We are creating a unified UKRI website that brings together the existing research council, Innovate UK and Research England websites.
If you would like to be involved in its development let us know.

Modern Slavery Act 2015


To help prevent Modern Slavery the UK Government implemented the Modern Slavery Act in 2015.  It received Royal Assent on 26th March 2015 and became law;

  • gives law enforcement the tools to fight modern slavery
  • ensures suitably severe punishments
  • enhances support for victims.

Modern Slavery describes offences of human trafficking and slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour.

Leadership, resource and funding

Executive engagement and leadership is essential, including board approval of a public policy commitment to respect human rights. They should establish:

  • clear accountability, roles and responsibilities - beware of opaque accountability with cross functional teams
  • identify funding: for training, expert advice, extra resource etc
  • decide whether to focus on slavery and trafficking (S&T) or broader human rights (given new human rights corporate reporting duties described above).

Further information

There was an estimated 45.8 million people in slavery worldwide in 2016.

The UK is 52 in the world out of 167 countries for number of people in slavery.

Human trafficking and slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour is estimated to generate US$ 150 billion in illegal profits per year.

Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) research found that 71% of companies believe there is a likelihood of modern slavery occurring at some point within their supply chain.  In line with the Modern Slavery Act 2015, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is committed to preventing slavery and human trafficking in all its activities and contractual suppliers, whilst working with them to ensure that their supply chains are also free from slavery and human trafficking. 

Modern Slavery Act 2015.

Statutory Guidance.

STFC Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking Statement for April 2016 - March 2017

This statement has been published in accordance with the Modern Slavery Act 2015. It sets out the steps taken by STFC during 2016/17 to prevent modern slavery and human trafficking in its business and supply chains.

STFC formed in 2007. STFC is a world-leading multi-disciplinary science organisation with a mission to deliver economic, societal, scientific and international benefits to the UK and to the world. STFC provides research grant funding to UK Higher Education Institutions and other eligible research organisations for research in the fields of astronomy, particle physics and nuclear physics, and for associated technology development, research infrastructure and knowledge exchange. We support an academic community of around 1,700 in particle physics, nuclear physics, and astronomy, who work at more than 50 universities and research institutes in the UK, Europe, Japan and the United States, including a rolling cohort of more than 900 PhD students. Our large-scale scientific facilities in the UK and Europe are used by more than 3,500 users each year, carrying out more than 2,000 experiments and generating around 900 publications.

We are supported mainly by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

STFC is committed to the principles of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and the abolition of modern slavery and human trafficking and maintains:

  • a Code of Conduct
  • an Ethics Policy supported by an Ethics Committee
  • policies on Corporate Responsibility, and
  • Whistleblowing.

These form part of a wider suite of policies, all of which are accessible by all STFC staff and are reviewed on a cyclical basis.

Within STFC, our recruitment and people management processes are designed to ensure that all prospective employees are legally entitled to work in the UK and to safeguard employees from any abuse or coercion once in our employment.

STFC’s procurement for goods and services is administered by our shared services provider, UK SBS. Our supply chain is extensive and we procure goods and services from a wide range of UK and overseas suppliers. The UK SBS have published their statement on Slavery & Human Trafficking which includes their mechanisms for guarding against modern slavery in their client’s supply chains. In 2016, UK SBS introduced a mandatory requirement for suppliers to declare their compliance with Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act (if the supplier is within scope of the Act) as part of the procurement process.

During 2017-18, STFC will undertake the following activities:

  • develop a staff awareness strategy for the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and establish appropriate reporting mechanisms if a case of slavery or human trafficking is suspected. Training will initially be targeted at high risk areas of our business – procurement, recruitment and estates
  • develop measures (e.g. KPI, assurance) to evidence our commitment to the principles of the Modern Slavery Act
  • put together a working group to assess the parts of STFC's business and supply chains, not covered by UK SBS, where there is a risk of slavery and human trafficking and what steps STFC should take to manage these risks
  • ensure that consideration of the modern slavery risks and prevention are embedded within STFC’s policy review process
  • embed the Modern Slavery Act 2015 into our Whistleblowing Policy and processes
  • ensure STFC and UK SBS procurement strategies include references to modern slavery and human trafficking.

This statement has been approved by Chief Executive, STFC  Executive Board and Council.

Diana Chaloner
Executive Director HR

Last updated: 27 August 2020


Science and Technology Facilities Council
Switchboard: +44 (0)1793 442000