The government is threatening to name and shame companies that fail to set out what they are doing about modern slavery in their supply chains.
Companies with a turnover of move than £36 million must publish a Modern Slavery Statement. While 60 per cent of companies have published a statement, some of these fail to meet basic legal requirements.
As a result, the Home Office is writing to chief executives of 17,000 businesses telling them to open up about modern slavery in their supply chains, or risk being named as in breach of the law.
Minister for crime, safeguarding and vulnerability Victoria Atkins said: “It is horrible to think some of the goods and services we buy could have been produced by someone forced into modern slavery. This is abhorrent and as global leaders in the fight against modern slavery, we will not tolerate it.”
The government is currently reviewing existing legislation with a view to toughening it up.
Cath Hill, group director at the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply, said: “A third of the UK’s supply chain managers feel there is greater pressure to eliminate modern slavery but no extra resources to help them take action. Chief executives must step up and devote the money and time required to eliminate this sickening crime.
“If businesses put profit before the safety and freedom of the people in their supply chain, the government will have no choice but to name and shame the worst offenders.
“Britain has led the world in creating modern slavery legislation and British businesses should lead the way in acting upon it.”
The Home Office intends to publish a list of non-compliant companies failing to publish a Modern Slavery Statement at the end of the financial year.