Modern Slavery Act assessment tool

The UK’s Modern Slavery Act requires businesses to disclose their approach to forced labour on their website. Affected organisations need to produce a statement within six months of their year-end.

It applies to all businesses with UK operations and a revenue of GBP36 million or more. You can use this free assessment tool to find out whether your business needs to comply with this law and, if so, what you need to do by answering as few as 15 simple questions. This process is confidential.

Please note that this tool and its result findings do not constitute legal advice. If you wish it, Taylor Wessing provides such advice and further support following the findings.

Please complete this tool continuously in one session as you will not be able to go back, save and return to, or review your data before submission.

References to “your business” are to the business you identify in the box below. 

What do I need to know?

Does your business need to produce a statement?

Find out by using our free Modern Slavery assessment tool.

Who is affected?

Any business with UK operations and a revenue of GBP36 million or more. It is UK presence (not country of origin) and size of operations that makes the Act applicable. So businesses based outside the UK may still be caught.

What must businesses do?

If they are in scope, publish a website statement of their approach to modern slavery – or state they take no measures. Many will feel this is a burden – and we offer a proportionate, pragmatic solution.

The Government also encourages organisations to publish their statements on the modern slavery statement registry. In the longer term this will become a mandatory requirement as the Government seeks to monitor and drive compliance with identifying and addressing modern slavery risks in organisations' operations and supply chains.

When must they do it?

Within six months of their financial year end and annually thereafter. Each new annual statement should include details of further actions they have been taking to tackle modern slavery in their supply chains and should reflect the Government guidance which builds on the legislation.

What do we offer?

  • A free, confidential online diagnostic tool for businesses to determine their level of obligation and risk profile.
  • A compliant Modern Slavery Act statement for their website, tailored to the business’ structure and risk profile.
  • An Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking policy, designed to reflect the business’ practices and procedures.
  • Terms and conditions for contracts with new suppliers and declarations of compliance for existing supplier relationships.
  • Training for relevant staff according to the needs of the business.
  • Specific investigation, reputation and risk management advice.

The business context

The UK government is increasingly following a know and show (or to some, name and shame) approach to business standards.

As with anti-bribery and corruption legislation, the aim is to improve business in the UK, and to compel those doing business in the UK to be accountable for supplier practices around the world. The UK wants to set a standard internationally.

Politicians have signalled they intend to improve trust in business standards in several areas. This is just one. Now that the Modern Slavery Act requirements have been in force for some years, both Home Office and non-governmental organisations are targeting businesses for both non-compliance and failure to renew transparency statements.

The government is currently looking to introduce financial penalties for organisations who fail to meet their statutory obligations to publish annual modern slavery statements. This will require legislative change. 

Core concerns

This is not just an issue of compliance. It goes to brand, customer and regulator reputation and helps demonstrate an organisation’s status as a well-run business.

  • Figures for people in the UK who are forced to work against their will vary. In 2014 the Home Office produced an estimate of between 10,000-13,000 victims whereas the Walk Free Foundation's latest Global Slavery Index, released in July 2018, estimated the number of victims of modern slavery in the UK at 136,000
  • In 2020 there were over 10,000 potential victims of modern slavery who were referred to the National Referral Mechanism (the UK's identification and support system for victims of modern slavery)
  • Reports suggest that in 2017 the UK purchased almost GBP14 billion of goods that were produced using forced labour
  • In 2020 of the 347 legal decisions on modern slavery offences 75% resulted in defendants being charged     
  • Industries such as consumer, retail, and construction are potentially high risk
  • US and tech clients are already familiar with similar principles in California legislation, which differs in some respects

Market response

Currently more than 16,000 organisations in the UK have published statements on the Modern slavery statement registry about their compliance with the Act. Landlords include anti-slavery clauses in leases. Others include key terms in supplier contracts, and Stronger Together provides a resource centre.