The Lifeline Project was a well-regarded charity. Failure to carry out the targets within the contracts led the charity into insolvency and resulted in a personal, 7-year disqualification order.
The Act applies to all organisations with a turnover or group turnover - that is, the total turnover of a company and its subsidiaries - of £36 million or more which are either incorporated in the UK or carry on a business in the UK.
A commercial organisation is required to comply with the reporting requirements if:
- it is incorporated or a partnership (for example, a charitable company but not an unincorporated charity or charitable trust);
- it "carries on a business, or part of a business" in the UK;
- its turnover or the turnover of a parent company and its subsidiaries is equal to or greater than £36 million per annum; and
- it supplies goods or services.
The term "carries on a business" is not defined in the Act. Guidance issued by the Home Office (here) suggests that a "common sense approach" should be applied to determine if a company carries on a business in the UK. The guidance specifies that it does not matter if the organisation pursues primarily charitable or educational aims or purely public functions. The organisation will be caught if it engages in commercial activities and has a total turnover of £36m - irrespective of the purpose for which profits are made.
The statement has to set out the steps that an organisation has taken during that financial year to ensure that slavery and human trafficking are not taking place:
- anywhere in their supply chains; or
- in any part of their own business.
What needs to be included in the statement?
The Act contains a list of information that may be included within an organisation's statement, as follows:
- the organisation's structure, its business and its supply chains;
- its policies in relation to slavery and human trafficking;
- its due diligence processes in relation to slavery and human trafficking in its business and supply chains;
- the parts of its business and supply chains where there is a risk of slavery and human trafficking taking place, and the steps it has taken to assess and manage that risk;
- its effectiveness in ensuring that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place in its business and supply chains, measured against such performance indicators as it considers appropriate; and
- the training about slavery and human trafficking available to its staff.
Who must approve the statement?
In the case of a charitable company then its anti-slavery statement must be approved by the board of directors/trustees and be signed by a director.
Where should the statement be published?
The anti-slavery statement must be published in a prominent location on the organisation's website, with a link to the anti-slavery statement on the organisation's homepage.
There is a toolkit available which includes:
- Standard modern slavery and human trafficking statement
- Checklist to help RPs prepare the annual statement and assess risk in the supply chain
- Anti-slavery and human trafficking policy
- Board minutes to approve the statement
- Due diligence question for inclusion in PQQs/selection questions
- Anti-slavery and human trafficking clauses to put in supply chain agreements
For more information
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