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The Modern Slavery Act of 2015

Updated: Dec 22, 2021

What it Means for Small Business Employees


The modern slavery act of 2015 is landmark legislation designed to help protect vulnerable people from modern-day slavery and human trafficking.



The principles for this law are as follows:

The government must now do more to identify, support, and protect that modern-day slavery or human trafficking victims.

Employers will be required to take steps to prevent modern-day slavery in their business, including training staff on what modern-day slavery looks like; there need to be harsher penalties imposed on those found guilty of modern-day slavery offences.

This blog post explores how this new legislation affects employees at small business companies.

Under the modern slavery act, all employers must prevent modern-day slavery in their business, including training staff on what modern-day slavery looks like and implementing effective systems to identify and report any signs of it.

Employees at small businesses should be aware of these new requirements and feel confident in reporting anything they think may be suspicious or wrong.

Small businesses must also ensure that their suppliers are aware of and comply with the modern slavery act, as any offences committed by suppliers can reflect on the company.

Do employers always follow the principles of the modern slavery act? How do they feel about it?

It is important to remember that the modern slavery act is still new, and employers are not perfect. There may be cases where businesses do not fully understand their obligations under the law or choose to ignore them.

Employees at small businesses should feel comfortable speaking up if they believe their employer is not complying with the modern slavery act. They can contact organisations like Anti-Slavery International for support and guidance.

Hopefully, as more people become aware of the modern slavery act and its principles, more employers will take steps to comply with it, creating a safer environment for all employees – both in the UK and abroad.

What are some possible penalties for breaking modern-day slavery rules? What is the minimum wage in the UK?



In most cases, this will be dealt with by an internal investigation and any necessary changes made to ensure compliance. However, there are severe consequences if businesses choose not to exploit vulnerable workers or fail to report modern-day slavery offences committed in their business.

Employers found guilty of modern-day slavery offences could face up to two years imprisonment or a fine of £20,000 per person exploited at the company's hands. Those who use false documents as part of modern-day slavery criminal activity can expect seven years imprisonment instead.

The minimum wage rate in the UK has increased to £9.50 for workers aged 25 and above.

What is modern-day slavery?

The modern slavery act defines modern-day slavery as the condition of a person over 18 years old who is forcibly made to work – through mental or physical threats.

Workers can also be kept in servitude by either having their passport taken away from them, trapped between debt and working to pay it off (debt bondage), or any form of deception used against people so they can exploit them for labour.

It does not matter if this takes place within the UK borders, on British vessels abroad, or at international businesses based overseas that have links with companies operating under UK law. Modern-day slavery can also include illegal adoptions and organ harvesting.



Human trafficking, on the other hand, is a form of modern-day slavery where people are moved from one place to another for exploitation; this could be sexual exploitation, forced labour, or domestic servitude. Human trafficking does not have to involve transport – victims are often taken to a different part of the city they live in and forced to work there without ever leaving their neighbourhood.

This blog post has explored some of the key points around the modern slavery act 2015 and its implications for small business employees. To find out more about modern-day slavery or how you can report any suspicions you may have, please visit Anti-Slavery International's website:

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