Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking Statement

INTRODUCTION

This statement sets out M Group Services’ actions to understand all potential modern slavery risks related to the Group and its operating businesses and to put in place steps that are aimed at ensuring that there is no slavery or human trafficking within the Group and our supply chains. This statement relates to actions and activities during the financial year 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021.

M Group Services recognises that it has a responsibility to take a robust approach to slavery and human trafficking. The Group is absolutely committed to preventing slavery and human trafficking in all its activities and ensures that its supply chains are free from slavery and human trafficking.

ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE & SUPPLY CHAINS

This statement covers the activities of M Group Services. The Group is privately owned and delivers a range of essential infrastructure services within the Water, Telecom, Transport and Energy (Infrastructure and Retail) sectors in the UK and Ireland. The Group’s supply chain is primarily based in the UK and provides aggregates, gas and water pipes and components, electricity and telecom cables, substation components and telecom equipment. In addition, the company makes extensive use of a range of subcontractors from labour only to fully serviced labour, plant and equipment providers responsible for service delivery. A number of our clients supply materials to us directly on a free issue basis which they are responsible for sourcing via their own supply chain partners.

COUNTRIES OF OPERATION & SUPPLY

The organisation currently operates in the following countries: 

  • United Kingdom and Ireland.

The following is the process by which the Group assesses whether or not particular activities or countries are high risk in relation to slavery or human trafficking:

  • A review of our supply chain partners including their country source of materials and labour in support of our business operations. As we are operating exclusively in the UK and Ireland with the majority of our supply chain partners also based in the UK, we consider the overall risk of slavery and/or human trafficking to be very low.
  • For all directly employed employees, we carry out Right to Work in the UK checks and pay minimum wages or above in accordance with published UK government legal guidelines in respect of National Minimum and National Living Wage.
  • For all indirect workers we carry out a Health & Safety and Contract Familiarisation induction prior to their commencement of work at which we are able to check their identity, qualifications and competence
  • We co-operate with our clients through regular client audits of our obligations under this policy, and undertake to support the client through effective supply chain management.

RISK ACTIVITIES

As part of our supply chain evaluation process, we conduct risk assessments of our supply chain activities across the business, including those overseas countries where there is considered to be a material risk of slavery or human trafficking. On an ongoing basis we review the response of our supply chain evaluation process, to ensure that there is minimal risk of occurrence.

Where we have identified a material risk we have conducted supply chain assessment audits to ensure compliance with the agreed policies. We will continue to monitor our supply chain partners and conduct assessment audits where we identify there is a potential risk of slavery or human trafficking. M Group Services runs a vigorous supply chain process, which includes compliance checks, to ensure our partners meet or exceed our modern slavery and human trafficking policy requirements. During 2020/2021 493 partner organisations have completed the process and gained M Group Services’ approval.

RESPONSIBILITY

Responsibility for the organisation's anti-slavery initiatives is as follows: 

  • Policies: HR Director and Procurement Director
  • Risk Assessments:Procurement Director and HR Director supported by Head of Group Assurance will assess the risk of slavery or human trafficking within the supply chain as part of the Company’s overall Risk Management and Governance.
  • Investigations/due diligence: The Internal Audit Manager is responsible for carrying out investigations supported by the HR Department and Group Commercial Department. TheProcurement Department and Commercial teams are responsible for ensuring theCompany’s policies are communicated to the supply chain partners and form part of thes upplier assessment process, which is managed by the Group Commercial Department.
  • Training: All middle managers and above engaged in procurement activities and above with supply chain responsibilities will complete training/refresher training on business ethics and modern slavery and human trafficking during 2020/21.

RELEVANT POLICIES 

The organisation operates the following policies that describe its approach to the identification of modern slavery risks and steps to be taken to prevent slavery and human trafficking in its operations: 

  • Whistleblowing policy: The Group encourages all its workers, customers and other business partners to report any concerns related to the direct activities, or the supply chains of, the organisation. This includes any circumstances that may give rise to an enhanced risk of slavery or human trafficking. The organisation's whistleblowing procedure is designed to make it easy for workers to make disclosures, without fear of retaliation. Employees, customers or others who have concerns can use our confidential helpline provided by Navex Global.
  • Ethical business code of conduct: The organisation's code makes clear to employees the actions and behaviours expected of them when representing the organisation. The organisation strives to maintain the highest standards of employee conduct and ethical behaviour when managing its supply chain.
  • Supply chain/Procurement code of conduct: The organisation is committed to ensuring that its supply chain partners adhere to the highest standards of ethics. Partners are required to demonstrate that they provide safe working conditions where necessary, treat workers with dignity and respect, and act ethically and within the law in their use of labour. The organisation works with the supply chain to ensure that they meet the standards of the code. Serious violations of the organisation's code of conduct will lead to the termination of the business relationship. The M Group Services ethical business code of conduct forms part of the contractual documentation issued, and is made available to all supply chain partners during engagement. We also provide links to an “Extranet” site where suppliers and sub-contractors are able to access controlled documentation including the Ethical Business Code of Conduct.As part of our supply chain evaluation, candidates are asked if they have a policy/statement that sets out the steps their organisation has taken during the financial year to ensure that slavery and human trafficking are not taking place in any of their supply chains or in any part of their own business.If any potential supply chain partner is unable to demonstrate that they have a robust policy in place, we ensure that they agree to act in accordance with our policy.
  • Recruitment Policy: The organisation recognises that any business providing contingent labour and recruitment services present unique risks and as such has engaged a managed service provider to help oversee the supply of temporary labour. The managed service provider undertakes regular audits of supplying employment agencies to verify their operational processes and personnel and they are capable of recognising, preventing and reporting modern slavery. Regular compliance checks are undertaken to verify workers are being paid in line with minimum wage legislation, that there are no unlawful deductions, and that no fees are being charged for work finding services.

DUE DILIGENCE 

The organisation undertakes due diligence when considering taking on supply chain partners, and regularly reviews its existing partners. The organisation's due diligence and reviews include: 

  • Evaluating the modern slavery and human trafficking risks of each new partner.
  • Conducting supplier audits or assessments which have a greater degree of focus on slavery and human trafficking where material risks are identified.
  • Taking steps to improve substandard suppliers' practices, including providing advice to suppliers and requiring them to implement action appropriately.
  • Invoking sanctions against suppliers that fail to improve their performance in line with an action plan or which seriously violate our supplier code of conduct, including the termination of the business relationship.

BOARD APPROVAL

This statement has been approved by the organisation's Operational Board who will review and update it at least annually.

Jim Arnold 

Chief Executive 

Dated: July 2021 

Operating businesses across the Group covered by this policy include: Morrison Water Services, PMP Utilities, IWJS, IDSystems, Morrison Energy Services, Morrison Data Services, Callisto, Protect My Property, Morrison Telecom Services, Magdalene, Avonline Networks, Waldon Telecom, Dyer & Butler, KH Engineering Services, Antagrade Electrical, Milestone Infrastructure, MGS Group Support and M Group Services Plant & Fleet Solutions. 

Click here to download the Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking Statement