Failure to comply with the new legislation – which came into effect in October 2015 – will not only lead to a possible injunction, but it could have devastating effects on the company’s reputation, with the press eager to ‘out’ those corporations which are not complying.
The new Modern Slavery Act obliges companies with a global annual turnover of £36m or more to publish a statement on their website which states what actions they are taking to ensure their business and supply chains are slavery free.
The statement must be approved by the board of directors and signed by a director. The Modern Slavery Act follows a number of high-profile cases of popular consumer brands being found to have forced or child labour in their supply chains.
The press will no doubt be keen to scour organisations’ websites to see if they have a statement, or to see what the statement says and if they can pick up on any ambiguity or anything they may have missed.
For that reason, it’s important that companies take legal and PR advice when drafting the statement, to ensure that there’s no wrongful wording or anything which could be taken the wrong way.
Take a look at the full article here for more practical advice on what companies should do now to avoid legal or reputational issues.