Modern Slavery Act 2015

On 29 October 2015 the Modern Slavery Act 2015 came in to force and with it new requirements for businesses to report on slavery and human trafficking. Section 52 of the Act calls on Councils, and other public authorities, to notify the Home Office of any individuals that they believe may be victims of slavery or human trafficking.

West Lancashire Borough Council is committed to preventing slavery and human trafficking in its corporate activities and to ensuring that its supply chains are free from slavery and human trafficking, and has publically signalled this commitment through a Council motion.

West Lancashire Borough Council will will promote awareness of Modern Day Slavery amongst our residents and work with officers to support survivors, as follows:

  1. Train its corporate procurement team to understand modern slavery through the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply’s (CIPS) online course on Ethical Procurement and Supply.
  2. Require its contractors to comply fully with the Modern Slavery Act 2015, wherever it applies, with contract termination as a potential sanction for non-compliance.
  3. Challenge any abnormally low-cost tenders to ensure they do not rely upon the potential contractor practising modern slavery.
  4. Highlight to its suppliers that contracted workers are free to join a trade union and are not to be treated unfairly for belonging to one.
  5. Publicise its whistle-blowing system for staff to blow the whistle on any suspected examples of modern slavery.
  6. Require its tendered contractors to adopt a whistle-blowing policy which enables their staff to blow the whistle on any suspected examples of modern slavery.
  7. Review its contractual spending regularly to identify any potential issues with modern slavery.
  8. Highlight for its suppliers any risks identified concerning modern slavery and refer them to the relevant agencies to be addressed.
  9. Refer for investigation via the National Crime Agency’s national referral mechanism any of its contractors identified as a cause for concern regarding modern slavery.
  10. Report publicly on the implementation of this policy annually.

Suitable training is provided targeted at front line officers as they may be more likely to encounter incidents of modern slavery or human trafficking in the course of their duties, examples would include environmental health officers visiting commercial premises. 

Whilst incidents of slavery and human trafficking are relatively rare, all West Lancashire Borough Council employees are asked to be vigilant in the carrying out of their day to day Council duties and, where appropriate, notify the Environmental Protection and Community Safety Manager of any concerns.