To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to bring forward proposals to update the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
19 April 2021
The Government is committed to continuously strengthening our approach to modern slavery and building on the world-leading legislation introduced in 2015.
In 2018, the Home Office commissioned an Independent Review of the Modern Slavery Act to look at where the Act has worked well and where it could be more effective. The Government published a detailed response to the Review and accepted the majority of the recommendations (see https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/government-response-to-the-independent-review-of-the-modern-slavery-act).
As part of its response to the Independent Review, the Home Office conducted a public consultation on potential changes to the Modern Slavery Act’s transparency legislation (section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act). As a result, the government committed to introducing an ambitious package of measures to strengthen and future-proof the legislation. In particular, the Government has committed to extending the reporting requirement to public bodies with a budget of £36 million or more; mandating the specific reporting topics that statements must cover; requiring statements to be published on the new Government-run registry for modern slavery statements; setting a single reporting deadline; and introducing financial penalties for organisations that fail to meet their obligations under section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act. These measures require primary legislation and will be introduced when parliamentary time allows.
The Home Secretary announced a New Plan for Immigration on 24 March, which is available at the gov.uk website. This included a range of proposals on modern slavery. The New Plan for Immigration consultation is now open, after which the Government will look to introduce relevant legislation.
The proposals included a commitment to review the 2014 Modern Slavery Strategy. A revised strategy will allow us to build on the considerable progress we have made to date, adapt our approach to the evolving nature of these terrible crimes, and continue our international leadership in tackling modern slavery.