What have we done?
Following the public commitment made by the Council, to achieve the standards laid out within the Co-Operative party Charter against Modern Slavery, a significant amount of work has been delivered. This has included specialist training for procurement officers, the production of guidance for commissioners and contract managers alongside proactive contact with suppliers where compliance with the Modern Slavery Act requirements is not apparent. In many cases this has quickly led to full compliance.
The Council has updated its whistleblowing policy during the previous year to ensure explicit reference to modern slavery, its Invitation to Tender documentation in respect of requirements under the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and its Safeguarding Policy, that all suppliers and their staff delivering a contract must adhere to, in particular that they have an up to date Modern Slavery Transparency Statement (where required by law) and that these statements are registered at TISCreport.org.
To improve awareness and strengthen its ability to identify and respond to cases of Modern Slavery, during 2020 a total of 12 officers from across council directorates received specialist training to become single points of contact for Modern Slavery. This improved expertise has resulted in improved working practices and co-ordination between the Council, Police, South Yorkshire Modern Slavery Partnership and the wider partnership.
Clear officer leadership has been maintained and an internal task and finish group continues to meet to support implementation of the commitment to the charter, alongside strengthening our broader engagement with tackling Modern Slavery through direct delivery functions.
Officers have further developed links with local and regional partners to ensure that intelligence and information is received in the right way and appropriately acted upon; either through responsive or proactive operational activity.
Training and awareness raising material has been made available with posters displayed around Council premises, an e-learning module available to all staff and specialist training for relevant front-line officers.