Independent Review of the Modern Slavery Act 2015

British nationals made up the highest number of UK slavery cases in 2017, with 5,145 potential victims of trafficking and slavery.

In response, the UK government commissioned an independent review of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (MSA) in August 2018, in order to strengthen and enhance the current legislation as the nature of modern slavery evolves. 

IEMA policy lead Marc Jourdan oversaw IEMA’s participation in the review by conducting a member-wide survey. IEMA used those results to submit its recommendations to the secretariat of this independent review. The recommendations can be viewed here.

The final report of the independent review was laid in Parliament on Wednesday 22 May, and a government response is expected in due course. The document is available at IEMA led a webinar on the interim review findings in April with the participation of Baroness Young of Hornsey, an official expert advisor for the review. The webinar can be viewed here.

IEMA welcomes the findings of this report, which mirror its own recommendations in calling for the independent anti-slavery commissioner to have stronger monitoring powers so that it can hold government agencies to account. The report also echoed IEMA’s demands on transparency in supply chains, stressing that legislation should mandate the areas companies are expected to report on, and that section 54 requirements should be extended to the public sector while making necessary reforms to strengthen the government’s approach to non-compliance with the MSA. These reforms could include fines and directors’ disqualification.

If you wish to participate in further engagement activities around the topic of modern slavery or social sustainability more generally, please contact Marc Jourdan at

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