Modern Slavery Statement
The Modern Slavery Act 2015 (“the Act”) creates offences in respect of Slavery, servitude, forced or compulsory labour and human trafficking. Gillards Worldwide Warehousing & Distribution Limited is committed to supporting to combatting all forms of modern slavery and human trafficking and improving our practices across our group to help achieve this.
We are one of the South West’s leading warehouses, pick, pack store and distributing companies.
As a Group, on 30 June 2023, we employed over 25 people across 1 site in the UK and are committed to conducting business strictly in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations in the UK, including health and safety, environmental, anti-bribery, equality, and employment legislation. This extends to maintaining high standards of behaviour amongst our employees through our training and development initiatives.
We have established rigorous HR processes, systems, and controls to ensure:
- All employees are assessed for their right to work in the UK
- Workplace equality processes and practices are in place, promoted and implemented
- Remuneration and benefit schemes comply with relevant UK employment legislation
We continually review and develop our policies, procedures, systems and controls to ensure ethical and legal compliance.
We actively encourage our employees to confidentially report any concerns or breaches and have an independently monitored email address to ensure all our employees have a voice that will be heard in confidence, 24 hours a day, every day of the year. All matters raised through whistleblowing or auditing processes are investigated and appropriate action is taken per our policies and procedures.
Our Supply chains
We hold products from countries within the EU, including the UK and across India and Asia. From the suppliers with whom our customers have direct purchasing relationships, we seek assurance during negotiations of the same high standards and corporate and ethical responsibility as we adhere to ourselves.
A proportion of our purchasing is through agents and intermediaries. Where this occurs, we recognise our ability to influence labour standards and human rights further back along supply chains is limited to a degree, as we may be only one of many international customers in an extensive global marketplace. Owing to these global suppliers we recognise that some countries in our supply chain may present an increased risk of modern slavery. Accordingly, we are committed to investigating what more can be reasonably done in this regard to help our effectiveness at mitigating human trafficking and promoting anti-slavery within our supply chain.
All our products within the company comply with all relevant UK and EU laws and regulations.
Identifying and mitigating risks
During the initial reporting period, we have identified that any potential risk of human trafficking and slavery, however remote, may occur in overseas supply chains beyond the EU and have therefore implemented a chain of custody basis for certain materials and products we purchase from these countries.
During the initial reporting period, we have also come to understand we have much to learn regarding labour standards and human rights in countries outside of the EU. Therefore, we are taking steps in the forthcoming financial year to increase our knowledge and understanding of labour standards in those countries and hence how we can identify and mitigate risks, as far as possible from human trafficking and slavery.
Steps taken to date
Over the last 2 years, we have:
- Brought our standpoint and responsibilities to the fore in our communications with all our stakeholders
- Developed Modern Slavery Act materials which have been built into our training and induction procedures.
- Developed and published our own internal Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Policy
- Commenced conducting site audits (where appropriate, with qualified, independent third-party auditors) of our supply chain where considered necessary.
Steps to take
In developing our response to, understanding and support of, the aims and requirements of the Act, going forward we will over the next 2 years:
- Continue to bring our standpoint and responsibilities to the fore in our communications with all our stakeholders
- Establish a regular reporting cycle throughout our management team and board of Directors and ensure all employees have access to appropriate information, our policies and training
- Seek further advice on improving our supplier contracts more specifically to exclude modern slavery and human trafficking
- Launch our internal ‘Code of Conduct’
- Develop a purchasing code of conduct and associated contracts that specify supplier obligations regarding modern slavery and human trafficking.
- Access and, where material to our business, implement emerging best practices.
In adopting these steps, we believe this will help to develop the company’s effectiveness in mitigating human trafficking and promoting anti-slavery.
This statement is made by Gillards Worldwide Warehousing & Distribution Limited for itself.
This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Act and constitutes our company’s slavery and trafficking statement for the financial year ending 31 June 2023.
Andrew Clarke, Managing Director
25 October 2023