1. Policy Definitions
References in this policy to “We”, “us” and “our” are to the Board of Trustees of Ridgeway Information Ltd. References to “you” and “your” are to those responsible for complying with the policy, as set out below.
Modern Slavery is a term used to encapsulate both offences in the Modern Slavery Act: slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour; and human trafficking.
Slavery is the status or condition of a person over whom all or any of the powers attaching to the right of ownership are exercised. Since legal ‘ownership’ of a person is not possible, the key element of slavery is the behaviour on the part of the offender as if he/ she did own the person, which deprives the victim of their freedom.
Servitude is the obligation to provide services that is imposed by the use of coercion and includes the obligation for a ‘serf’ to live on another person’s property and the impossibility of changing his or her condition.
Forced or compulsory labour is defined in international law by the International Labour Organisations Forced Labour Convention and Protocol. It involves coercion, either direct threats of violence or more subtle forms of compulsion. The key elements are that work or service is exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty and for which the person has not offered him/her self voluntarily.
Human trafficking relates to arranging or facilitating the travel of another person with a view to that person being exploited. The offence can be committed even where the victim consents to the travel. This reflects the fact that a victim may be deceived by the promise of a better life or job or may be a child who is influenced to travel by an adult.
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 dealings 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 and require 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, trustees, officers, agency workers, seconded workers, volunteers, interns, agents, contractors, external consultants, third-party representatives, suppliers and business partners, all of whom have a duty to comply with this and other policies designed to prevent modern slavery. This policy does not form part of any employee’s contract of employment and we may amend it at any time.
3. Policy Responsibility
Executive Board Directors will need to take responsibility for monitoring risk in their areas and in their supply chains.
Management at all levels are responsible for ensuring those reporting to them understand and comply with this policy. You are invited to comment on this policy and suggest ways in which it might be improved.
Comments, suggestions and queries are encouraged and should be addressed to the compliance officer.
4. Policy Compliance
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 or the compliance officer or the confidential Whistleblowing helpline as soon as possible if:
- You believe or suspect that a breach of this policy has occurred, or may occur in the future.
- You have any concern or suspicion that may be an issue in respect of modern slavery in any part of our business, or within the supply chains of any third party suppliers; and / or
- You are unsure about whether a particular act, the treatment of workers more generally, or their working conditions within our own business or any part of our supply chains constitutes any of the various forms of modern slavery.
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 compliance officer immediately. If the matter is not remedied, and you are an employee, you should raise it formally by sending an official grievance letter (please refer to company handbook).
5. Policy Breaches
Any employee who breaches this policy will face disciplinary action, which could result in dismissal for misconduct or gross misconduct. We may also terminate our relationship with other individuals and organisations working on our behalf if they breach this policy.