It has recently been announced that businesses in the UK with a total turnover in excess of £36 million will need to comply with a duty to publicly report steps they have taken to ensure their operations and suppliers are trafficking and slavery free with effect from October 2015. The duty arises in the Modern Slavery Act 2015. Research has shown that the agricultural, food, hospitality and construction sectors are particularly at risk. Most reputable organisations within the UK can rest assured that their UK operations are safe, but where they source goods or services from abroad, they will have a duty to ensure that their supply chains are trafficking and slavery free.
The new requirement does not have particularly severe penalties, although the Secretary of State could enforce it by way of an injunction. However, pressure groups and the Government may be tempted to name and shame those who do not comply with their duty of disclosure.