Latest government statistics show that the number of potential victims of modern slavery has increased by 21% in the last quarter (July-September 2019) and a 61% increase from the same period in 2018, based on the number of referrals to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM). This issue is hugely important to Workforce and we’ve written about it on our blog earlier this year.


You can view the full report here, but a summary of the findings show:

  • 2,808 potential victims of modern slavery were referred to the NRM
  • Potential victims were of 91 different nationalities, but the most common were the UK, Albania and Vietnam
  • 60% were exploited as adults and the remainder as minors
  • Two thirds of cases took place in the UK and a small number took place in both the UK and overseas.  Some victims were unable to specify where the exploitation took place
  • Around 90% of cases were referred to police forces in England


Chief Executive of Workforce, Paul Alekna said: “Raising awareness of this issue in recruitment is absolutely critical if we are to stop these criminal activities. The human trafficking gangs who make a lot of money out of slaves all work in a similar way, so we want to educate other recruiters and employers about what they do so that we can work together to stop this from happening.”


“We’ve got more details on our website, but there are a few things you can do to be vigilant about modern slavery.  Be alert during the registration process. If somebody talks for the candidate and won’t leave them alone with you, this will need further investigation.  Train your team to spot this and make sure they know how to raise their suspicions correctly. Check addresses that have had candidates register at several times and make sure mobile phone numbers haven’t been registered against multiple candidates.”


You can get further information about Modern Slavery from:


Workforce’s Hidden Workforce Policy.

Stronger Together

Gangmasters & Labour Abuse Authority

Association of Labour Providers

Recruitment and Employment Confederation