Slavery: Victim Support Schemes

Home Office written question – answered on 10th December 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Doocey Baroness Doocey Chair, Finance Committee (Lords), Chair, Finance Committee (Lords)

To ask Her Majesty's Government when the head of the Single Competent Authority established under the Modern Slavery Act 2015 took up their post.

Photo of Baroness Doocey Baroness Doocey Chair, Finance Committee (Lords), Chair, Finance Committee (Lords)

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many Home Office (1) staff, and (2) agency staff, are employed (a) full time, and (b) part time, to make decisions on trafficking and modern slavery within the Single Competent Authority established under the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

Photo of Baroness Doocey Baroness Doocey Chair, Finance Committee (Lords), Chair, Finance Committee (Lords)

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether there is a specific team within the Single Competent Authority established under the Modern Slavery Act 2015 responsible for making trafficking decisions in relation to children.

Photo of Baroness Williams of Trafford Baroness Williams of Trafford The Minister of State, Home Department

The creation of the Single Competent Authority (SCA) was announced in Autumn 2017 as part of the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) Reform Programme. The SCA was launched in April 2019, replacing the previous competent authorities for the NRM.

Decision makers within the SCA are fully trained to make both Reasonable Grounds decisions and Conclusive Grounds decisions on children who may be potential victims of modern slavery and human trafficking.

The figures below include all staff involved in the Single Competent Authority’s decision-making work (including all decision points such as Reasonable Grounds, Conclusive Grounds, Reconsiderations, Modern Slavery Discretionary Leave, and Recovery Needs Assessments) and includes all functions across the unit necessary for that activity (including management, case preparation, technical specialists, business support etc). The numbers provided are taken as of 30 November from a live operational database and may change as information on the system is updated.

Home Office Staff: 225 (181 full time and 44 part time)

Agency Staff: 3 (all full time)

Between now and March 2021, over 350 new staff will join the Home Office to work in the SCA. The vast majority of these staff will be decision-makers, with the remainder of the posts going to case preparation, workflow management, technical specialist and management roles essential for the operation of the Unit.

Recruiting in these numbers will give us the capacity to make significantly more Conclusive Grounds decisions than we are currently able to do with existing resource, and therefore will bring down decision-making timescales for victims.

The current Head of the SCA took up post on 4 April 2019.

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