Modern slavery is a crime resulting in an abhorrent abuse of the human rights of vulnerable workers. It can take various forms, such as slavery, servitude, forced or compulsory labour and human trafficking. The Company has a zero tolerance approach to modern slavery and is committed to acting ethically and with integrity and transparency in all of its business dealings and relationships and to implementing and enforcing effective systems and controls to ensure that modern slavery and human trafficking are not taking place anywhere within either its own business or in any of its supply chains, consistent with its obligations under the Modern Slavery Act 2015. The Company also expects the same high standards from all of its suppliers, contractors and other business partners and, as part of its contracting processes, it includes specific prohibitions against the use of modern slavery, and expects that its suppliers will in turn hold their own suppliers to the same standards.
Identifying potential victims of modern slavery can be a challenge because the crime can manifest itself in many different ways. There is a spectrum of abuse and it is not always clear at what point, for example, poor working practices and lack of health and safety awareness have become instances of human trafficking, slavery or forced labour in a work environment. In addition, some suppliers may go to great lengths to hide the fact that they are using slave labour. However, the Company accepts that it has a responsibility through its due diligence processes to ensure that workers are not being exploited, that they are safe and that relevant employment, health and safety and human rights laws and standards are being adhered to, including freedom of movement and communications.
This statement and our supporting Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Policy and Procedure applies to all individuals working for the Company or on the Company’s behalf in any capacity, including employees, directors, officers, agency workers, volunteers, agents, contractors, consultants and business partners.
Responsibility for the policy
The board of directors has overall responsibility for ensuring that this policy complies with the Company’s legal and ethical obligations.
Tania Main, Group Head of Quality has day-to-day responsibility for implementing this policy, monitoring its use and effectiveness and auditing internal control systems and policies and procedures to ensure they are effective in preventing or remediating the risk of modern slavery. They are also responsible for investigating allegations of modern slavery in the Company’s business or supply chains.
Line managers are responsible for ensuring that those reporting to them understand and comply with this policy.
The prevention, detection and reporting of modern slavery in any part of the Company’s business or supply chains, whether in the UK or abroad, is the responsibility of all those working for the Company or under the Company’s control. You are required to avoid any activity that might lead to a breach of this policy.
If you believe or suspect a breach of or conflict with this policy has occurred or may occur, you must notify your line manager or report it in accordance with the Company’s whistleblowing policy. You are encouraged to raise concerns about any issue or suspicion of modern slavery in any part of the Company’s business or supply chains as soon as possible. If you are unsure about whether a particular act, the treatment of workers or their working conditions within any of the Company’s supply chains constitutes any of the various forms of modern slavery, please raise it with your line manager. You can also contact the government’s Modern Slavery Helpline on 0800 0121 700 for further information and guidance on modern slavery.
The Company aims to encourage openness and will support anyone who raises genuine concerns in good faith under this policy, even if they turn out to be mistaken. The Company is committed to ensuring no one suffers any detrimental treatment or victimisation as a result of reporting in good faith their suspicion that modern slavery is or may be taking place in any part of its business or in any of its supply chains.
Our suppliers are required to confirm compliance with relevant legislation including the Modern Slavery Act.
Training and Communication
Regular training on this policy, and on the risk that the business faces from modern slavery in its supply chains, will be provided to staff as necessary, so that they know how to identify exploitation and modern slavery and how to report suspected cases.
The Company’s zero tolerance approach to modern slavery must be communicated to all suppliers, contractors and other business partners when entering into new or renewed contracts with them.
Breach of the policy
Any employee who breaches this policy will face disciplinary action, up to and including summary dismissal for gross misconduct.
The Company may terminate its commercial relationship with suppliers, contractors and other business partners if they breach this policy and / or are found to have been involved in modern slavery.
Supporting Policies and Procedures
We operate a number of internal policies and procedures that ensure we are conducting our business in an ethical, fair and transparent manner. These include:
1. Anti-Slavery Policy: sets out the Company’s stance on modern slavery and explains how employees can identify any instances of this and where they can go for help.
2. Recruitment Policy: including conducting eligibility to work in the UK checks for all employees to safeguard against human trafficking or individuals being forced to work against their will.
3. Whistle-Blowing Policy: ensures that all employees know that they can raise concerns about how colleagues are being treated, or practices within our business or supply chain, without fear of reprisals.
4. Employee Code of Conduct: explains the manner in which we behave as an organisation and how we expect our employees and suppliers to act.
5. Human Rights Policy: outlines that Westminster Homecare has a zero tolerance to abuse of human rights within any part of the business or supply chains. We will take all allegations seriously that human rights are not properly respected.