Issue - meetings

The Implications of the Modern Slavery Act 2015

Meeting: 14/07/2016 - People Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Item 5)

5 The Implications of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 pdf icon PDF 125 KB


The Group Solicitor introduced the report of the Head of Legal and Member Services that highlighted the implications of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (“the Act”) for local authorities and how Wirral Borough Council (“the Council”) would implement this legislation. The report further set out what steps were needed by the Council in order to comply with these new duties.


The report informed that the Modern Slavery Act 2015 received royal assent on 26 March 2015 and according to the Prime Minister will “tackle the worst exploitation” and consolidate various offences relating to human trafficking and slavery.


The Group Solicitor informed the People Overview and Scrutiny Committee of the key provisions of the Act and recommendations as detailed in the report. A Member questioned whether information on the Act would be distributed to partner organisations to raise awareness of the matter. Another Member suggested that, for example, the information provided to the committee could also be shared with local taxi and private hire firms.


The Chair introduced a further recommendation that the report be presented to the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee.


Resolved – That


in order to meet  the Council’s legal duty to notify the Home Secretary about possible victims under section 52 of the Act:


1)  the Council roll out Modern Slavery specific mandatory training alongside all current mandatory training to alert staff in what circumstances a notification should be made to the Secretary of State and the process for doing so;


2)  there be a clear reporting system for all Council staff where a case of slavery is suspected. Reporting forms should be easily accessible on the Council’s website;


3)  Council staff should be trained on the reporting requirements and what must be included in any notification to the Secretary of State as per the Regulations;


4)  in accordance with the duty to notify, there will need to be a system in place for completing the necessary National Referral Mechanism (NRM) form or Notification of a Potential Victim of Modern Slavery (MS1) forms. These should also be accessible on the Council’s website with a clear system in place for who will be required to complete the forms;


5)  management should review their departments to identify any potential risk of slavery and human trafficking and take appropriate steps to manage that risk; and


6)  the report be forwarded to the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee for consideration.