Statutory guidance

Modern slavery: how to identify and support victims

Describes the signs that someone may be a victim of modern slavery, the support available to victims, and the process for determining whether someone is a victim.

Applies to England and Wales


Modern Slavery: statutory guidance for England and Wales (under s49 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015) and non-statutory guidance for Scotland and Northern Ireland

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This guidance is for:

  • first responder organisations
  • organisations with a duty to notify the Home Office when encountering a potential victim of modern slavery
  • other organisations involved in the identification of potential victims of modern slavery
  • decision makers at the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) competent authorities
  • organisations offering support to potential victims and victims of modern slavery

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Updates to this page

Published 24 March 2020
Last updated 31 May 2024 + show all updates
  1. Updated the definition of sexual exploitation for the purposes of modern slavery decision making (paragraphs 2.26 to 2.36).

  2. Guidance updated, as detailed on page 10.

  3. Added prioritisation criteria for Conclusive Grounds cases.

  4. Updated Annex E, 'reconsideration of a reasonable grounds or conclusive grounds decision'.

  5. Updated guidance to reflect increased modern slavery specific financial support rates.

  6. Updates to: - Making a Reasonable Grounds Decision - Chapter 8 - Annex F

  7. Updated to the latest version of the guidance.

  8. Updated paragraphs 14.47 to 14.81 (reasonable grounds decisions).

  9. Document updated. Changes are shown in the table on page 10.

  10. Accessible version added.

  11. Updated guidance published with amendment to Annex F, update to financial support rates and policy guidance.

  12. Updated the guidance, including updates to Annex E, the glossary and the Victim's Journey.

  13. Updates to the financial support rates and guidance in paragraphs 15.54, 15.55, and 15.58 of the Financial Support section in Annex F.

  14. Updated version of guidance published to reflect a number of changes.

  15. Guidance updated as detailed in table in section 1.

  16. Guidance updated: Addition of forced labour exceptions. Updates to suspended cases actions. Clarification of case allocation at MAAPs. Confirmation that where there is uncertainty that an individual is a child their NRM case will be out of scope of the pilot programme of decision making.

  17. Added Refugee Council to the list of first responder organisations.

  18. Added accessible HTML version of guidance.

  19. Guidance updated to explain when the MSVCC may provide funding for additional support services to assist individuals to recover from their modern slavery experience, (paragraphs 15.182 to 15.184 on pages 183 to 185 of Appendix F.)

  20. Guidance updated with the following changes: addition of text relating to withdrawing children from the NRM between paragraphs 14.250 - 14.254; amendment to Annex F – Financial Support: subsistence rates amended for those receiving outreach support in other accommodation, those with child dependents, and those receiving asylum support, paragraphs 15.37 - 15.38 and 15.41.

  21. Updated version published. The updates include new contact details, updated links, new details on financial support for dependents and death in service support and deletion of paragraph 14.208.

  22. Guidance updated to incorporate operational changes to decision-making.

  23. Guidance document updated. A list of revisions is included on page 10.

  24. Updated guidance in line with the commencement of devolved decision making for child victims, alongside other general updates

  25. Updated guidance in line with changes to the 'Adults at risk in immigration detention' policy.

  26. Updated statutory guidance for use on or after April 1 2021.

  27. Updated guidance to reflect the new Modern Slavery Victim Care Contract.

  28. Guidance updated.

  29. Amendment to the policy, document replaced.

  30. Removed guidance on temporary changes to the policy on the 'move-on period' as the policy has now expired.

  31. Update to the temporary change to the policy on the ‘move-on period’ added.

  32. Replaced the Modern Slavery Act 2015: statutory guidance for England and Wales document, Welsh version to follow.

  33. Temporary change to the policy on the ‘move-on period guidance added.

  34. Added Welsh version of the statutory guidance.

  35. First published.

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