Human trafficking is a serious crime that violates human rights. It’s an issue most countries face and one we are all responsible for helping to prevent and end. At Russell Group we have a zero-tolerance approach to modern slavery and our commitment to acting ethically and with integrity within our business practices is imposed onto our suppliers and partners to ensure that there is no modern slavery or human trafficking in our business or our supply chains.
We believe that this stance is reflected in our Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Policy which applies to all persons working for or on behalf of Russell Group in any capacity, including employees at all levels, directors, agency workers, contractors, external consultants, business partners, and third-party representatives. Through this policy we have implemented and enforced effective systems and controls to prevent modern slavery taking place anywhere in our own business or supply chains.
Our Whistleblowing Policy encourages employees, customers and third parties to use the crime stoppers helpline to report any circumstances that may give rise to a risk of modern slavery or human trafficking as well as escalating those risks to a company Director. However, Russell Group has overall responsibility for ensuring that all those under our control comply with our legal and ethical obligations and are primarily responsible for implementing our Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Policy, monitoring its use and effectiveness, dealing with any queries about it, and auditing internal control systems and procedures to ensure they are effective in countering modern slavery. Management at all levels are responsible for ensuring those reporting to them understand and comply with this policy and are given adequate and regular training on it and the issue of modern slavery in supply chains. We also, where appropriate, and with the welfare and safety of local workers as a priority, give support and guidance to our suppliers to help them address coercive, abusive, and exploitative work practices in their own business and supply chains.
Ensuring that no one suffers any detrimental treatment as a result of reporting in good faith their suspicion that modern slavery may be taking place in our business or in our supply chains is absolutely paramount. However, any employee who breaches our Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Policy will face disciplinary action, which could result in dismissal for misconduct or gross misconduct. We may also terminate our relationship with other individuals and organisations working on our behalf if they breach this policy.
Other steps we take to prevent modern slavery and human trafficking in our organisation are:
- Regularly performing benchmarking against the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) base code to ensure that the business is acting in accordance with an internationally recognised code of practice.
- Auditing agency labour providers twice a year against the ETI base code to ensure ethical standards and carrying our occasional spot checks on the temporary labour agencies and any non-conformances or concerns are followed up in a timely manner.
- Ensuring the standard terms and conditions for the purchase of goods and/or services require suppliers to comply with all applicable laws and regulations including, without limitation, those relating to anti-slavery and human trafficking including the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and those relating to anti-bribery and anti-corruption including the Bribery Act 2010, and relevant policies.
- Validating the identity of all permanent employees and ensure that they have the legal right to work in the UK.
- Renewing our SEDEX membership.
For more detail on our Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Policy click here