The Modern Slavery Act 2015 is the first legislative framework to specifically address slavery and trafficking in the 21st Century. It increases the power of law enforcement (criminal and civil) surrounding slavery and trafficking in the modern day, creates new offences and places obligations on businesses and individuals.
Tackling modern slavery is one of law enforcement’s priorities when it comes to fighting serious and organised crime. The term ‘modern slavery’ refers to human trafficking, slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour. Cases are usually prosecuted by the National Crime Agency (‘NCA ‘) who workswith partner organisations such as the police, the Crown Prosecution Services and the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA), whose role is to protect vulnerable and exploited workers, to tackle modern slavery.
The penalties under the Modern Slavery Act are severe – ranging from substantial terms of imprisonment for individuals and large fines for corporates.
How we can help
Our broadly-based criminal and regulatory practice gives us the experience needed to provide our clients with the best strategically-sound and practical advice. We are one of very few firms who have been awarded a contract by the Legal Aid Agency to offer advice to victims of modern slavery on Legal Aid. We take a holistic view and often find those accused of other offences may themselves be the victims of Modern Slavery or Trafficking and we can advise on the support that is available, your legal options and whether you have a defence in law to the underlying allegations based on the fact you are the victim of modern slavery. We also offer advice to businesses and individuals to ensure compliance with the rules.
Whether advising businesses or individuals caught up in investigations relating to modern slavery, to conducting internal investigations for companies or advising individuals affected by those internal investigations, we help our clients steer a course through the legal, regulatory and reputational challenges such situations present.