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Government launches consultation with businesses on modern slavery

The government has launched a consultation with UK businesses on what size companies the requirements of the Modern Slavery Bill will apply to and what the accompanying statutory guidance for businesses should cover.

Under the Modern Slavery Bill, large companies will have a legal duty to disclose the steps they have taken to ensure modern slavery does not take place in their businesses, anywhere in the world.

The government said it wants to gather a wide range of evidence so that it can determine a size threshold that is “fair, workable and robust”.

“I am determined to ensure that UK supply chains are not being infiltrated by modern slavery,” said minister for modern slavery and organised crime Karen Bradley. “Supply chains are often extremely long, complex and cross international borders. Even services provided in the UK can involve outsourced labour from across the globe.”

The bill, published in June last year, is currently being scrutinised by parliament and is expected to be made law before the general election.

It will be among the first acts to in the world to specifically tackle modern slavery by giving law enforcement the tools to tackle the problem with “suitably severe” sentences. It will also introduce an Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, and enhance support and protection for victims.

The consultation runs until May 7.


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