UK Publishes Guidance on Modern Slavery Reporting During COVID-19
On 20 April, the UK Home Office released a guidance document for businesses on addressing and reporting on modern slavery risks during COVID-19.
Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 requires certain organizations to develop a slavery and human trafficking statement each year which should contain the steps businesses have taken to ensure modern slavery is not taking place in their business or supply chains.
Businesses are permitted to delay the publication of their statement for up to 6 months without penalty, if they are unable to prepare the report in time due to COVID-19. However, the statement should clarify the reason for the delay, for example due to reduced capacity.
Additionally, businesses should also ensure that they identify and address any new or increased risks in their supply chain due to the pandemic and keep their Board of Directors up to date on these matters.