Modern Slavery Statement

Modern Slavery Statement

Modern Slavery Policy

 Introduction

This statement sets out Hozelock’s actions to understand all potential modern slavery risks related to its business and to put in place steps that are aimed at ensuring that there is no slavery or human trafficking in its own business and its supply chains. This statement relates to actions and activities during the financial year 1 October 2018 to 30 September 2019.

The company recognises that it has a responsibility to take a robust approach to slavery and human trafficking.

The company is absolutely committed to preventing slavery and human trafficking in its corporate activities, and to ensuring that its supply chains are free from slavery and human trafficking.

 Policy statement

Modern slavery is a crime and a violation of fundamental human rights. It takes various forms, such as slavery, servitude, forced and compulsory labour and human trafficking, all of which have in common the deprivation of a person’s liberty by another in order to exploit them for personal or commercial gain. We have a zero-tolerance approach to modern slavery and we are committed to acting ethically and with integrity in all our business transactions and relationships and to 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.

We are also committed to ensuring there is transparency in our own business and 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, and 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 adults or children, and we expect that our suppliers will hold their own suppliers to the same high standards.

This policy applies to all persons working for us or on our behalf in any capacity, including employees at all levels, directors, employees, agency workers, seconded workers, interns, agents, contractors, external consultants, third-party representatives and business partners.

This policy does not form part of any employee’s contract of employment and we may amend it at any time.

 Responsibility for the policy

The International Leadership Team has overall responsibility for ensuring this policy complies with our legal and ethical obligations, and that all those under our control comply with it.

The Director of Purchasing has primary and day-to-day responsibility for implementing this 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.

Line managers 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.

Relevant policies

The company operates the following policies that describe its approach to the identification of modern slavery risks and steps to be taken to prevent slavery and human trafficking in its operations:

Whistleblowing policy

The Company encourages all its workers, customers and other business partners to report any concerns related to the direct activities, or the supply chains of, the company. This includes any circumstances that may give rise to an enhanced risk of slavery or human trafficking. The company’s whistleblowing procedure is designed to make it easy for workers to make disclosures, without fear of retaliation. Employees, customers or others who have concerns can request a copy of our Whistleblowing Policy and Disclosure Form.

Supplier code of conduct

The company is committed to ensuring that its suppliers adhere to the highest standards of ethics. Suppliers are required to demonstrate that they provide safe working conditions where necessary, treat workers with dignity and respect, and act ethically and within the law in their use of labour. The company works with suppliers to ensure that they meet the standards of the code and improve their worker’s working conditions. However, serious violations of the company’s supplier code of conduct will lead to the termination of the business relationship.

Recruitment policy

The company uses only specified, reputable employment agencies to source labour and always verifies the practices of any new agency it is using before accepting workers from that agency.

Compliance with the policy

You must ensure that you read, understand and comply with this policy.

The prevention, detection and reporting of modern slavery in any part of our business or supply chains is the responsibility of all those working for us or under our control. You are required to avoid any activity that might lead to, or suggest, a breach of this policy.

You must notify your manager as soon as possible if you believe or suspect that a conflict with this policy has occurred, or may occur in the future.

You are encouraged to raise concerns about any issue or suspicion of modern slavery in any parts of our business or supply chains of any supplier tier at the earliest possible stage.

If you believe or suspect a breach of this policy has occurred or that it may occur you must notify your manager or report it in accordance with our Whistleblowing Policy as soon as possible.

If you are unsure about whether a particular act, the treatment of workers more generally, or their working conditions within any tier of our supply chains constitutes any of the various forms of modern slavery, raise it with your manager or the HR Department.

We aim to encourage openness and will support anyone who raises genuine concerns in good faith under this policy, even if they turn out to be mistaken. We are committed to ensuring no one suffers any detrimental treatment as a result of reporting in good faith their suspicion that modern slavery of whatever form is or may be taking place in any part of our own business or in any of our supply chains. Detrimental treatment includes dismissal, disciplinary action, threats or other unfavourable treatment connected with raising a concern. If you believe that you have suffered any such treatment, you should inform the HR Department immediately. If the matter is not remedied, and you are an employee, you should raise it formally using our Grievance Procedure.

Communication and awareness of this policy

Training on this policy, and on the risk our business faces from modern slavery in its supply chains, forms part of the induction process for all individuals who work for us, and regular training will be provided as necessary.

Our zero-tolerance approach to modern slavery must be communicated to all suppliers, contractors and business partners at the outset of our business relationship with them and reinforced as appropriate thereafter.

Breaches of this policy 

Any employee who breaches this policy will face disciplinary action, which could result in dismissal for misconduct or gross misconduct.

We may terminate our relationship with other individuals and organisations working on our behalf if they breach this policy.

Download our Modern Slavery Statement here

Modern Slavery Statement