The Modern Slavery Act 2015 has introduced changes in UK law focused on increasing the transparency in supply chains and ensuring our supply chains are free from modern slavery (that is slavery, servitude, forced and compulsory labour and human trafficking). As both a local leader in commissioning health care services for the population of west Hertfordshire and as an employer, Herts Valleys CCG provides the following statement in respect to its commitment to, and efforts in, preventing slavery and human trafficking practices in the supply chain and employment practices.
As an authorised statutory body, the CCG is the lead commissioner for health care services (including acute, community, mental health) in the west Hertfordshire area (including Watford, Dacorum, St. Albans & Harpenden and Hertsmere) covering a population of 639,566.
Our commitment to prevent slavery and human trafficking
The CCG Board, Senior Management Team and all employees support the Government’s objectives to eradicate modern slavery and human trafficking and recognise the significant role the NHS has to play in both combatting it and supporting victims. We are committed to ensuring our supply chains and business activities are free from ethical and labour standard abuses and in so far as is possible to holding our suppliers to account to do likewise.
Our overall approach will be governed by compliance with legislative and regulatory requirements and the maintenance and development of good practice in the fields of contracting and employment.
Our policies and arrangements
Our recruitment processes are highly mature; requiring practices that adhere to safe recruitment principles. This includes strict requirements in respect of identity checks, work permits and criminal records. We pay all our employees above the minimum wage.
Our policies such as Bullying and Harassment at Work policy, Safeguarding Adults at Risk policy, Individual Grievance policy, Equality and Diversity policy and Whistleblowing policy provide an additional platform for our employees to raise concerns about poor working practices.
Our procurement approach follows the Crown Commercial Service standard.
In 2017/18 our anti-slavery programme will also work to:
• Support our staff to understand and respond to modern slavery and human trafficking; the impact that each and every individual working in the NHS can have in keeping present and potential future victims of modern slavery and human trafficking safe.
• Ensure that all NHS commissioned services staff have access to formal training on modern slavery and human trafficking which will provide the latest information and skills to deal with it.
Modern Slavery: Further information and resources
Modern slavery is a growing problem globally and the scale of modern slavery in the UK is significant. It can take many forms, including the trafficking of people, forced labour and servitude.
Here in Hertfordshire, 119 potential victims have been identified as victims since 2009.
Operation Tropic was launched by Hertfordshire Constabulary as a dedicated police unit to coordinate the response to modern slavery in Hertfordshire.
Information About the Hertfordshire Modern Slavery Partnership and Operation Tropic:
Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner: http://www.hertscommissioner.org/modern-slavery
Human Trafficking Organisations:
Home Office (www.modernslavery.co.uk)
Human Trafficking Foundation (www.humantraffickingfoundation.org/what-human-trafficking)
Salvation Army (www.salvationary.org.uk/human-trafficking)
British Red Cross (www.redcross.org.uk/who-we-are/modern-slavery/)
National Crime Agency (www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/crime-threats/human-trafficking)
Shiva Foundation (www.shivafoundation.org.uk)
RCN MODERN SLAVERY POCKET GUIDE (https://www.rcn.org.uk/-/media/royal-college-of-nursing/documents/publications/2017/may/pub-005984.pdf)
Additional Resources – Educational Videos:
Anti-Slavery Commissioner: www.antislaverycommissioner.co.uk/resources
Home Office: www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOe2-j3QzKl
Gangmasters & Labour Abuse Authority: www.gla.gov.uk/publications/resources/glaa-videos
Identifying Modern Slavery Victims: