Made under section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 by Southern Housing Group Limited and each of its group companies for the financial year ending 31 March 2018.
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.
Southern Housing Group is committed to acting ethically and with integrity in all our business relationships, which includes taking a zero-tolerance approach to modern slavery.
As one of southern England's largest housing associations, we have a large team of staff and across our Group of companies we use a wide range of contractors. In relation to any of our supply chains and any part of our own business, we are taking the following steps to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place:
Regularly reviewing the Group's polices and procedures which are designed to ensure that we maintain our high standards of probity, accountability and openness, preventing the risk of unknowingly harbouring illegal, unethical or improper conduct.
Maintaining a clear risk management strategy and procedure for the purposes of ensuring the effective identification, monitoring and management of risk across the Group.
Developing our procurement processes, as part of which we are exploring ways we can further improve our due diligence of supply chains and awareness of the risk of modern slavery.
Including provisions in agreements with our contractors which require them to ensure that they and their supply chains comply with the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
Committing to pay all employees either the London Living Wage or UK Living Wage Foundation rates as a minimum for their basic salary.
In addition to these ongoing measures, the steps we have carried out in the financial year ending 31 March 2018 have also included:
Establishing links with Unseen (UK) (an anti-slavery charity) and the Gangmasters Labour Abuse Authority (a non departmental public body), taking advice on how best to incorporate modern slavery awareness into training for relevant staff.
Forming links with other housing associations to share information about best practices in tackling modern slavery.
Ensuring our safeguarding policies, procedures and training encompass modern slavery.
Creating an internal Modern Slavery Working Group to monitor our progress.
This statement applies to all entities within Southern Housing Group and is approved by the Group’s Board. It will be reviewed and updated on an annual basis.
Alan Townshend Chief Executive of Southern Housing Group