What is the timescale for employers to prepare a slavery and human trafficking statement?

Organisations that are required to prepare a slavery and human trafficking statement under s.54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 must prepare a statement for each financial year. The statement must set out the steps that the organisation has taken during the financial year to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place in its business or supply chains (or must state that it has taken no such steps).

The duty to prepare a statement is in force from 29 October 2015, but under transitional arrangements, it does not apply in respect of financial years ending before 31st March 2016. Employers with a financial year ending on or after 31 March 2016 will have to comply with the duty in respect of that financial year. In effect, all organisations have at least five months from the date on which the duty comes into force before they have to publish a statement.

The government guidance Transparency in supply chains etc: a practical guide, states that the Government "expects organisations to publish their statements as soon as reasonably practicable after the end of each financial year". It goes on to "encourage" publication within six months of the end of the financial year.

The requirement to prepare a slavery and human trafficking statement applies to commercial organisations with an annual turnover of at least £36 million.