Slavery & Trafficking Risk Orders – Advice for Your Business

Slavery and Trafficking Risk Orders are increasingly being used in the fight against modern slavery, people trafficking and forced labour.

The Police will apply to a Magistrates Court for the STRO and it may impose “any restriction necessary for protecting the public from harm”.

That means that the order could stop you from trading, recruiting staff, providing staff accommodation, travelling to a certain location, contacting a designated person or people or dealing with assets of your business. It could also make orders as to how staff are paid, recruited or housed.

The Court must be satisfied that there is a risk that the person against whom the order is made may commit a slavery or human trafficking offence and that the STRO is necessary to protect against the risk of harm.

The Court will only make an STRO where it is satisfied that the behaviour giving rise to the application took place and it considers it necessary to make the STRO to protect persons from harm caused by the commission of slavery or trafficking offences.

Breach of an order is a criminal offence with a maximum penalty on indictment of five years imprisonment. STROs can be indefinite in nature.

We have seen a significant increase in applications for Slavery and Trafficking Risk Orders over recent years, in particular to attempt to control the behaviour of businesses who operate in areas vulnerable to modern slavery such as restaurants, recruitment consultants, private landlords, factory owners, agriculture and construction.

We are experts in challenging applications for STROs and in watering down the obligations to allow businesses to continue to trade. Where there is insufficient evidence of due weight to meet the standard required to prove beyond reasonable doubt that an offence has been committed then we will challenge any application vigorously.