Modern Slavery

Have you come across it yet?

The question on an increasing number of Pre-Qualification Questionnaires (PQQs), which asks if you abide by Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015?

This has come into effect as per the Crown Commercial Service’s decision to implement a new Selection Questionnaire (or SQ for short), which replaces the traditional PQQ.

The government has estimated there are over 13,000 people in the UK that are still victims of Modern Slavery in many forms.

What you may NOT know is that the act contains a clause entitled ‘Transparency in Supply Chains’. This addresses the role of businesses and what they need to do in order to prevent modern slavery from occurring in their supply chains and organisation[s].

As per Section 54, it states that if your organisation has a turnover of over £36 million or more you must confirm adherence to supporting the combat against modern slavery and publish a ‘slavery and human trafficking’ statement annually on your company’s website, stating what you are doing to prevent this.

We find that SME’s tend not to worry too much about answering this in their responses, as it remains non-applicable 99% of the time, but still, it is something that is commonly being asked across the board. Don’t answer it incorrectly AND although you are not legally obliged to publish a statement (if your turnover equates to less than £36M), we advise you to place focus on this within your organisation.

This could be by:

  • creating a written section in your Corporate & Social Responsibility Policy (if you have one – if you don’t > create one)
  • OR write a stand-alone policy statement to your processes (including, how you are aware of this, what you do to alert authorities upon recognition etc.)

Place a comment about your commitments in a tender and this shows the buyer than you go above and beyond your considerations regarding UK legislation and commitments.