This statement sets out Bracknell Forest Council's actions to understand all potential modern slavery risks related to its business and to put in place steps that are aimed at making sure that there is no slavery or human trafficking in its own business, and its supply chains. This statement relates to actions and activities during the financial year 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018.
As part of Local Government, we recognise that we have a responsibility to take a robust approach to slavery and human trafficking. In addition to our responsibility as an employer, we acknowledge our duty as a Borough Council to notify the Secretary of State of suspected victims of slavery or human trafficking as introduced by section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 ("the Act").
We are committed to making sure that any incident of modern slavery that occurs within our purview will be reported in line with the 2015 Act. Our aim is to be a organisation that identifies such incidents and which will work with our partners and suppliers in an ethical, transparent way with integrity in all our business transactions.
Bracknell Forest Council is unitary authority in the heart of Berkshire. We manage a wide range of services, both directly and through external contractors with a wide and diverse supply chain. External services are procured from a variety of local, national and international organizations, businesses and voluntary sector organizations. Each supplier in turn may have its own supply chain.
The challenge for Bracknell Forest Council is to make sure compliance and adherence to best practice both within its own organisation and its suppliers but also from supply chains that serve them.
Our policies encourage rigorous compliance that seek to minimise the occurrence of modern slavery within our supply chain. For example, our selection questionnaire requires bidders to understand the 2015 Act and, where applicable, to confirm compliance with the 2015 Act reporting requirements.
We have a robust and transparent recruitment and selection process which seeks to make sure that all new workers recruited into a post at Bracknell Forest Council are subject to the requisite checks. Our offer of employment is subject to the following rigorous process:
- acceptance of the terms and conditions contained within the contract of employment
- the receipt of satisfactory references
- evidence of any required professional qualifications
- any necessary Disclosure and Barring Service checks, where applicable
- the receipt of eligibility to work in the UK
- identification check
We understand the important role that our procurement processes play in enabling and rewarding good employment practice and reducing the risk of modern slavery. We are committed to undertaking due diligence at all stages of the procurement cycle to achieve this across its supply chain. Our due diligence measures (both existing and proposed) are listed below.
Existing diligence measures include:
- reinforcing adherence to the Modern Slavery Act duties within the selection questionnaire
- taking appropriate measures in the selection of suppliers to enable the exclusion of suppliers with convictions under the relevant sections of the Modern Slavery Act
Proposed diligence measures include:
- inclusion of appropriate clauses in contracts to require suppliers to work within the requirements of the Modern Slavery Act - these will be applicable to sub-contractors in the supply chain
- working with partners to develop our understanding of the risks of modern slavery occurring and to review the supply chain to identify areas of vulnerability and risk
- training and awareness raising for procurement staff to develop their understanding of the risks within the supply chain
A proposed diligence measure for Employment is training and awareness raising for HR staff to develop their understanding of the risks within recruitment processes.
A proposed diligence measure for Safeguarding is the inclusion of Modern Slavery Act requirements within corporate safeguarding training.
Chief Executive approval
This statement was approved by Timothy Wheadon, Chief Executive on 17 May 2018.