Guidance published to help your business comply with the Modern Slavery Act

The Government launched ‘Transparency in the Supply Chain', a practical guidance document which will help businesses to comply with the Modern Slavery Act (2015). 

The British Hospitality Association (BHA) have been working closely with the Home Office in the production of this document to ensure that guidance is put in place that is practical and informative, but allows businesses to put their own measures in place.

The principal purpose of the Act is to consolidate existing legislation relating to slavery, including human trafficking, forced labour and other forms of exploitation, into a single statute to tackle modern slavery and enhance protection for victims.  The UK is the first Country to introduce such provisions on services and goods, and Europe will be looking to us in the near future to follow our lead.

Businesses with a turnover of over £36 million will be expected to report on what they are doing, and those with a year-end of 31 March 2016 will be the first businesses required to publish a statement for their 2015-16 financial year. As part of the consultation process, the BHA successfully excluded franchises from the legislation, unless the franchisee is itself over the turnover threshold of £36 million where it would report on its own responsibility, not as part of the franchisor. This is because franchisees generally have their own commercial arrangements which they are not obliged to report to their franchisors.

Under the new legislation, organisations must develop a slavery and human trafficking statement each year which is published on an organisation’s website with a link in a prominent place on the homepage, and approved and signed by the organisation. It is up to the organisation to how they present information in the statement and how much detail they provide, however, the statement must state what steps have been taken.

The Guidance Document, sets out the basic requirements of the legislation, as well as advice on what can be included in a statement to give assurance to those scrutinising the statements. The document also includes best practice tips and case studies to help your organisation produce its own strategy to tackle modern slavery.

The BHA is supporting members to ensure they comply with the legislation, and maintain best practice through measures such as checking their supply chain and procedures, engaging staff and fully reporting on activities.

For more information on the Modern Slavery Act and what it means for the hospitality industry, please contact Lucy Aldrich-Smith, BHA Policy Manager, at lucy@bha.org.uk

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