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Better Late Than Never – Compliance with the UK Modern Slavery Act

Is your business a multinational company that does business in the UK? If it is and you have never heard of the UK Modern Slavery Act, then now would be a good time to get up to speed.

We have written previously in this blog and elsewhere about the UK Modern Slavery Act and, in particular, how companies headquartered in the United States that do business in the UK must publish annual statements on their websites regarding their efforts to eliminate slavery and human trafficking in their organizations and supply chains.

As is often the case with legal developments in foreign jurisdictions, the new obligations have gone under the radar for many businesses not headquartered in the UK, who now suddenly find themselves out of compliance without even realizing it.

If you are just getting started, we offer, as an example, Vinson & Elkins’ own statement for the 2016 financial year. A copy of our statement can be accessed through the link on our London office homepage. We would certainly be willing to assist any of our clients in preparing their own statement.

The good news is that there is still time to take action. The UK government’s guidance states that statements should be published within six months following the end of the company’s financial year.  So a company with a financial year ending December 31, 2016 should have published its statement by June 30, 2017. However, the guidance does not impose a hard deadline, so there is still time to prepare a statement and get it online without being in breach of the law. But now is the time to act.

This information is provided by Vinson & Elkins LLP for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended, nor should it be construed, as legal advice.