An independent review of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (MSA 2015) has been announced by the Home Office, following publication of a report estimating the economic and social costs of modern slavery in the UK as being up to £4.3bn a year.

The independent review will consider the operation and effectiveness of the MSA 2015, as well as identifying potential improvements. It will gather evidence and seek views from relevant stakeholders on how the Act is operating in practice, how effective it is and whether the legal framework is fit for purpose now and in the future. It will look, in particular, at the nature of modern slavery offences, the provisions around legal access and compensation to victims, and improving support given to child victims. 

Currently, businesses with an annual turnover of £36m and above are required to publish a statement to outline what is being done to prevent and tackle modern slavery in its operations and supply chain. The review will consider whether more needs to be done to strengthen the existing provisions of the MSA 2015 and improve compliance.

The review is expected to be completed by the end of March 2019.