Home Office consultation on transparency in supply chains – Law Society response

The proposals

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 made the UK the first country in the world to require organisations to publicly report on the steps that they are taking to prevent modern slavery in their operations and supply chains.

In July 2018, the home secretary commissioned the Independent Review of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. We made recommendations to the review.

The final review report was published on 22 May 2019, recommending measures such as:

  • improving reporting quality
  • clarifying the scope of organisations required to report

In response, the government has committed to strengthening the Act’s transparency provisions.

This consultation aims to gather views on measures designed to enhance the impact of transparency.

Proposals include:

  • a single reporting deadline
  • mandating areas to be reported on by organisations
  • extending the requirement to report to public sector organisations

Our view

We welcomed this consultation and the proposals within, having previously contributed to the Independent Review of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

A number of our recommendations were reflected in the review team’s final report, and have now emerged as proposals in this consultation, such as:

  • mandatory reporting areas
  • sanctions for non-compliance
  • the application of the Act to public bodies with an annual turnover of over £36 million

We worked with the Human Rights Committee to give opinions on the proposals and information about our own Modern Slavery Statement, which is published as a group statement by the Law Society Group.

Next steps

The consultation closes on 17 September.

The Home Office will analyse the results of the consultation.

View the consultation on the GOV.UK website.

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