MODERN SLAVERY ACT 2015
The Modern Slavery Act gives law enforcement the tools to fight modern slavery, ensure perpetrators can receive suitably severe punishments for these appalling crimes and enhance support and protection for victims. It received Royal Assent on Thursday 26 March 2015.
Section 1 Slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour
A person commits an offence if:
- the person holds another person in slavery or servitude and the circumstances are such that the person knows or ought to know that the other person is held in slavery or servitude, or
- the person requires another person to perform forced or compulsory labour and the circumstances are such that the person knows or ought to know that the other person is being required to perform forced or compulsory labour.
Section 2 Human trafficking
- A person commits an offence if the person arranges or facilitates the travel of another person (“V”) with a view to V being exploited.
- It is irrelevant whether V consents to the travel (whether V is an adult or a child).
- A person may in particular arrange or facilitate V’s travel by recruiting V, transporting or transferring V, harbouring or receiving V, or transferring or exchanging control over V.
- A person arranges or facilitates V’s travel with a view to V being exploited only if:
- the person intends to exploit V (in any part of the world) during or after the travel, or
- the person knows or ought to know that another person is likely to exploit V (in any part of the world) during or after the travel.
Section 3 Meaning of exploitation
For the purposes of section 2 a person is exploited only if one or more of the following subsections apply in relation to the person:
- Slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour. The person is the victim of behaviour:
- which involves the commission of an offence under section 1, or
- which would involve the commission of an offence under that section if it took place in England and Wales.
- Sexual exploitation. Something is done to or in respect of the person:
- which involves the commission of an offence under;
- section 1(1)(a) of the Protection of Children Act 1978 (indecent photographs of children), or
- Part 1 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (sexual offences), as it has effect in England and Wales, or
- which would involve the commission of such an offence if it were done in England and Wales.
- Removal of organs etc. The person is encouraged, required or expected to do anything:
- which involves the commission, by him or her or another person, of an offence under section 32 or 33 of the Human Tissue Act 2004 (prohibition of commercial dealings in organs and restrictions on use of live donors) as it has effect in England and Wales, or
- which would involve the commission of such an offence, by him or her or another person, if it were done in England and Wales.
- Securing services etc. by force, threats or deception. The person is subjected to force, threats or deception designed to induce him or her:
- to provide services of any kind,
- to provide another person with benefits of any kind, or
- to enable another person to acquire benefits of any kind.
- Securing services etc. from children and vulnerable persons. Another person uses or attempts to use the person for a purpose within the paragraphs of subsection 4, having chosen him or her for that purpose on the grounds that:
- he or she is a child, is mentally or physically ill or disabled, or has a family relationship with a particular person, and
- an adult, or a person without the illness, disability, or family relationship, would be likely to refuse to be used for that purpose.
Company disclosure requirements under the 2015 Modern Slavery Act
Commercial organisations subject to the 2015 Modern Slavery Act (‘the Act’) must report annually on the steps that they have taken during the financial year to ensure that slavery and human trafficking are not taking place in their own business or in their supply chains.
The Act applies to all organisations with a turnover, or group turnover – that is, the total turnover of a company and its subsidiaries – of £36 million or more which are either incorporated in the UK or carry on a business in the UK.
Section 54 of the Act requires those organisations to prepare and publish a statement setting out the steps that they have taken during that financial year to ensure that slavery and human trafficking are not taking place:
- anywhere in their supply chains;
- in any part of their own business.
Which businesses are subject to the new requirements?
A commercial organisation is required to comply with the reporting requirements if:
- it is incorporated or a partnership;
- it “carries on a business, or part of a business” in the UK;
- its turnover or the turnover of a parent company and its subsidiaries is equal to or greater than £36 million per annum – although this threshold is still to be formally confirmed by way of secondary legislation;
- it supplies goods or services.
Visa Medical Services does not fall within the criteria to report annually on the steps that it has taken during the financial year to ensure that slavery and human trafficking are not taking place in our own business or in their supply chains but wholly agrees with the content of the Modern Slavery Act.
The Managing Director can confirm we are satisfied our operations are free from modern slavery and human trafficking offences.
Visa Medical Services is an SME company who recruit where possible from the local community. All new employees undergo background checks to ensure they are who they say they are and are eligible to work legally in the UK.
We would never knowingly employ anyone who is subject to modern slavery or human trafficking and do not envisage a risk from being exposed to modern slavery practices.
We use recognised local businesses wherever possible for the supply of our materials and equipment and are confident that their operations are free from modern slavery activities.