0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

anti - slavery day

18 October 2018

Parliament introduced the day to:

  • acknowledge that today millions of people (including an estimated 5 million children) continue to be victims of slavery, human trafficking and exploitation - tens of thousands of who work in the UK;
  • raise awareness of the dangers and consequences of these inhumane crimes; and
  • draw attention to the progress made to eradicate modern slavery and focus on what more needs to be done.

Research published this summer by the Home Office estimates that modern slavery costs the UK as much as £4.3 billion every year. Every instance of these crimes costs approximately £330,000 in support, lost earnings and law enforcement, second only to homicide. According to research, last year the British public bought £14 billion of goods made by slaves, in the UK and overseas - to say nothing of the “services” they provided.

This summer the Home Office announced an independent review of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 to consider what else can be done to strengthen the legislation and keep pace with this organised crime. It is generally agreed that laws which require in scope organisations to publish a slavery and human trafficking statement annually, on an ongoing basis, are ignored or inadequately observed by many of them. Organisations sometimes don’t realise that they should retain their prior years’ statements on their website (so interested parties can track progress year on year) and tend to adopt a tick box approach to compliance – rather than looking to embed best practice more widely.      

Whether we Brexit with an agreement or without one the consistent message we hear from UK law enforcement agencies is that a dramatic consequence of our departure from the EU is likely to be a sharp, long-term and significant increase in slavery, human trafficking and exploitation across the UK.    

As a consumer of goods or services or as a supplier of either, it is a pertinent day to ask ourselves what more can we do to tackle modern slavery both here and abroad.

Written by Raymond Silverstein and Emma Grant

related opinions

Chancellor announces levy on companies subject to anti-money laundering regulations

The Chancellor’s latest Budget Report outlined that the Government will introduce a £100 million Economic Crime Levy, otherwise known as the AML Levy no earlier than April 2022 to fund action to tackle money laundering and ensure delivery of reforms in the Government’s Economic Crime Plan.

View blog

Retail woes extending beyond the property sector and into financial markets

Some commentators had anticipated that persisting retail sector challenges might disrupt more than the make-up of the high street or commercial property negotiations between landlords and tenants.

View blog

Does TUPE work for workers?

An Employment Tribunal has considered the definition of “employee” under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 and concluded that this definition is wide enough to cover those who would be more usually described within the UK as workers.

View blog

Supreme Court extends whistle-blower protection

The decision of the Supreme Court extends the scope of whistle-blower protection and is a wider approach than that taken in direct discrimination claims.

View blog

mailing list sign up



Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up