Modern slavery is a crime and a gross violation of fundamental human rights. It takes various forms, such as slavery, servitude, forced and compulsory labour and human trafficking, all of which, deprive a person's liberty in order for another person to exploit them for personal or commercial gain. With a zero-tolerance approach to modern slavery, we are committed to acting ethically and with integrity in all our business dealings and relationships, as well as implementing and enforcing effective systems and controls to ensure modern slavery is not taking place anywhere in our own business or in any of our supply chains.
SOCOTEC UK is the UK's leading provider of testing, inspection and compliance services, with comprehensive solutions in Infrastructure, the Built Environment and Energy & Waste Sectors. Operating from over 30 sites in the UK and Ireland, the company is committed to continuous improvement, innovation and quality, which underpins its operations and processes, ensuring the best possible service for our clients. SOCOTEC UK carry out 6.7 million tests and inspections every year, boasting market leading turnaround times.
Given the nature of what we do, we believe that there is a low risk of slavery or a connection to human trafficking within our business activities. But there is no room for complacency in that belief, so, amongst other things, we have taken the steps detailed below.
We are committed to ensuring there is transparency within our own business, as well as in our approach to tackling modern slavery throughout our supply chains, consistent with our disclosure obligations under the Modern Slavery Act 2015. We expect the same high standards from all of our contractors, suppliers and other business partners. As part of our contracting processes, we include specific prohibitions against the use of forced, compulsory or trafficked labour, or anyone held in slavery or servitude, whether they are adults or children. We expect that our suppliers will hold their own suppliers to the same high standards.
We operate a number of internal policies to ensure that we are conducting business in an ethical and transparent manner. These include:
- Modern Slavery Human Trafficking Policy. This policy sets out the organisation’s stance on modern slavery and explains how employees can identify any instances of this and where they can go for help.
- Recruitment Policy. We operate a robust recruitment policy, which includes checking that employees are eligible to work in the UK to safeguard against human trafficking or individuals being forced to work against their will.
- Ethics Policy. Within the policy it advises on the whistleblowing mechanism so 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.
Our supply chains
SOCOTEC UK operates a supplier verification process and maintains a preferred supplier list. We conduct due diligence on all suppliers before allowing them to become a preferred supplier.
We provide training to our staff to ensure a high level of understanding of the risks of modern slavery trafficking in our supply chains and our business.
Assessment of effectiveness in preventing modern slavery
We recognise that modern slavery risk continues to evolve and we will develop our risk assessment tools and controls in the coming year to ensure that we continue to strengthen our approach.
During the year, we are continuing to develop appropriate Key Performance Indicators to measure and report on our progress in managing slavery risks within our business and supply chains.
In order to assess our effectiveness for preventing slavery and human trafficking, we will review the following key performance indicators;
- Training of staff on slavery and human trafficking
- Disclosure of the total number of non-compliances in relation to slavery and human trafficking
This statement for the financial year ending 2018 is made pursuant to s.54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and sets out the steps that SOCOTEC UK has taken and is continuing to take to ensure that modern slavery or human trafficking is not taking place within our business or supply chain.
Click here to download our policy