Lessons Drawn From The UK Modern Slavery Act 2015 For Freelancers And Entrepreneurs

Let’s face it, slavery in the online freelancing industry is real. Today, if you open google and search for ‘how to make money online‘ you will be bombarded with several websites that offer opportunities to make money. 5 years ago, many of these sites were not there.

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For me, any legit opportunity to make money online will either make you a freelancer, a Freelance business owner or both. It’s also important to mention that some of the platforms will make you broke and in debt.

How Safe is the Online Marketplace?

When you find a legit platform to earn money online you are good. The next question you should ask yourself is; how safe am I on this platform from preying clients who’s intent is to misuse my time and pay me peanuts or not pay me at all?

That is why I think the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015 has come at a good time. Although it is limited to the UK only, its a good legislation that you can draw inspiration from as a freelancer or a freelance business owner.

Video: Lessons Drawn From The UK Modern Slavery Act 2015

In order to make the online marketplace a safe haven for doing business; we as users must rally for best practices to protect ourselves and the future generations.

I have reviewed the act and found very helpful pointers that I think it will be helpful to you as a freelancer or an online business owner. That is what I am going to share with you on this blogpost.

What does Modern Slavery Act 2015 Entail?

The act make provisions about slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labor and about human trafficking, including provision for the protection of victims.

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When it was implemented, it then followed that;

Any commercial organization in any sector that supplies goods or services, carries on a business or part of a business in the United Kingdom, and is above a specified total turnover must produce a slavery and human trafficking transparency statement for each financial year of the organization.’

UK Modern Slavery Act 2015

This blogpost is inspired by Modern Slavery Act Transparency Statements’ on some payment processors and international freelancing marketplaces serving people in UK.

What is in The Statement?

Businesses are expected to confirm their commitment in ensuring that their operations has no involvement in modern slavery or human trafficking in any of it’s supply chains, and in any part of it’s own business.

Secondly, the statement must be published on their website and links to the statement easily accessible.

Here is a summary of the common steps taken by each of my referenced companies to protect freelancers and businesses who use their services from abuse.

Compliance and Measures

To remain compliant to modern slavery act 2015, they have;

  1. Drafted and implemented Employees Code of Business Conduct and Ethics.
  2. Trained their employees as part of the onboarding process.
  3. Whistleblower Policy .
  4. Standardized contracting forms or a standard set of purchase order terms (for the payment processor).  
  5. A requirement for suppliers to complete a detailed due diligence questionnaire.
  6. Supply agreements made on the supplier’s terms are duly reviewed by the Procurement and Legal teams.
  7. A requirement for suppliers to accept the terms of provider Partner Code.

These are 7 among the many measures in place. Its important to note that it varies based on the line of business each one of them is in.

Actions Taken on Reported Cases

Both have a very common approach when dealing with reported cases. When a case is reported;

  1. Reasonable investigation on the matter and appropriate action is taken.
  2. There is full cooperation with the appropriate authorities.

Why is Modern Slavery Act 2015 A Good Idea?

To Freelancers

The act is good to freelancers for two reasons. First, by going through this act, you increases your level of vigilance in the remote workplace. Secondly, you become an ambassador of online security and safety.

To Online Entrepreneurs

UK Modern Slavery Act 2015 is a good guide for entrepreneurs planning to serve clients residing in the UK. When you have knowledge about the legislation, drafting a statement based on the business that you run will be easy.

At the end, your will have high chances of being accepted in the UK marketplace.

Conclusion

At the early stages of working online, most people make losses in the process. The loses arise from being cheated to do work and end up not getting paid, being asked to work on a project aimed at defrauding people, getting hired by scammers who end up stealing your data e.t.c.

Laws like Modern Slavery Act 2015 is an opener. One is able to understand that slavery acts can also be undertaken online and is illegal. This way, whenever one notices anything unusual online, they can report it to the respective authorities for action.

What do you think of Modern Slavery Act 2015? Have you skimmed through the act? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below here.

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Until next time by bye and take care.

Follow me on twitter @cheptiony.

Cheptiony Mutai

Cheptiony Mutai is the founder and author of this blog. By profession, he is video producer and an online entrepreneur working and living in Kenya.

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