Recent Developments in Human Rights Due Diligence and Reporting

9 October 2020
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  • September 2020 saw a number of important developments in the proliferation and strengthening of legislation concerning businesses’ human rights and environmental due diligence and reporting obligations in the EU and the UK.
  • The European Commission announced earlier this year its intention to enact legislation requiring mandatory human rights due diligence.  On 11 September 2020, the European Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs published recommendations and a legislative proposal for a directive on mandatory supply chain due diligence that would cover human rights, environmental and governance risks across a business’s entire value chain.  The proposed legislation is broad in scope and envisages a variety of penalties for businesses that fail to comply.  
  • On 22 September 2020, the UK Government published its response to the public consultations on its recommendations to strengthen the reporting requirement under section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.  The proposed measures include requiring companies to report against specific areas, a single reporting deadline, publication of the modern slavery statements on a Government reporting service and, potentially, civil penalties for non-compliance.