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Modern slavery

Modern slavery

SKU: 7.16
  • Advice

    What is Modern Slavery?

    Modern slavery is defined as the illegal exploitation of individuals being forced to work, owned, controlled, dehumanised or constrained by an employer. Modern slavery victims can be of any gender, age, nationality and ethnicity. Under the Modern Slavery Act 2015, the following terms will need to be used.


    Terms and definitions

    Slavery - Where ownership is exercised over a person.

    Servitude - An obligation to provide services imposed by coercion.

    Human Trafficking - Arranging for the travel of people to exploit them.

    Forced or Compulsory Labour - Work or services under threat of a penalty, or where the person does not offer themselves voluntarily.


    Identifying Modern Slavery

    Employees may be under modern slavery if they:

    • Look scruffy, malnourished or injured;
    • Act anxious, afraid or unable to make eye contact;
    • Working long hours, wearing unsuitable clothing or having the wrong equipment for the job;
    • Their living space is overcrowded, poorly maintained or isolated from the outside world; or
    • Behave like they’re being instructed by someone else and do not have access to their own money or identification.


    In terms of contracts with their employer, there may be irregularities, such as unfair terms. This may exist as providing housing for the employee, but requiring them to pay exorbitant fees for utilities, or for food which limit the options they have of leaving, the final result would leave them with no home or job. Similar arrangements may be made, but a common theme is that there is some form of restriction which prevents them from improving their position or keeping them to a job without an option to leave.


    Alternatively, it could be forced labour in many different industries, where they do not have a choice due to some threat or harm being placed upon them if the employees do not comply and work for the employer. Most commonly, these incidences happen when vulnerable individuals take large risks to provide for their families. The risks some families take to cross the English Channel, usually in small boats accompanied by their children demonstrates the lengths some are driven to so they can provide a new, safe life for their families.


    Often, they venture to the UK under the offer of a new job, a nice house and safety for their family, upon arrival however they find that their passport is confiscated and that they are told that they need to pay off a huge debt before they can have it back, they obey in the belief that they will be sent back home if they disobey. This makes them completely reliant on their traffickers. Alternatively, they may also use forced or compulsory labour without pay for extreme lengths of time to keep individuals in servitude.


    Being found guilty of modern slavery may result in imprisonment and a fine. Under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, if the courts have deemed that an employer is guilty of modern slavery, then a confiscation order may be made. A confiscation order is when the courts seize the assets of the trafficker or person whom the employee is bound in servitude to - usually stemming from any of their profits made from the exploitation and to ensure that the employee is properly refunded for their work. If the employer does not have enough money to make reparations, then the courts must prioritise compensating the employees before paying the profit to the court. For more information, please see our pages on Modern Slavery in the “Personal” section.


    How we can help

    To receive our assistance, you will need to create a case by clicking on the link at the top of this page, activated by the link at the top of the page, should you wish to start a case the caseworker will send you the suitable payment link. Additional funds will be required if you need to incur costs such as taxi fares, upfront costs for your preferred “safehouse” and so on.


    Please note your caseworker can only give generic advice, their role is to prepare your details for handling by our legal team and to act as your point of contact, they will also issue you with your Password and PIN, these will be needed to log onto your client dashboard. From your dashboard you will be able to manage and view every aspect of your case, upload documents, images, files etc.

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