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Acas Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking Statement - 2019/2020

This statement, made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, sets out steps Acas has taken and is continuing to take to understand and minimise the potential risk of modern slavery in its business and supply chains.

About Acas

Acas (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) provides free and impartial information and advice to employers and employees on all aspects of workplace relations and employment law. We support good relationships between employers and employees which underpin business success. But when things go wrong we help by providing conciliation to resolve workplace problems.

We also provide good value, high quality training and tailored advice to employers. Our expertise is based on millions of contacts with employers and employees each year and we are governed by an independent Council, including representatives of employer and employee organisations and employment experts.

An independent body, largely funded by the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Acas was established formally by statute in 1976 and today employs around 850 people with a devolved structure with offices in 12 areas grouped into four Acas regions across England, Scotland and Wales.

Our commitment to the principles of the Modern Slavery Act 2015

Acas is committed to the principles of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and the abolition of modern slavery and human trafficking. As an equal-opportunities employer, Acas is committed to creating and ensuring a non-discriminatory and respectful working environment for its staff. Acas wants all its staff to feel confident that they can expose wrongdoing without any risk to themselves.

Acas recruitment and people management processes are designed to ensure that all prospective employees are legally entitled to work in the UK and to safeguard employees from any abuse or coercion once in our employment.

Acas does not enter into business with any organisation, in the United Kingdom or abroad, which knowingly supports or is found to be involved in slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour.

Acas maintains the following policies which are accessible to all staff via the Acas intranet:

  • Code of Conduct
  • An Ethics Policy
  • Whistleblowing policy
  • Bullying and Harassment policy
  • Diversity & Inclusion policy
  • Recruitment and Selection policy

Our supply chain

Due to the nature of our business, Acas assess itself to have a low risk of Modern Slavery in our business and supply chains.

Our supply chains are limited and we procure goods and services from a restricted range of UK and overseas suppliers predominantly via UK Government Frameworks.

The UK SBS (our shared services provider) have also published their statement on Slavery & Human Trafficking which includes their mechanisms for guarding against modern slavery in their client's supply chains. 

Embedding the principles

The principles will continue to be embedded by the following activities:

  • Provide awareness training to staff on the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and inform them of the appropriate action to take if they suspect a case of slavery or human trafficking.

  • Ensure that consideration of the modern slavery risks and prevention are added to Acas' policy review process as an employer and procurer of goods and service.

  • Ensure Acas and UK SBS procurement strategies and contract terms and conditions include references to modern slavery and human trafficking.

  • Continue to take action to embed a zero-tolerance policy towards modern slavery.

  • Ensure that staff involved in buying/procurement and the recruitment and deployment of workers receive training on modern slavery and ethical employment practices.

This statement has been approved by the Acas People Director and constitutes our slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ending 31 March 2020. This statement will be reviewed and updated annually.