The Home Office is writing to chief executives (CEOs) telling them to open up about modern slavery in their supply chains, or risk being named as in breach of the law.
The letter, to businesses with a turnover of more than £36m, will be reminding CEOs to publish annual slavery and human trafficking statements, setting out what they are doing to stop modern slavery and forced labour practices occurring in their business and supply chains.
The government said it is estimated that only 60 percent of employers who should comply with the reporting requirements are currently doing so.
Victoria Atkins, minister for crime, safeguarding and vulnerability, said: “It is horrible to think some of the goods and services we buy could have been produced by someone forced into modern slavery. This is abhorrent and as global leaders in the fight against modern slavery, we will not tolerate it.
“Some businesses are already leading the way in taking action by being open and transparent about what they are doing to identify, tackle and prevent forced labour in their supply chains, but too many are still failing to meet their basic legal obligations.
“That’s why the Home Office is sending letters to businesses with a clear message that continued non-compliance will not be tolerated.”
The government said to ensure it tackles this evolving crime, it will consider whether laws should be further strengthened to ensure companies take action to address forced labour from supply chains at home and abroad.
The Home Office, which recently published the Modern Slavery Annual Report 2018, intends to publish a list of non-compliant companies failing to publish a Modern Slavery Statement at the end of the financial year.