The Government has published updated guidance on modern slavery statements.

Certain organisations are required to provide an annual statement on slavery and human trafficking with information about the steps the organisation has taken to ensure modern slavery is not taking place in their business or supply chains.

Although no fundamental changes have been made to the guidance that was originally published in October 2015, the key changes are that the updated guidance:

  • highlights that smaller organisations who are not required by the legislation to make a statement may choose to do so voluntarily, and encourages all businesses to be open and transparent about their recruitment practices, policies and procedures in relation to modern slavery and to take steps that are consistent and proportionate with their sector, size and operational reach
  • emphasises the importance of continuity of statements, encouraging organisations to continue publishing a statement each year even if they are not required to do so (e.g. because their turnover falls below the £36 million threshold).  It also emphasises the importance of statements from previous years being available online even when new statements are published so that the public can compare statements and monitor the organisation's progress over time
  • states that it is best practice for the director who signs the statement to sit on the board that approved it and include in the statement itself the date on which it was approved
  • includes a definition of child labour and recognises that children are particularly vulnerable to exploitation.