At Witherslack Group we strive to maintain the highest standards of integrity, transparency and fairness in all we do – and this includes encouraging our supply chain to meet the same standards we set for ourselves.
We welcome the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and the duty it places on large organisations, including ourselves, to disclose publicly the steps they are taking to prevent modern slavery organisationally and in their supply chains.
As a business we buy a wide range of things, from software and network equipment, to catering and office supplies. We have hundreds of suppliers who sell to us. On top of that, lots of our suppliers have their own suppliers. Our supply chain is therefore very large and complex, so we prioritise attention on companies that supply high value products or services, or things without which our business couldn’t run.
We don’t use or accept forced, bonded or involuntary prison labour or child labour. Nor do we demand deposits or hold onto our workers’ identity papers, or work with businesses that do. We only work with people who choose to work freely. We respect the right to equal opportunity.
We welcome our people speaking up about any unethical behaviour, and make it easy for them to do so.
In order to assess the risk of modern slavery in our existing supply chains and to understand the operating context of the business, we will be writing to all key suppliers requesting confirmation of their adherence with the Act. As part of our Procurement Policy, we are introducing a new risk assessment tool that will be used with new suppliers in order to assess risk prior to entering into a relationship.
Witherslack Group has a range of policies that support our activities from recruitment to authorisation limits and procurement.
In order to address modern slavery, we will be implementing a dedicated Modern Slavery (MS) policy that sets out our position in relation to modern slavery, indicates the requirements we have on entering into contractual relationships with others and ensures Witherslack Group, its managers and staff are aware of their responsibilities in working to ensure modern slavery has no place in our organisation.
To complement the MS policy, we are updating a number of policies impacted by modern slavery, including recruitment, procurement, safeguarding and the employee code of conduct, as well as ensuring that our whistleblowing policy is clear on process and procedures for reporting any concerns about modern slavery.