This policy is intended to comply with Regulation 19 (Fit and proper persons employed)

Policy and Context Statement

Modern Slavery is a crime which results in an abhorrent abuse of human rights. The Modern Slavery Act 2015 referred to as the “Act” created offences of slavery, servitude and financial or compulsory labour

Definitions of Modern Slavery
Slavery, in accordance with the 1926 Slavery Convention, is the status or condition of a person over whom all or any of the powers attaching to the right of ownership are exercised. Since legal ownership of a person is not possible, the key element of slavery is the behaviour on the part of the offender as if he or she did own the person, which deprives the victim of their freedom.

Servitude in the obligation to provide services that is imposed by the use of coercion and includes the obligation of a “Serf” to live on another person’s property and the impossibility of changing his or her condition.

Forced or Compulsory labour
This is defined in international labour law by the International Labour Organisations (ILO) Forced Labour Convention 29 and Protocol. It involves coercion, either direct threats of violence or more subtle forms of compulsion. The key elements are that, work or service is exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty and for which the person has not offered him/herself voluntarily.

Human Trafficking
An offence of human trafficking requires that a person arranges or facilitates the travel of another person with a view to that person being exploited. The offence can be committed even where the victim consents to travel. This reflects the fact  that a victim may be deceived by the promise of a better life or job, or may be a child who is influenced to travel by an adult. In addition, the exploitation of potential victim does not need to have taken place for the offence to be committed. It means that the arranging or facilitating of the movement of the individual was with a view of exploiting them for sexual exploitation or non- sexual exploitation.

Child Labour
This is defined by the ILO as children under 12 years working in any economic activity, those aged 12-14 engaged in more than light work and all children engaged in the worst forms of child labour. 

Compliance Requirements
There is a requirement that any commercial organisation, in any sector, which supplies goods and services, and carries on a business, or part of a business, in the UK and is above a specified total turnover, must produce a slavery and human trafficking statement for each financial year of the organisation.

Regulations have set the total turnover threshold at £36Million

The Statement must set out what steps they have taken during the financial year to ensure Modern Slavery is not occurring in their supply chains and in their own organisations.

The Act requires businesses to be transparent about what is happening within its business, therefore if the business has taken no steps to ensure slavery and human trafficking is not taking place they must still publish a statement stating this to be the case.

Failure to comply with the production of a Modern Slavery statement for a particular financial year could mean an injunction through the High Court (or In Scotland, court proceedings for specific performance of a statutory duty under Section 45 of the Court of Sessions Act 1998) requiring the organisation to comply. Failure to comply with the injunction is a contempt of a court order which is punishable by an unlimited fine. In practice, failure to comply with the provision will mean the organisation has not produced a statement or published it on their website in the relevant financial year.

Smaller Organisations
Where there is no requirement to produce a statement, organisations are encouraged to voluntarily produce a slavery and human trafficking statement, especially where they are contracting with organisations above the threshold. We, as a small provider may be asked to provide such a statement to commissioners of services, suppliers etc on our approach to Modern Slavery and find it helpful to have such a statement, hence this policy.

All businesses are encouraged by the Act to be open and transparent about recruitment practices, policies and procedures in relation to Modern Slavery and to take steps that are consistent and proportionate with their sector, size and operational reach 

Reporting
When staff believe there is a possibility of a Modern Slavery situation, they must in the first instance report it to their manager who will then take it forward by reporting it to the helpline 08000121700 or report it online on the Modern Slavery helpline website https://www.modernslaveryhelpline.org/report

Checks and References
On site checks will be made of agency workers by way of a structured supervision carried out by a care manager, a lead nurse or a member of the Senior Team and will contain the following:

  1. Right to Work Checklist that prompts checks on:
    1. identification 
    2. nationality
    3. qualifications
    4. verifying the agency documentation 
    5. photograph is that of the person who has attended work
    6. making sure identifiers match such as the photo, date of birth etc.
  2. Get to know our agency workers and ensure they have the confidence to pursue the whistle blowing policy if needed
  3. Talk about the salary they receive from the agency

Our Responsibilities as a Small Business
There is a requirement that any commercial organisation, in any sector, which supplies goods and services, and carries on a business, or part of a business, in the UK and is above a specified total turnover, must produce a slavery and human trafficking statement for each financial year of the organisation.

Regulations have set the total turnover threshold at £36Million

As a small business we are not compelled to follow the above requirements however we have chosen as a small business to adopt the same standards of transparancy as larger companies. Awareness is the key to ensuring that this policy reflects the standards and ethical considerations we apply to our supply chain.

We have in place:

  • annual Directors’ Transparancy Statement
  • due diligence checks to identify and assess potential risk areas such as agency staffing
  • the monitoring of potential risks in our supply chains by checking our supplier’s commitment to Modern Slavery prevention
  • a robust recruitment and selection process to mitigate the risks of Modern Slavery entering our workforce 
  • A central register in Accounts that details all organisations that we transact business with

Relevant Documents:

  • Guided Supervision
  • Right to Work Checklist
  • First Day Briefing (agency)

Guidance

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/modern-slavery 

Transparency in supply chains etc – a practical guide https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/649906/Transparency_in_Supply_Chains_A_Practical_Guide_2017.pdf  

Training
As part of our Induction process staff are aware of the Modern Slavery Act and how to report any concerns. We also train our managers to ensure they understand their responsibilities and are carrying them out. Information and help can be accessed on the phone number and website above.

Auditing and Reporting
This policy will be reported on in the following way:

  • As part of the monthly HR report
  • As part of the whistleblowing reporting structure
  • As part of the Directors Annual Transparancy Statement
  • All processes and staff are available for scrutiny during external audits and inspections

Related Policies

  • Adult Safeguarding
  • Confidentiality
  • Data Protection
  • Good Governance
  • Information Security
  • Information Sharing Protocol
  • Overseas Workers
  • Recruitment and Selection
  • Safeguarding Children in an Adult Setting
  • Whistleblowing
  • Young People and Employment 

Policy Champion: HR Officer

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