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ICAEW Insights In Focus podcast

How do we tackle domestic modern slavery?

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In this Insights In Focus episode, we take a look at the issue of domestic modern slavery, and how authorities and prosecutors look to build a case under the Modern Slavery Act.

Before the Modern Slavery Act came into force in 2015, criminals would get a longer sentence for moving 3kg of cocaine than for trafficking 300 people. It is a critical piece of legislation in tackling modern slavery in the UK, where it is still a significant issue.

Businesses are feeling considerable pressure as a result of rising inflation, supply chain issues, and other spiralling costs. Some struggle to find the workers they need. This could mean greater bargaining power for workers; equally it could mean greater numbers of people being coerced.

In challenging times, some people are willing to push, and breach, the limits to succeed, or simply survive. Such conditions can also heighten the risk of modern slavery, and Chartered Accountants need to be aware of the risks and know what to look out for.


Philippa Kelly, Director of Financial Services, ICAEW


  • Caroline Haughey OBE QC, barrister, Furnival Chambers, who prosecuted the very first case brought under the Modern Slavery Act; 
  • Laura Thomas, Senior Prevention and Partnerships Officer of the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (the GLAA); and 
  • Dipak Vashi, Sustainability Manager at ICAEW



Natalie Chisholm


Episode published: 15 February 2022
Podcast recorded: 8 February 2022

All views expressed on this podcast are those of the contributors and don’t necessarily reflect those of ICAEW or its members.