National law firm Shoosmiths regulatory partner Ron Reid will be one of the key note speakers today at the Northamptonshire Logistics Forum.
The forum, organised by Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership, is aimed at understanding transparency in the supply chain including helping local businesses understand their obligations under the Modern Slavery Act. Ron will be presenting on the legal impact the new legislation will have on businesses in the region, and steps business owners can take to ensure that they remain compliant and help in the fight to end slavery.
He joins an expert speaker panel including the Anti-Slavery Commissioner Kevin Hyland OBE; Steff Williams, Tactical Advisor at the UK Human Trafficking Centre; Julia Potts from Northamptonshire Police; Liam Fassam, University of Northampton and Charlotte Patrick from the Northampton Enterprise Partnership.
Under the Modern Slavery Act 2015 commercial organisations, supplying goods or services, with a turnover of £36 million or above must to publish an annual statement setting out what they are doing to ensure that there is no modern slavery both in their own organization and in any of their supply chains. The turnover calculation includes those organisations that are only carrying out part of their business in the UK, as well as including the turnover of foreign subsidiaries, so supply chains can be complex particularly as services are caught as well as goods.
Enforcement is not through prosecution but by way of injunction and risk to brand reputation through interest from press, consumers, stakeholders and investors.
Contrary to expectations SMEs are finding that they are affected by the Modern Slavery Transparency Supply Chain provisions because they are required to give assurances to those they supply that they comply with the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
With a reputation as the industry expert on the legal implications of MSA, Ron was asked to join the speaker panel to share his thoughts on the steps that businesses should be taking to identify and stamp out modern slavery in their supply chains.
Commenting on the new legislation, Ron said: 'Businesses simply can't afford to ignore the reporting obligations of the Modern Slavery Act. As well as putting themselves at risk of injunction, they run the risk of damaging their reputation by failing to meet the increasing consumer expectation that they operate in a corporately responsible manner. All businesses should be thinking about whether they have sufficient practices in place to ensure compliance.'
Ron heads the Shoosmiths regulatory team and specialises in business compliance and crisis management issues. He regularly advises and defends clients facing prosecution for corporate crime and breaches of health & safety, environmental, trading standards and other regulatory legislation. He delivers papers to regional, national and international seminars and is a regular commentator in the media on the MSA.
For more information on MSA or to download a free compliance checklist visit www.shoosmiths.co.uk