men, women and children are victims of modern slavery and human trafficking in the UK.  The National Crime Agency vulnerabilities director Will Kerr has warned that trafficking into modern slavery is now so widespread that ordinary people will be unwittingly coming into contact with victims every day.  

The government has recently updated its guidance.  The guidance is largely unchanged though it now for example encourages organisations to keep historic versions of their statements available online and also encourages organisations with a below £36m turnover to voluntarily produce statements.

 

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