Published Monday, 30 January 2017
Telford & Wrekin Council’s Cabinet is set to approve an Anti-Slavery Policy and Statement to protect vulnerable people and ensure the authority complies with government legislation.
The Modern Slavery Act 2015 requires any commercial organisation with a minimum turnover of £36m to produce an annual statement and have an anti-slavery policy.
It is also recognised as good practice for all councils to follow this requirement.
Slavery is now a major crime affecting a significant amount of people in the UK. Modern day victims can be found in situations of exploitation hidden in car washes, nail bars, fields, factories, the private care sector and private homes.
Councils have a duty to ensure officers are able to recognise the indicators of modern slavery. It’s also key that officers know how to respond if modern slavery is suspected.
The council is developing online learning courses available to all staff to make them aware of modern slavery. There will also be a designated web page on the Open Council section of the council’s website which will hold the statement, policy and useful links to relevant legislation.
Councillor Paul Watling, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for Communities, said: “The 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.
“This is managed by officers being made aware of the potential for modern slavery risks through awareness training.
“When procuring goods or service, officers will ensure that as part of tender evaluation and ongoing contract management, they will consider the potential and likelihood of modern slavery through a clear understanding of the supplier’s business.
“The prevention, detection and reporting of modern slavery in any part of the Council;s business or supply chains is the responsibility of all employees.
“If there are any concerns or suspicions, employees should notify their line manager and inform Family Connect in the first instance.
“Family Connect will then ensure we meet our duty to notify the Secretary of State of suspected victims of slavery or human trafficking.”
The policy and statement is expected to be approved by Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet when it meets on February 2.