To ask Her Majesty's Government how many statements have been made under section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 in each of the last three years; and what percentage of all companies falling within the purview of that section have been identified.
13 December 2021
Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 established the UK as the first country in the world to require businesses to report annually on steps taken to prevent modern slavery in their operations and supply chains.
In March 2021, the Government launched the modern slavery statement registry to radically enhance transparency by bringing together modern slavery statements on a single platform. So far, over 6,740 modern slavery statements covering over 22,400 organisations have been submitted to the registry on a voluntary basis.
In 2019, the Home Office contracted the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC) to undertake an audit of compliance with Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. The high-level findings of this audit were published on 17 September 2020 in the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner’s annual report (available on gov.uk)
To improve the quality of reporting and compliance even further, the Government has committed to introduce a package of measures to strengthen section 54. This includes the introduction of financial penalties for non-compliance and a requirement for organisations to publish their statements on the Government’s modern slavery statement registry which will enable Government to monitor and drive compliance with the legislation.
Businesses’ response so far is demonstrating the registry’s positive impact by providing greater visibility of the steps organisations are taking to prevent modern slavery in their global supply chains and empowering investors, consumers and civil society to scrutinise the action organisations are taking to prevent modern slavery.