Clarkslegal LLP - Solicitors in Reading and London

Supply Chain Governance

Modern Slavery Act 

What is modern slavery? 

The Modern Slavery Act (MSA) 2015 incorporates a definition of modern slavery, which includes slavery, servitude, forced or compulsory labour, and human trafficking. 

Someone is in slavery if they are: 

  • forced to work, through mental or physical threat
  • owned or controlled by an ‘employer’, usually through mental or physical abuse or the threat of abuse
  • dehumanised, treated as a commodity or bought and sold as ‘property’
  • physically constrained or have restrictions placed on their freedom of movement. 

What can our expert team do for you? 

Whether a large, medium or small organisation, we have services which cater to your needs. These can include any of the following: 

  • Assess your organisation / group structure and governance arrangements
  • Review your organisation’s internal policies and procedures, to determine the existence and robustness of internal measures to prevent modern slavery and human trafficking. Advise on appropriate amendments to improve efficacy
  • Review contractual and supply chain requirements placed on your organisation by clients and assess compliance and flow down within your supply chain
  • Assess your organisation’s operational practices and supply chain / outsourcing documentation as against approved updated internal policies and procedures, and identified client requirements
  • Report on the outcome of the review and assessment including progress against your organisation’s internal key performance indicators and objectives
  • Assess how your organisation communicates modern slavery requirements, both within your organisation and to your supply chain. Advise on amendments to improve efficacy of communication
  • Review scope and content of your Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement relative to other comparable businesses. Assess the operational practices identified to verify compliance with the Statement 

Why is the Modern Slavery Act important for any organisation? 

Large organisations 
  • Reporting requirement under the MSA to publish an annual Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement
  • Pressure from institutional investors, who consider environmental, social and governance criteria as part of their investment decisions
  • Corporate Social Responsibility programmes, aligned with voluntary reporting standards
  • Pre-conditions to participate in tenders, which include specific guidelines on ethics
  • Competitive advantage, as consumers prefer companies which show commitment to ethical practices
  • Negative publicity in the media, which impacts share value
  • International obligations, including Sustainable Development Goals 
Small and medium organisations 
  • Participating in tenders for contracts, which include requirements regarding modern slavery / ethical compliance
  • Contractual requirements in supply chains
  • Enforcement action and penalties associated with noncompliance 

Additional information relevant to supply chains and outsourcing can be found here