Slavery: Business

Home Office written question – answered on 2nd February 2018.

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Photo of Stephen Timms Stephen Timms Labour, East Ham

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans she has for monitoring compliance by businesses with the requirements placed on them by the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Minister for Women

As a result of the world-leading provisions in the Modern Slavery Act 2015, we have seen thousands of transparency statements published and businesses are now more focused on this issue than ever before. The legislation was designed to harness pressure from civil society and we are pleased that NGOs are using company statements to hold businesses to account, including contacting businesses that have not yet published statements.

No injunctions have yet been issued at this early stage of implementation and the Government is taking other action to improve implementation. The Government has strengthened guidance for businesses and recently wrote to over 10,000 businesses that may be required to publish statements reminding them of their obligations and providing useful resources. We expect this activity will further increase the number of statements published.

In October the Government also launched a new ‘Business Against Slavery Forum’. This aims to establish a new partnership between Government and business to accelerate progress in tackling modern slavery. It will focus on sharing best practice and building new initiatives to tackle modern slavery, including improving business engagement with the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

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