Stratford-on-Avon District Council (the Council) are committed, pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 to publishing a modern slavery and human trafficking statement, as a demonstration of our commitment to strong community leadership.
The Modern Slavery Act 2015 defines slavery as:
· a person holds another person in slavery or servitude and the circumstances are such that the person knows or ought to know that the other person is held in slavery or servitude, or
· the person requires another person to perform forced or compulsory labour and the circumstances are such that the person knows or ought to know that the other person is being required to perform forced or compulsory labour.
The Act defines Human Trafficking as:
· a person commits an offence if the person arranges or facilitates the travel of another person with a view exploiting that person.
· a person is exploited if one or more of the following apply in relation to the person - slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour.
The Council is a local authority which provides a range of statutory and discretionary services. Many services are outsourced and provided by external contractors.
The Council operates within the United Kingdom, and specifically within the area of Stratford on Avon district in South Warwickshire. We consider the risk of slavery and human trafficking to be low due to the type of activity that we undertake. However, we will remain vigilant and potential risks will be considered when delivering our services or undertaking procurement exercises.
These policies demonstrate the Council's commitment to the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults. They include procedures for delivery of a safe environment by officers and for effective operation with its partners, to report safeguarding issues. As such the ‘duty to notify' provision as set out in Section 52 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, which applies to public authorities, including districts councils, will be supported by this policy. Safeguarding training is provided through e-learning and face to face sessions for both staff and councillors.
The Council encourages staff, customers and partners to raise any serious concerns through the Whistleblowing Policy or the Corporate Complaints System. Through the Whistleblowing Policy staff can raise concerns in confidence.
The Council will:
· include standard clauses in the Council's standard contract terms and conditions requiring the supplier to comply with the Modern Slavery Act 2015; and,
· where appropriate and proportionate, implement a due diligence procedure for its own suppliers, subcontractors and other participants in its supply chain to ensure that there is no slavery or human trafficking in its supply chain.
The Council's procedure for pre-employment vetting is robust and includes measures to ensure that all new employees demonstrate their right to work in the UK in accordance with the Asylum, Immigration and nationality Act 2006.
Although we have robust processes in place we remain committed to improving all aspects of its business and further actions proposed include:
· The provision of awareness through communication and training – to both officers and elected members;
· Ensuring procurement specifications include a commitment from suppliers to support the requirements of the Modern Slavery Act 2015;
· Not awarding contracts where suppliers do not demonstrate their commitment to ensuring that slavery and human trafficking are not taking place in their own business or supply chains;
· An on-going commitment that Modern Slavery will be included in future revisions to our contract procedure rules and financial regulations; and
· Protection of whistle blowers.
David Buckland, Chief Executive
Councillor Susan Juned, Leader