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Written Question
Slavery
Monday 7th February 2022

Asked by: Baroness Young of Hornsey (Crossbench - Life peer)

Question to the Home Office:

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by the then Secretary of State for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office on 12 January 2021 (HC Deb, col 160) that they will "introduce fines for businesses that do not comply" with the Modern Slavery Act 2015, when they plan to bring forward these changes.

Answered by Baroness Williams of Trafford - Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)

The landmark transparency provisions contained in section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 made the UK the first country in the world to require businesses with a turnover of £36m or more to report annually on the steps they have taken to prevent modern slavery in their operations and supply chains.

To enhance the impact of transparency and accelerate action to prevent modern slavery, the Government committed to strengthening the reporting requirements contained in section 54 and introduce new measures including financial penalties for organisations that fail to meet their statutory obligation to publish modern slavery statements. These measures require primary legislation and will be introduced when parliamentary time allows. The Government will publish guidance to help organisations prepare for the new reporting requirements when timings of legislation is clear.


Written Question
Slavery and Forced Labour
Thursday 28th May 2020

Asked by: Baroness Young of Hornsey (Crossbench - Life peer)

Question to the Home Office:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of COVID-19 on (1) labour exploitation, and (2) modern slavery.

Answered by Baroness Williams of Trafford - Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)

Modern slavery is a harmful and hidden crime and its victims may be especially isolated and vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are committed to protecting those who may be subject to exploitation and modern slavery, during this time.

We are working closely with the police, the National Crime Agency, the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority, the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate and Her Majesty’s Revenues and Customs - National Minimum Wage Team to monitor and assess any emerging changes to the threat of modern slavery during the COVID-19 pandemic, to ensure law enforcement activity can respond to the changing environment. We are confident that law enforcement agencies continue to pursue high risk modern slavery cases where there is a risk of harm or detriment to individuals.

In addition, we have taken clear steps to ensure that we continue to support some of the most vulnerable people in our society. To ensure victims continue to feel supported and safe, we announced on 6 April 2020, that all individuals in accommodation provided by the government-funded specialist Modern Slavery Victim Care Contract, will not be required to move on from their accommodation for the next three months.