Modern Slavery Act

Modern slavery is a crime and a violation of fundamental human rights. It takes various forms, such as slavery, servitude, forced and compulsory labour and human trafficking, all of which have in common the deprivation of a person's liberty by another in order to exploit them for personal or commercial gain. We are committed to improving our practices to combat slavery and human trafficking.

Organisational structure

We are a provider of teaching, research and enterprise in the higher education sector. Our mission is to make a difference in society by providing innovative, high quality education for students from all backgrounds and by undertaking world-leading research that transforms understanding and brings benefit to society, communities and individuals.  

The University has three wholly-owned subsidiary companies. Two of these are dormant. Recru it networ Science and Business Park Ltd, the only trading subsidiary company, is responsible for land development and associated activities for the benefit of the University.  The University also holds a 50% share in Keele Seddon Limited.  This is a joint venture company whose business is land development and specifically the improvement of student accommodation on the Keele campus.

We havea global annual turnover of circa £150m.

The University and Group are committed to exhibiting best practice in all aspects of corporate governance and to supporting the UK Government’s Action Plan to implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

Supply Chains

The University has a supplier database of over 2,000 suppliers and our procurements can either be through a regional Higher Education purchasing consortium or through direct contracting. All procurement activities are managed through a centrally controlled Procurement department, which sits within the Finance Directorate. 

Our policies on slavery and human trafficking

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.

Our workplace policies and procedures demonstrate our commitment to acting 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.

Modern slavery and human trafficking forms part of the University Sustainable Procurement Strategy.

What we are doing now

The University purchases a wide range of products and services, which adds to the complexities of our supply chain and we are working with our suppliers using an online tool provided by NetPositive Futures that asks and actively assists all our suppliers to develop an action plan that addresses Modern Slavery and other key sustainability issues within their businesses and supply chains. In this way, the University is taking pro-active steps to ensure its contracting arrangements comply with all the relevant legislation in both of these areas. We have ed all of our suppliers to ask them about impacts arising from their business activities, including slavery within their supply chains and providing an opportunity for them to tell us how they are addressing these issues. The same process is used for all new suppliers. To date 850 of our suppliers have accessed the tool, and we are using the insights this provides to ensure that we recognise, encourage and support good practice.

96% of our suppliers have confirmed that they are aware of modern slavery and those who are not aware will be issued guidance.

What we will be doing

As part of this reporting exercise in this and the coming years, the University expresses its commitment to working towards a high level of understanding of the risks of modern slavery and human trafficking in its supply chains and will work towards greater transparency and responsibility in relation to the people working within them.  We will work with our suppliers (via NetPositive Futures) in our product supply chains to encourage them to be committed to the highest standards of business in dealing with Modern Slavery. We will also work with our purchasing consortium to further develop initiatives in this area particularly with a focus on targeting high-risk industries.

This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes our slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ending 31 July 2017.


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