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Modern Slavery Act

Modern Slavery Act Transparency Statement

What is the Modern Slavery Act 2015?

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 is described by the Home Office as aiming to address slavery and trafficking in the twenty-first century by:

  • enhancing support and protection for victims
  • giving law enforcement the tools needed to target today’s slave drivers
  • ensuring perpetrators can be severely punished, and
  • encouraging business to take action to ensure their supply chains are slavery-free.

What is the Modern Slavery Act Transparency Statement?

The Act requires certain organisations to produce a slavery and human trafficking statement for each financial year. This applies to an organisation if they: 

  • are a body corporate
  • supply goods and services in the UK, and 
  • have a total turnover of £36 million or more.

Section 54 of the Act, called the ‘Transparency in Supply Chains’ clause, requires these organisations to set out what they have done to ensure there is no modern slavery in its supply chains or any part of its business. If an organisation has taken no steps to do this, their statement should say so.

Our Transparency Statement

Our Transparency Statement will introduce: 

  • a review of any relevant corporate policies and consider whether they already address the issue of modern slavery
  • a self-certification clause in our contracts and quotation documents for new suppliers from 1 April 2019 to indicate whether the Act applies to them and that they comply with provisions of the Transparency in Supply Chains clause
  • a process to allow the council to carry out random checks on whether suppliers have published their own Transparency Statement and that we are satisfied at the level of assurance that no modern slavery exists in their supply chain (subject to resource availability in Corporate Procurement)

Modern Slavery Act Transparency Statement 2017‐2018
 

1. Introduction

This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes Belfast City Council’s slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ending 31st March 2018.

2. Our structure, our business and our supply chains

Belfast City Council is the local authority for the Belfast area with responsibility for local planning, economic development, tourism, street cleaning, parks, leisure and waste management.  

Our political governance structure is set out below:

  • Belfast City Council
  • Belfast Waterfront and Ulster Hall Ltd 
  • City Growth and Regeneration 
  • Licensing Committee
  • People and Communities Committee 
  • Planning Committee
  • Strategic Policy and Resources Committee

Our supply chain consists of more than 7,700 suppliers mostly based in the UK and Ireland. 

3. Our policies in relation to slavery and human trafficking  

We are committed to ensuring that there is no modern slavery or human trafficking in our supply chains or any part of our business. We will review existing corporate responsibility policies and consider whether they already address the issues that are required by the Act and if not, consider what additional policies we may need. For example, we may need to review the Whistleblowing Policy to reference the Modern Slavery Act.  

4. Due diligence in assessing modern slavery risk in operations or supply chains 

We have identified the following areas of our supply chain as having a higher risk in relation to modern slavery:  

  • waste management  
  • food

While the Council aimed to begin a self‐certification process for new suppliers in 2017, this work has been  delayed due to resource pressures. Starting from 1st April 2019, all our new suppliers for new or extended  contracts will be required to self‐certify whether the Modern Slavery Act applies to them and that they meet the requirements of the Act.  

We will, subject to resource availability in the Corporate Procurement Unit, aim to eventually introduce a 
process of carrying out random checks on new suppliers to ensure that:  

  • they have a Transparency Statement  
  • the council is satisfied at the level of assurance provided that no modern slavery exists in their supply chain.

5. Effectiveness in ensuring that modern slavery is not present 

We will communicate this policy to our staff to make them aware of the issue and the council’s obligations.  The Northern Ireland Department of Justice is expected, at some point, to announce guidance on the new duty to report incidences of modern slavery. This may require further training and guidance being issued to staff.  

Signed on behalf of Belfast City Council by: 
John Walsh 
City Solicitor
 

Policy Control

Organisation Belfast City Council
Title  Modern Slavery Act Transparency Statement 22017‐18 V1.0 
Author Programme Manager
Owner  Town Solicitor
Review date Sept 2019
Location of document  Website home page
Approved by Strategic Policy & Resources Committee and ratified at Full Council
Approval date 23/09/16 and 3/10/16

 

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