Modern slavery and human trafficking statement
This statement is provided on behalf of Age UK and its subsidiary companies and charities and is made in pursuant to section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 ('the Act'). It constitutes Age UK's statement for the financial year ended 31 March 2019.
Age UK considers modern slavery and human trafficking extremely serious crimes, grave violations of human rights and contrary to the ethical standards and values we hold dear. As a charity that, as part of its wider objectives, fights for the protection and advancement of human rights in the UK, and around the world through our subsidiary charity, Age International, we have a zero tolerance approach to such abuses.
We are committed to preventing modern slavery in our organisation and ensuring that our supply chain is as equally free of both modern slavery and human trafficking (within the reasonable bounds of our influence and control to ensure compliance with the Act by our supply chain and / or assure ourselves of their compliance).
Age UK is a charity registered in England which exists to promote the wellbeing of older people. Age UK comprises Age UK and its subsidiary charities and companies.
- Age UK's subsidiary charity, Age International, funds programmes in over 40 developing countries. Subsidiaries Age Cymru and Age UK Suffolk work in the UK in specific geographical areas of benefit.
- Age UK's trading subsidiaries, Age UK Trading CIC (Community Interest Company), Age UK Enterprises and Social Lottery CICs, generate income to fund the charity's work. Age UK Trading CIC also provides central support services and infrastructure.
Age UK and its subsidiaries employ around 1900 staff, and benefit from the support of 7000 volunteers in our 400 plus charity shops, all based in the UK.
The vast majority of our staff are employed directly by Age UK and our subsidiaries, and are not of an employment status generally considered to be vulnerable to modern slavery in this country.
We are not complacent, and have robust policies and procedures in place. Our focus, however, is on ensuring that our supply chain complies with the Act, relevant Age UK policies and procedures, and our ethical standards.
Our supply chain
Age UK is committed to improving our practices to identify and eliminate modern slavery and human trafficking in our supply chains, and to act ethically and with integrity in all of our business relationships. Our supply chains comprise over 2000 suppliers and contractors. Age UK and our subsidiaries use the products and services we purchase from these suppliers to:
- support our charitable activity and operations
- provide products for resale in our charity shops
- offer financial, insurance and legal services for sale to the public by third parties
Age UK works with the Age UK network of over 130 independent charities to deliver charitable services in the UK. Age International works internationally through a network of partners and agencies, largely as the UK member of the HelpAge International global network.
Age UK endeavours to raise awareness among all employees of the identification, prevention and eradication of modern slavery and human trafficking, and has policies and procedures in place to ensure that they can do so. The Age UK Procurement team, a central service that operates across Age UK's subsidiaries, has oversight of our supply chain. The relevant policies are:
- Age UK’s Procurement Policy and Procedure requires that suppliers are formally approved by Age UK's Procurement team such that they can only provide goods and services after confirming compliance with all applicable regulations and legislation, including the Act.
- Age UK's Speak-up Safely (whistleblowing) Policy and Procedure asks staff to confidentially report concerns including modern slavery or human trafficking.
- Age UK's Safeguarding Policy and Procedures acknowledges modern slavery as a form of abuse and, where there is a concern about a child (under 18 years) or an adult (18 or over) who needs care and support, this Policy takes effect.
Supply Chain Due Diligence
Age UK aims to work with only those suppliers that demonstrate high levels of commitment to monitoring and reducing the risk of modern slavery and human trafficking taking place within their organisations or supply chains.
As a pre-condition to supplying Age UK, suppliers must confirm their compliance with the Act. If a supplier fails to provide the information requested or meet Age UK's expectations, Age UK will take appropriate action, which may include not entering into a relationship or terminating the relationship.
Progress in 2018/19
In the 2018/19 financial year Age UK has taken steps to provide additional assurance of our supply chain's compliance with the Act:
- Age UK has developed a specific draft Modern Slavery Policy and Procedure, which we anticipate will be approved by the Age UK Board of Trustees in 2019/20.
- New contractors or suppliers that trade on Age UK's terms and conditions have been asked to provide specific confirmation of their compliance with the Act by agreeing to and signing Age UK's terms and conditions for the supply of goods and services, which includes a modern slavery and human trafficking clause.
- New contractors or suppliers who trade with Age UK on their own terms and conditions have been requested to provide written assurances of their compliance with the Act, as well as with all applicable laws and regulations.
Plans for 2019/20
In the 2019/20 financial year Age UK plans to take further steps to enhance our supply chain due diligence, including:
- improving staff awareness and understanding of modern slavery and human trafficking by introducing mandatory training
- requiring new and renewing suppliers to complete a new risk self-assessment to understand the measures they have in place to comply with the Act and to assure compliance
- introducing a modern slavery risk assessment register and, where high risk situations are identified, responding to those risks.
This statement is made pursuant to Part 6, section 54 of the Act and constitutes Age UK's anti-slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ending 31 March 2019 and has been approved by the Age UK Board of Trustees on behalf of Age UK and its charitable and trading subsidiaries.
Chief Executive, Age UK
25 July 2019