The built environment contains many structures built with slavery and other forms of abhorrent conduct. This has become a topical issue, both for our inherited statues and buildings and the construction projects being undertaken today. The existence of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (MSA) and the need for various important initiatives such as the Modern Slavery Helpline, operated by Unseen, show that slavery has not been banished to the past. Instead, it is an enduring stain that will take work to eradicate in its modern form.

The construction industry is recognised as a particularly problematic sector for modern slavery. The extensive use of subcontracting and global supply chains creates real risk, but also presents an opportunity for the sector to make lasting and meaningful changes that will improve the lives of countless exploited people.

Russell-Cooke partner Mark Fletcher explains in Construction News the obligations and responsibilities of contractors and the problem with penalties.

Contracts could work harder to stamp out modern slavery is available to read on the Construction News website.

Mark is a partner in the commercial litigation team.

Mark advises on a broad range of disputes involving individuals, charities and businesses across a large number of business sectors, including construction, property development, IT, sports, events, hospitality, retail, medical and other legal professionals.