The Council recognises that it has a responsibility to take a robust approach to slavery and human trafficking. In addition to the Council's responsibility as an employer, it also acknowledges its duty as a Council to notify the Secretary of State of suspected victims of slavery or human trafficking as introduced by section 52 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. In order to support this requirement, the Council will ensure all staff are suitably trained to spot the signs and pass on relevant information for referral, monitoring numbers regularly. The Council currently has processes and procedures as a part of its Safeguarding Policy and work will continue to further raise awareness of these processes.
The Council is committed to preventing slavery and human trafficking and to ensuring that its supply chains are free from slavery and human trafficking. This is managed by officers being made aware of the potential for modern slavery risks through awareness raising and appropriate briefings, alongside establishing robust assurance. When commissioning and procuring works, goods or services, officers will aim to ensure that as part of developing the tender and the ongoing monitoring and management of the concluded arrangement. They will consider the potential and likelihood of modern slavery, and where these are deemed high, will seek to develop a clear understanding of the supplier's supply chain arrangements:
The Council’s clear commitment is as follows;
- That the Co-operative Party’s Charter against Modern Slavery be adopted to ensure that our practices don’t support slavery.
- That the Corporate Procurement Team be trained to understand modern slavery through the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supplies (CIPS) online course on Ethical Procurement and Supply.
- That contractors be required to comply fully with the Modern Slavery Act 2015, wherever it applies, with contract termination as a potential sanction for non-compliance.
- That any abnormally low-cost tender be challenged to ensure that they do not rely upon the potential contractor practising modern slavery.
- That suppliers be advised that contracted workers are free to join a trade union and should not be treated unfairly for belonging to one.
- That the whistleblowing system for staff to blow the whistle on any suspected examples of modern slavery be publicised.
- That tendered contractors be required to adopt a whistleblowing policy which enables their staff to blow the whistle on any suspected examples of modern slavery.
- That contractual spending be reviewed regularly to identify any potential issues with modern slavery.
- That suppliers be advised of any risk identified concerning modern slavery and refer them to the relevant agencies to be addressed.
- That any contractor who is identified as a cause for concern regarding modern slavery be referred for investigation via the National Crime Agency’s national referral mechanism.
- That a report on the implementation of this policy be published annually
The Council has publicly committed to adopt the Co-Operative party Charter Against Modern Slavery, details of which can be found on the Modern Slavery Charter.