New Private Member’s Bill to Strengthen UK Modern Slavery Act
A Private Member’s Bill to strengthen the UK Modern Slavery Act will receive its second reading today, July 8th, 2016, in the House of Lords.
The Bill, introduced in May by Baroness Young of Hornsey, would amend the UK Modern Slavery Act to require:
- The production of modern slavery reports by government agencies
- The introduction of mandatory due diligence in government contracts
- The Secretary of State to create a list of all commercial organizations required to publish human trafficking and modern slavery statements
Although still early in the process, this Bill, if passed, will have a significant impact on business within the UK, specifically pertaining to government contracts.
The Bill aims to restrict the government’s procurement process, allowing only companies who have completed due diligence under the UK Modern Slavery Act’s guidelines to participate in public contracts. This requirement aligns the UK Modern Slavery Act with initiatives already in place in the United States, under the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR).
To participate in U.S. government contracts, companies must comply with specific requirements under FAR’s Combating Trafficking in Persons rule.
What Comes Next?
The second reading will give a better indication of the level of support in the House of Lords and, in turn, the likelihood of whether or not it will eventually pass into law. Regardless, there is still a long way to go before that happens.
After its second reading, where the Bill will be debated in the House of Lords, it will move to a committee stage. There, the Bill will be scrutinized and amendments will be suggested. Following this stage, the House of Lords will vote on whether to accept or reject the amendments, and the Bill will pass to a third and final reading before being sent to the House of Commons.
In the House of Commons, the Bill will undergo a similar process before receiving Royal Assent.
Assent Compliance’s regulatory experts are closely monitoring the Bill’s progress through the House of Lords and, if it succeeds in passing there, through the House of Commons. For more information on this Bill and what it could mean for your business, contact us at email@example.com.
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