Anti-slavery and human trafficking statement

Our commitment to conduct all of our activities with integrity and in an ethical manner.

Introduction

Sue Ryder is a national charity providing health and social care in our hospices and neurological care centres, and in the community.  Sue Ryder raises money to fund its services from various sources including its charity shops. Our shops sell donated stock as well as new goods which are sourced by our trading subsidiary, Sue Ryder Direct Ltd.

Organisation structure and supply chains

We are committed to ensuring that there is no modern slavery or human trafficking in our supply chains or in any part of our business.  This statement reflects our commitment to act ethically and with integrity in all our business relationships and to implementing and enforcing effective systems and controls to ensure slavery and human trafficking is not taking place anywhere in our supply chains.

Sue Ryder purchases new goods, such as children’s toys, furniture and other homeware products, through its trading subsidiary Sue Ryder Direct Ltd for its retail chain and its online shop.  We use suppliers (agents) to source and provide these goods made in China and Vietnam.

Policies in relation to slavery and human trafficking

At Sue Ryder we are committed to be a responsible business.  We continually strive to work with suppliers who share the same values.

Policies that concern business relationships:

  • Recruitment policy
  • Procurement policy
  • Whistle-blowing procedures
  • Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Policy
  • Anti-fraud, Bribery and Corruption Policy
  • Workplace Relationships – policy and procedure
  • Values and Behaviours (expected of our staff)

In keeping with our commitment to act with integrity in all our business dealings, we recognise that we purchase products from countries where human rights are an issue of particular concern.

Our agreements with our overseas agents and suppliers who source new goods include a section on Modern Slavery and refer to our Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Policy which is included with the agreements.  The Agents confirm that:

  • The end suppliers have signed a code of conduct which includes the Anti-Slavery Policy;
  • The Anti-Slavery Policy has been added to their quality control check list, and they will report on it;
  • They will ensure that an annual third party social responsibility audit will be carried out.
  • They will provide us with these social compliance audit reports in respect of all the factories where they source goods on our behalf. 

Terms and conditions with our UK and European suppliers who source new goods from overseas also include a section on Modern Slavery and reference to our Anti-Slavery Policy.  These agreements ask the supplier to provide us with a statement confirming that they have complied with our policy and to set out what steps they have taken to assure themselves that there is no modern slavery in their supply chain. We also expect our UK and European suppliers to complete an Online Risk Assessment (ORA) as detailed below.

We also actively encourage employee engagement, representation, dialogue and the ability of an employee to raise potential concerns or grievances.

Risk assessment and due diligence processes

Due diligence forms are completed in respect of major suppliers.  We have identified that the purchasing of new goods for sale in our charity shops, which are sourced from countries which are identified as using child labour and forced labour in their manufacturing industries, are areas of particular concern.

Verisio Ltd. (www.verisio.com) who specialise in supply chain transparency and modern slavery act due diligence for brands and retailers, are appointed by us to evaluate human trafficking risks and slavery risks in our supply chain and they conduct supplier self-assessments and review and requesting social compliance audits which cover all aspects of the supply chain including safety, human trafficking, child labour and other legal requirements of our existing suppliers. 

All new suppliers are subject to Verisio’s checks before being appointed.

Our due diligence and reviews include:

  • Understanding and mapping the supply chain broadly to assess particular products or geographical risks of modern slavery and human trafficking.
  • Evaluating the modern slavery and human trafficking risks of each new supplier. This is to be achieved through supplier self-assessment processes and auditing.
  • Looking to conduct supplier audits using accredited third-party supplier auditors (where the suppliers has been rated High Risk).
  • Providing advice and guidance to suppliers so they can show continuous improvement
  • Invoking sanctions against suppliers that fail to improve their performance in line with an action plan
  • Removing suppliers and factories that are not compliant.

All suppliers have been reissued with our updated Sue Ryder Code of Conduct with suppliers acknowledging their commitment to the Code of Conduct.

Key performance indicators to measure effectiveness of steps being taken

All the factories are now graded by Verisio and in the year 2020-2021 we have reduced the number of supplying factories from 65 to 22 by removing suppliers and factories that are not compliant. We currently have 10 suppliers with 22 factories being used, 21 of which are in China and one in Vietnam.

Verisio provide us with real time dashboards and monthly updated statistics in the course of this program to give us us real and robust data so that we can understand the risk in our supply chain. Over the next year we plan to reduce the risk even further by moving away from Chinese suppliers.

Training on modern slavery and trafficking

All personnel as part of their induction have to read the Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Policy

Awareness training sessions being conducted by Verisio for all senior management in the course of 2021. 

All staff who work in areas of the Charity where modern slavery has been identified as a risk will take part in some form of awareness training in the course of the 2021-2022 period.

This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act and constitutes our Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement for the financial year ending 31st March 2021.

Signature of Sue Ryder Chair of Trustees, Dr Rima Makarem

Dr Rima Makarem

Chair of Trustees

(Approved by the Board on 23 September 2021)