Bournemouth University Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement 2017

This statement is made pursuant to section 54 (1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the Act) and constitutes Bournemouth University’s (BU) modern slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ending 31st July 2017. This statement has been approved by the BU Board who, together with the Audit, Risk and Governance (ARG) Committee, will review and update it as necessary on an annual basis.

BU takes a zero tolerance approach to slavery and human trafficking. This is BU’s second statement under the Act and highlights the extensive work BU continues to undertake to achieve the highest levels of ethical and human rights principles in its business conduct.  BU’s first statement remains available here.

BU’s structure

BU is a Higher Education Corporation created by statute and is an exempt charity. BU is responsible to the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) as principal regulator for Higher Education Institutions in England that are exempt charities. The BU Board oversees the strategic development of BU and ensures the effective use of resources and the general solvency of the institution. Its members are also BU’s charitable trustees. Further details about BU’s structure and governance can be found on the BU website here.

BU’s own business

BU’s business as a higher education provider is organised into several Faculties comprising; the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, The Bournemouth University Business School, Faculty of Media and Communication, Faculty of Science and Technology and also the BU Doctoral College. BU also has several professional service departments which include, amongst others; Finance and Performance, Academic Services, Estates, Marketing and Communications, Human Resources and Organisational Development, Student Services and I.T Services. BU has approximately 19,000 undergraduate and post graduate students who are attracted to BU from all over the world.

BU is aware that its students may become aware of incidents of modern slavery or human trafficking as part of their daily lives or in very rare instances, may be entrapped into a life style of a modern slave. To address this, BU has procedures in place whereby students can obtain support and advice on their wellbeing.

BU mitigates the risk of modern slavery and human trafficking within its own staff community by following fair HR recruitment and selection policies and procedures. Where recruitment agencies are used, BU requires that such agencies comply with all UK legislation relating to the employment rights and welfare of candidates. BU has an Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Policy and Procedures providing a reporting mechanism for all staff to raise concerns. In addition, BU has a Whistleblowing (Disclosure in the Public Interest) Policy to protect whistleblowers.

BU also has dedicated representatives who are aware of the requirements of the Modern Slavery Act from Legal Services and Corporate Governance, Human Resources, Procurement and Sustainability.

BU supply chains

BU is one of the largest purchasers in the region and recognises that it has a responsibility to minimise the environmental and social impact of purchased goods and services. BU has reviewed its supply chain and continues to view security services, construction/ estates goods and services, catering/ food supply chains, cleaning/ domestic services, ICT equipment/ general electronics and clothing/textiles as being at higher risk to modern slavery and human trafficking within the supply chain.

BU policies and due diligence processes for slavery and human trafficking

BU implemented Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Policy and Procedures in 2016 to reflect its commitment to acting ethically and with integrity in all of its business relationships and to implementing and enforcing effective systems and controls to ensure slavery and human trafficking are not taking place in its supply chains. During 2016/2017 no concerns were raised under the Procedures and BU will continue to publicise them to staff during 2017/2018.

BU also continues to have a number of frameworks which underpin its ethical standards across all of its business activities. BU has a Sustainable Procurement Policy to ensure the purchasing of goods and services takes account of their environmental and social impact. BU also has a Sustainable Food Policy, Fair Trade Policy and Procedures, Sustainability Policy, an Ethical Investment Policy and Procedures and a Code of Ethical Fundraising and Donors’ Charter which ensures ethical standards of business conduct across the breadth of BU’s activities.

As part of BU’s initiative to identify risk it has in place systems to assess and mitigate potential risk areas in its supply chains, such as using the DEFRA Sustainable Procurement Prioritisation Tool. BU also procures goods and services via consortium frameworks such as the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) and through its membership of the Southern Universities Procurement Consortium (SUPC) which is a membership-based buying organisation for universities and further education colleges. BU is also a member of Electronics Watch (which assists public sector buyers to meet their responsibility to protect the labour rights of workers in their global electronics supply chains).

Supplier adherence to BU’s values

To ensure BU’s supply chain and contractors comply with its values, BU has inserted Modern Slavery Act 2015 clauses into its standard terms of business for procurement and other supplier contracts. BU continues to contact key suppliers in the higher risk areas to seek their assurances of compliance with the Act and will continue to review its contracts with suppliers in light of the need to prevent modern slavery.

Training and Raising Awareness

To ensure a high level of understanding of the risks of modern slavery and human trafficking in BU’s supply chains and its business, BU will be providing training to relevant staff.

BU has also helped to raise awareness of modern slavery in the wider community by supporting the Safer Poole Partnership’s Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Awareness Conference which featured talks from the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority, the Chief Constable for Devon and Cornwall (who is the national policing lead for modern slavery) and charities supporting individuals who had experienced modern slavery. BU will continue to seek opportunities to support raising awareness of modern slavery during 2017/2018.

BU’s effectiveness in combating slavery and human trafficking

BU will continue to review the effectiveness of its measures taken to combat slavery and human trafficking on a periodic basis and will take such action as deemed necessary to maintain the highest levels of ethical and human rights principles in its business conduct.

Approved by the Bournemouth University Board on 24th November 2017