Slavery and human trafficking statement

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Published , updated

How Derwent Living ensures it meets the requirements of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. 

Derwent Living is a ‘profit for social purpose’ organisation providing affordable housing to suit a range of lifestyles. Formed in 1964, Derwent Housing Association (trading as Derwent Living) manages more than 25,000 properties across the UK with a mission is to be an excellent provider of affordable housing in the Midlands. It has a subsidiary, Derwent FM, which manages student accommodation.

Our core businesses

As well as homes to rent for people on lower incomes, Derwent Living offers properties for retired people, homes for sale through part-buy, part-rent schemes, residential lettings and key-worker accommodation.  Derwent Living’s primary focus is providing good, affordable housing and improving services for residents through greater resident engagement and involvement.

Much of our stock is new-build, with modern, well-designed features. Derwent Living is committed to continuing to develop new homes in response to widespread housing need.

Derwent Living is part of the Places for People Group (the “Group”), one of the largest property and leisure management, development and regeneration businesses in the UK. Derwent Living’s subsidiary, Derwent FM, is also subject to the contents of this statement.

Our supply chain

Derwent Living includes Group partners in its supply chain and arranges some external supplies through the Group’s procurement systems. We engage with a wide variety of organisations for a broad range of goods and services - primarily corporate, construction and property related, but also some more specialist requirements.

Our supply chain members are diverse not only in the goods and services they provide, but also in the size and structure of their organisations - from the very small to multinationals. We encourage smaller businesses to apply to join our supply chain in order to promote local business initiatives in the UK.

Our policies to resist modern slavery and human trafficking

We have reviewed our existing policies and procedures in light of the Act. We are confident that our policies promote good behaviour among our colleagues at work and within our supply chain. Our policies and procedures are kept under review to make sure that they reflect the changing shape of the Group and of the needs of the people and markets it serves in the UK.

In our own businesses

Among the policies that we consider give us strength in avoiding modern slavery or human trafficking under the Act in our businesses are:

  • Code of Conduct & Confidentiality;
  • Dignity at Work Policy;
  • Equality & Diversity Policy;
  • Fraud Policy;
  • Gifts, Hospitality & Personal Interests Policy;
  • Recruitment Policy; and
  • Whistle blowing Policy.

Our whistle blowing policy makes clear that a report of concern in relation to modern slavery or human trafficking can be made under the protection of the policy.

In our supply chain

We are determined that there shall be no modern slavery or human trafficking in our supply chain. Our Supply Chain Code of Conduct and Sustainable Procurement Policies evidence our commitment to act ethically and with integrity throughout our business relationships and all suppliers, no matter how long-standing, are required to abide by them. The code and the policies are kept under review to make sure that they reflect the changing shape of the Group and of the needs of the people and markets it serves in the UK.

We continue to strengthen the relationship with our supply chain members through enhanced enterprise resource systems. These give us better information about more suppliers and make us better able to apply centralised standards across the Group.

Our code reflects the requirements of the Act. We have published it to our supply chain members through our on-line channels to ensure that all suppliers are aware of our expectations.

We have contracts with supply chain members and in many cases those contracts are for several years' duration. We have introduced a contractual requirement for suppliers that they do not engage in any activity that is contrary to the Act. Where a contract has been renewed during the year or any new contract has been entered into, that contract term has been applied. Over time, we will achieve the inclusion of the contractual requirement in all supplier relationships. Every supplier (whether on a new contract or one formed before the Act came into force) knows that we expect them to avoid modern slavery practices because they are required to abide by the code for supply chain partners.

Training and continuing vigilance

We have discussed the Act, its purpose and our attitude to it at a board meeting. We have alerted our senior managers to it and challenged them to continue to consider where the risk of modern slavery or human trafficking may arise in their parts of the business. We have provided guidance to our procurement team members on the need to avoid those risks and on possible indicators of them in the supply chain. We will continue to enhance the assurances we seek from supply chain members as to their avoidance of modern slavery and human trafficking.

Declaration

This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Act for the financial year ending 31 March 2018. It has been approved by the board of directors.  

Suzy Brain England
Chair

Peter McCormack
Chief executive