Modern Slavery Act affecting SMEs

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SMEs are feeling the effects of the Modern Slavery Act, despite the Act only applying to businesses turning over more than £36m.

The Act requires these larger businesses to provide an annual Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement.

But in a trickle down effect, because the legislation covers suppliers to these businesses, SMEs are in turn being required to certify to the larger corporations that the goods and services they are supplying are free from connections with slavery and/or human trafficking.

SMEs need to confirm not only that their own organisation is compliant, but must also perform due diligence on all of their own suppliers and service providers.

Corporations required to provide the statement will steer clear of SMEs who cannot provide clear confirmation that their businesses are compliant.