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central registry for modern slavery statements now launched

12 March 2021

In our previous update we stated that the government was proposing to introduce a central registry for statements prepared in accordance with section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (MSA). Section 54 of the MSA requires in-scope organisations to publish an annual statement setting out the steps they have taken to identify and address their modern slavery risks in the previous financial year.

The Home Office has now launched a central registry for section 54 statements – it can be accessed here. Organisations need to create an account in order to register their organisation and submit information about their modern slavery statement. Uploading information to the Home Office registry is (at this point) voluntary rather than compulsory - although the government has indicated that in future publication to the central registry will be mandatory. At present, any organisation that has created a modern slavery statement can use the service - this includes those that are legally required to publish their statement and also those that have published voluntarily. The Home Office will use the information provided to publish a summary in its modern slavery statement registry and include a link to the full statement on each organisation’s website.

The government has previously said that it hopes having a central registry “will radically enhance transparency making it easier for consumers, investors and civil society to hold organisations to account for the steps they have taken to root out modern slavery.” Whilst organisations are encouraged to make use of the new service now it is available, it remains to be seen how many organisations will voluntarily upload their statements to the central register.

Co-authored by Ray Silverstein and Emma Grant.

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