What is modern slavery?
Slavery is a violation of a person’s human rights. It can take the form of human trafficking, forced labour, bonded labour, forced or servile marriage, descent-based slavery and domestic slavery. A person is considered to be in modern slavery if they are:
- Forced to work through mental or physical threat
- Owned or controlled by “an employer”, usually through mental or physical abuse
- Dehumanised, treated as a commodity or sold or brought as “property”
- Physically constrained or has restrictions placed on their freedom of movement
Modern Slavery Act 2015
The Modern Slavery Act 2015 introduced changes in UK law, focused on increasing transparency in supply chains. Specifically, large businesses are now required to disclose the steps they have taken to ensure their business and supply chains are free from modern slavery (that is, slavery, servitude, forced and compulsory labour and human trafficking).
Commercial organisations that supply goods or services and have a minimum turnover of £36million are required to produce a ‘slavery and human trafficking statement’ each financial year. This should set out the steps (if any) taken to ensure modern slavery is not taking place in the organisation’s own business and its supply chains. This statement must be published on company websites and visible to staff, suppliers, customers and investors. The effect of the Act will increase as businesses begin to seek assurance from their suppliers that they are also taking steps to ensure
their supply chains are free from slavery.
Overview of NEL CSU
NEL Commissioning Support Unit (NEL CSU) was formally established in April 2013. NEL CSU has grown in size from 400 to over 2,000 staff with extensive experience and expertise across all healthcare settings. We currently provide bespoke solutions to 53 Clinical Commissioning Groups
(CCGs). Sixteen million people live in our supported regions and we handle eight per cent of the annual NHS budget on behalf of our customers. We deliver services to a variety of organisations across England, including hospital Trusts, a fifth of all GP Practices nationally, mental health and
community health care providers, NHS England, prisons and custody suites, and local authorities. We manage over thirty large NHS provider contracts valued at approximately £10 billion.
Our ambition is to become a trusted advisor and indispensable partner for our customers. We want to be an organisation that:
- Is thought of positively by people who work for us and with us
- Has a clear set of ethics and values that underpin everything we do.
- Listening to customers
- Delivering on promises
- Committed to improving health outcomes
- Striving for excellence and improving services
- Commercially sustainable
- A dynamic and enjoyable workplace
NEL CSU complies with the NHS England Modern Slavery Statement and anti-slavery programme.
What we already do at NEL CSU
- We confirm the identities of all new employees and their right to work in the United Kingdom, and pay all our employees above the National Living Wage
- Our policies including Dignity at Work, Staff Support Champions and Freedom to Speak Up Guardian additionally give a platform for our employees to raise concerns about poor working practices.
- Our procurement teams are all Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) accredited or working toward this qualification. As such they all abide by the CIPS code of professional conduct and have completed a CIPS ethical test which specifically covers modern slavery
- Our procurement approach follows the Crown Commercial Service standard and includes a mandatory exclusion question regarding the Modern Slavery Act 2015
- When procuring goods and services, we additionally apply NHS Terms and Conditions (for non-clinical procurement) and the NHS Standard Contract (for clinical procurement). Both require suppliers to comply with relevant legislation
NHS England 17/18 anti-slavery programme will also:
- Support our staff to understand and respond to modern slavery and human trafficking, and 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 staff have access to training on how to identify those who are victims of modern slavery and human trafficking. This training will include the latest information and will help staff develop the skills to support individuals who come into contact with health services
- Work with NHS funded organisations to ensure modern slavery and human trafficking aretaken seriously and features prominently in safeguarding work plans
- Review all NHS England safeguarding policies and MAST training to ensure that Modern Slavery and human trafficking are integral within the content and staff are directed to support and advice as needed
Further details can be found at NHS England.