Modern Slavery Bill 2014

Explanatory Notes

Part 6: Transparency in Supply Chains Etc   

Clause 51: Transparency in supply chains etc   

246 Clause 51 requires commercial organisations over a certain size to publish a slavery and human trafficking statement each year which sets out the steps it has taken to ensure there is no slavery or trafficking in its supply chains or its own business, or states that it has taken no such steps. Clause 51 does not mandate what a slavery and human trafficking statement must contain nor require commercial organisations to take any particular action beyond preparation of the annual statement.

247 Subsection (1) requires a commercial organisation within subsection (2) to prepare a slavery and human trafficking statement for each financial year of the organisation.

248 Subsection (2) applies the disclosure duty to commercial organisations that supply goods or services and have a minimum total turnover, which will be set in regulations. Regulations will also set out how an organisation’s total turnover is to be determined (subsection (3)).

249 Subsection (4) explains that a slavery and human trafficking statement is a statement of the steps that an organisation has taken during the financial year to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place either in its supply chains or its own business. Alternatively, it can be a statement that the organisation has taken no such steps.

250 Subsection (5) provides that an organisation must publish the slavery and human trafficking statement on its website, if it has one, and that there must be a prominent link to this statement on the homepage. If an organisation does not have a website, it must provide a copy of the slavery and human trafficking statement to anyone who requests one in writing, within 30 days of that request (subsection (6)).

251 Subsection (7) gives the Secretary of State the power to issue guidance about the duties imposed by this clause, and to publish that guidance in a way the Secretary of State considers appropriate. Such guidance may include guidance about the kind of information which organisations may include in a slavery and human trafficking statement (subsection (8)).

252 Subsection (9) sets out the enforcement mechanism for the disclosure duty. If a commercial organisation fails to comply, the Secretary of State may bring civil proceedings in the High Court for an injunction requiring that organisation to comply (or, in Scotland, in the Court of Session for specific performance of a statutory duty).

253 Subsection (10) defines terms used in the clause, including "commercial organisation", "partnership" and "slavery and human trafficking". A commercial organisation is defined as a body corporate or partnership which carries on a business, or part of a business, in the UK.]

Prepared 30th April 2015