The Acorn (Synergie UK Ltd) consisting of Acorn Recruitment Ltd, Acorn Global Ltd, Acorn Rail Ltd part of the French based Synergie group, recognises that modern slavery and human trafficking is a violation of fundamental human rights and is contrary to the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the “Act”). We are committed to zero tolerance against all forms of modern slavery in our business and that of our supply chain.
As a labour provider (sectors include construction, manufacturing, commercial services, agriculture, engineering) our Head Office is based in Newport, South Wales and we have a number of offices based throughout North and South Wales, North West, South East and West of England all agency workers provided to our clients all live and work in the UK, we do not use overseas agents to source workers. We have produced a slavery and trafficking risk assessment indicating our Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers. Tier 1 suppliers are other UK labour providers including umbrella companies which we have identified as high risk to our business, Tier 2 providers are essential service providers and suppliers of product required to run our business.
Our approved suppliers must comply and act in accordance with our Modern Slavery Policy and must submit a pre-qualification document, which also covers the Act.
Acorn (Synergie UK Ltd) takes a proactive approach in terms of due diligence as outlined below:
- Acorn is a business partner of Stronger Together. Stronger Together is a multi-stakeholder initiative aiming to reduce modern slavery.
- GLAA Licence holder ACOR0003
- Sedex member allows us and our clients to manage ethical and responsible practices in the supply chain
- REC Member – professional body for UK recruitment businesses
- REC Compliance test – completed every 2 years to retain membership
- Acorn meets all the requirements of the Ethical Trading Initiative
- Supply chain partners outlined above must agree for an independent audit by our Quality team. Our business will not support or deal with any business knowingly involved in any aspect of modern slavery.
- ISO9001 accredited – independent audit ensuring compliance to our internal policies against the international standard for quality.
- All staff working for the group must have adequate references and undertake an annual self-declaration outlining criminal convictions and undertake a ‘fit and proper’ test in line with GLAA requirements.
- Audits – remotely with the Compliance team monitoring 100% of workers placed on assignment checking:
- Right to Work checks – workers must prove they are eligible to work in the UK
- Bank Account – workers must have proof of own / joint bank account
- Telephone numbers – workers must be contacted on their own telephone number
- Email address – workers must have their own email address
- Addresses – high number of workers are not living at the same address
- NI # - workers must provide details of their national insurance number and no duplicates
- Workers complete registration process and have face to face interviews and informed of the Stronger Together campaign
- System audits to ensure all of the above are captured for each worker
- Unannounced branch audits to check all areas of recruitment and learning.
- Dedicated confidential telephone number for workers to report concerns of exploitation/human trafficking
- Systems to encourage the reporting of concerns and the protection of whistle blowers
- Training - Acorn has delivered human trafficking and worker exploitation training sessions to raise awareness to all staff within both the recruitment and learning sectors. All new starters have formal induction which outlines our compliance requirements and minimum standards to be met to ensure we meet our zero tolerance approach on exploitation and human trafficking. Retraining of staff during homeworking requirements of COVID-19 lockdown.
- Awareness campaigns for exploitation and human trafficking – regular toolbox talks sent to all personnel, quarterly newsletters published and monthly reminders promoting our commitment to our zero tolerance approach. Worker interviews also conducted.
Our policies on Preventing Hidden Labour Exploitation, Ethical Trading Policy, Supplier Policy, Compliance Policy, and Whistleblowing Policy support our approach outlined above. We work with different partner agencies to report instances of modern slavery or concerns we may have on individuals including but not limited to the GLAA, Police and Immigration services, we have not had any instances of modern slavery during 2019 in our business or supply chain.
We use several key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure how effective we have been to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place in any part of our business or supply chains, this is reported on an annual basis the last report was produced Dec 2019, in line with the audit criteria identified.
This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes our group's slavery and human trafficking statement for financial year end December 2018.
This statement has been approved by the UK Senior Management Team and by Board Director Matt Southall.
Matt Southall, MD
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