Modern Slavery Bill announced during Queen’s Speech

12 May 2022

  • On 10 May 2022, during the Queen’s speech it was announced that there will be a new Modern Slavery Bill published to strengthen the protection and support for victims of human trafficking and modern slavery and increase the accountability of companies to eradicate modern slavery from their supply chains
  • The majority of the changes to section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (which governs the requirement to publish a Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement) were detailed in a consultation on the effectiveness of section 54 in July 2019
  • The main changes will be;
    • The reporting areas to be covered in modern slavery statements will be mandated
    • Businesses will be required to publish their statement on the Government registry
    • Extending the requirements to public bodies
    • Introducing civil penalties for organisations who do not comply
    • Strengthening the operation of Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Orders and Risk Orders – these will be backed up by criminal sanctions for any breaches

To read our previous news on the Government’s response to the July 2019 consultation, please click here.

To read the briefing notes on the announcements made in the Queen’s speech, click here.

Aspire Comment

If your business turnover is £36m or more then it is mandatory that you publish a Modern Slavery statement on your website. However, currently businesses have free rein over the content of the statement with section 54(5) suggesting what the statement may include information about.

It is crucial that you keep up to date with the publication of the Modern Slavery Bill which will detail further statutory obligations relevant to your statement such as the content.  

Even if your business turnover is less than £36m, as compliance in the supply chain is high on the agenda for many clients, it is good practice to have a modern slavery policy and / or statement in place regardless. 

We will await the proposed content of the Modern Slavery Bill and will report further.